Canada adjustments work in 8-1 semi-final win over Switzerland at Women’s Worlds

Canada trailed the Swiss eight goals in the semi-finals before facing the United States tomorrow afternoon. It’s a much better result for Canada, which hasn’t been able to completely eliminate its opponent like the United States has done in this tournament so far. Executing this game should give them confidence that they can beat the Americans after losing to them in the group stage.

The front row combined for three with Marie-Philip Poulin scoring twice and Brianne Jenner getting another, while the second row consisting of Sarah Fillier, Sarah Nurse and Emily Clark each also scored. Kristin O’Neill and Jessie Eldridge both scored in the first period for the last six in the win. Poulin, Jenner and Eldridge led the team with seven shots apiece. The front row with Potomak combined for 18 shots in about 14 minutes together.

Ann-Renée Desbiens allowed one goal (on a 5-3 power play for Switzerland) on six total shots in the game in an overwhelming performance from the skaters. Defender Lara Christen scored for Switzerland on the power play as Saskia Maurer stopped 48 of 56 shots faced. Christen ended up having to leave the game due to a collision and did not return. It was another blow for an already exhausted Swiss team who only dressed 17 skaters in this game despite the 20 limit.

Canada will now face the United States at 1:30 p.m. ET on TSN 1, TSN 5 and NHL Network for gold and silver. The game will also be replayed at 11 p.m. ET for anyone interested in watching it next.

Each team’s player of the tournament was awarded after the medal round, with Poulin, Fillier and Larocque getting the nods for Canada. Fillier led the team with 10 points (5g, 5a) in six games, with Poulin close behind with nine (5g, 4a). Larocque (and Fast) led the team in ice time, averaging over 20 minutes per game. It was not the highest of the tournament as Finland’s Jenni Hiirikoski played an average of 26 minutes per game. The best Japanese pair of Hitosato and Shiga were also up there.

The players of the tournament for the Swiss were starting goaltender Andrea Braendli, Leeman and Stalder led the team in points with one goal and three points apiece.

Canada’s programming

Attackers

44 Sarah Potomak — 29 Marie-Philip Poulin (C) — 19 Brianne Jenner
20 Sarah Nurse — 10 Sarah Fillier — 26 Emily Clark
43 Kristin O’Neill—40 Blayre Turnbull—7 Laura Stacey
51 Victoria Bach — 27 Emma Maltais — 9 Jessie Eldridge

Defenders

3 Jocelyne Larocque — 14 Renata Fast
28 Micah Zandee-Hart – 23 Erin Ambrose
17 Ella Shelton—12 Meaghan Mikkelson
21 Ashton Bell

Goalkeepers

35 Ann Renee Desbiens
38 Emerance Maschmeyer

Switzerland’s programming

Attackers

26 Dominique Ruegg — 14 Evelina Raselli — 8 Kaleigh Quennec
28 Alina Marti—22 Sinja Leemann—7 Lara Stadler
71 Lena Marie Lutz—12 Lisa Ruedi—19 Emma Ingold
6 Mara Frey

Defenders

17 Christen Lara—82 Alessia Baechler
16 Nicole Vallario — 10 Janine Hauser
18 Stefanie Wetli—9 Shannon Sigrist
4 Nadine Hofstetter

Goalkeepers

29 Saskia Maurer
40 Alexandra Lehmann

Lineup changes

Jamie Lee Rattray was absent for that game, so Canada skated with 12 forwards and seven defensemen. The big change in the roster was Sarah Potomak who moved from the bottom of the depth chart to the front row with Poulin and Jenner. The second row remained intact as Victoria Bach returned to the fourth row.

The Swiss played the second half of this tournament shorthanded due to injuries. They didn’t have Alina Muller, Laura Zimmermann or Noemi Ryhner, which reduced them to just 10 forwards and seven defenders. In net, Andrea Braendli did not dress while Saskia Maurer took the net.

First period

1-0

Canada had a great start to the game, but it took around 13 minutes to score the first goal when Ella Shelton’s shot went through Maurer between his glove and the post. It ended up being a goal for Kristin O’Neill after an exam showed her rocking it. You can sort of see the puck coming in at a shallow angle, but hitting the net more directly.

2-0

Just 10 seconds after O’Neill’s goal, Jessie Eldridge doubled the lead for Canada by completing a low-high passing game with Emma Maltais after Canada came straight back into the attacking zone as if there were had a magnetic attraction that accelerated them there. It was a great shot from O’Neill as she cradled the puck and tossed it across the net as Maurer still tried to cross the first time. Ella Shelton had her second assist of the period and her eighth point in six tournament games, ranking her fourth among defensemen in tournament scoring. Big summer of escape for her.

Second period

3-0

Brianne Jenner added another early in the second period after another great offensive play from Jocelyne Larocque. The defender drove the net from the corner and sent a backhand pass on blue ice to Jenner on the other side. Jenner moved quickly to her backhand and flipped the puck up and into the net despite two Swiss defenders reaching for her stick at the same time. I was very impressed with these ultra-fast reflexes.

4-0

Sarah Fillier scored a fourth goal for Canada, burying Emily Clark’s rebound after a long stint in the offensive zone for the second line. Clark had a defender all over her so she wasn’t able to elevate the puck to the short corner, which I think was her intention. Instead, the puck squealed into the slot where Fillier pounced on it and scored.

There was a bit of a tense moment after the goal as Fillier and Stefanie Wetli met at Fillier’s celebration and Fillier pushed her. Wetli raised her arms and stepped back as Fillier moved forward quickly and hugged her teammates. More of this against the Americans, please.

4-1

Prior to that goal, Canada was on the power play, but lost the puck top of the blue line to Lara Stalder, who ran the other way for a breakaway. Fillier was about six feet behind her at the offensive blue line, but chased Stalder and ripped the puck from under her by the hash marks on the other end. Unfortunately, Fillier had no intention of stopping and plowed under Stalder, throwing both players hard into the boards. Stalder was slow to get up and lay on the ice for a while, Fillier was given a two-minute penalty for tripping, which seemed fair.

At the end of the 4-on-4, Canada earned another penalty with Larocque for holding after failing to get the puck out of the zone against Switzerland’s aggressive forecheck. On the extended 5v3, Lara Christen put Switzerland on the board with this goal on the team’s fourth shot of the match. It started with good passes between Lehmann and Stalder as they swapped places a few times as Canada tried to maintain the positional line-up while trying to change to suit the Swiss formation. Eventually, Poulin left the door open (after trading with Zandee-Hart and Mikkelsson going to the other end) and Christen scored net-side on the one-timer.

Third period

5-1

Marie-Philip Poulin scored her fourth goal of the tournament with that slap in front of the net after some fine work from Sarah Potomak to circle the net and find Renata Fast when the Swiss defenders weren’t in place at all. Fast made a quick pass to MPP who finished the game, restoring Canada’s four-goal lead early in the third.

6-1

Sarah Nurse took advantage of the rebound as Canada scored its first and only goal of the game on the power play on her fourth attempt. Nurse was in position to capitalize on the loose puck shot by Fillier after a quick passing play between her and Poulin. Jenner was in net to screen the goalie who couldn’t get back in time.

7-1

Marie-Philip Poulin scored her fifth goal of the tournament and her ninth point. She also has as many as 29 goals and 54 points in 50 career WWC games. That goal was a classic ‘Canada is bigger, faster and stronger than everyone else’ as despite losing the face-off, Mikkelson managed to win the puck with a pinch and Jenner fought his way through to the net with a drive. After two rebound attempts, it was finally Poulin who came in the middle who knocked the puck down (as well as the cross on her and a few other players hitting the ground in the process. The Swiss pushed back during the celebration as he looked like Maurer had the puck for a split second, but cooler heads prevailed.

8-1

Emily Clark finished the game with a wrap for the second line’s third goal of the game (plus one for Nurse’s power-play goal). That was all she had down there, no luck, just her hard work. Fillier got the only assist on the game.

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