GAME NOTES: CANADA VS. SWITZERLAND (APRIL 15)
TV: TSN | Stream: TSN Direct
It’s Semifinal Saturday at the 2023 IIHF Women’s World Championship, and
Canada’s National Women’s Team faces Switzerland with a place in Sunday’s gold medal game on the line.
Canada survived a major scare from Sweden in their Thursday quarterfinal,
two goals from Sarah Nurse – including the overtime winner – as part of
a 3-2 victory. Blayre Turnbull had the other goal for the Canadians, who outshot the
Swedes 54-14 but were stymied time and time again by Emma Söderberg, and
allowed a game-tying goal in the final 10 seconds for the second time in as
The Swiss erased an early deficit in their quarterfinal against Japan,
scoring the game’s final five goals to earn a 5-1 win and book their
semifinal spot. Lara Stalder was in on all five goals, scoring once and
adding four assists, Rahel Enzler had two goals and a helper, and Alina
Müller added a goal and two assists.
The Canadians and Swiss met 10 days ago in the prelim opener for both. The
line of Nurse, Sarah Fillier and Natalie Spooner recorded a goal and an
assist each, and Ann-Renée Desbiens made 12 saves to post the shutout in
a 4-0 Canadian win.
What to Watch
Early in the tournament, head coach Troy Ryan talked about wanting better
starts from Team Canada. After the last two games, the focus has turned to
finishing strong. The Canadians have allowed game-tying goals in the final
10 seconds against the United States and Sweden before pulling out a pair
of victories. The legend of Canada’s National Women’s Team in crunch time
is well-established, but as the games get more important, they’d like to
avoid leaving it (literally) to the last second.
The trio of Müller, Stalder and Enzler have almost single-handedly
(triple-handedly?) pulled the Swiss into the semifinals. Through five
games, the top line has combined for nine goals (the Swiss as a team have
12) and 25 points, and it had four goals and 11 points in the quarterfinal
win over Japan. Needless to say, they’ll be important if Switzerland hope
to spring an upset.
A Look Back
Canada has dominated the head-to-head history with the Swiss, winning all
18 games played, including all 11 at the Women’s Worlds, and holding a
sizeable advantage in goal differential.
The best offensive performance belongs to Poulin, who recorded a four-goal
game against the Swiss
at the 2013 Women’s Worlds. There have been four five-point efforts, including two – by Natalie
Spooner and Claire Thompson – in the
preliminary-round meeting between the teams in Beijing.
All-time record: Canada leads 18-0
Canada goals: 147
Switzerland goals: 8