Going into the 5th place classification game, there was still a lot on the line for both Switzerland and Japan.
Japan was searching for a program-high Olympic finish- previously, their best finish was 6th at Nagano in 1998. Switzerland, however, was skating for Florence Schelling, their goaltender, who was one career win away from being the only women to ever reach 10 career Olympic wins. In addition to that, they also had Alina Müller, who stood one goal away from breaking into the top three for goal scorers in a single Olympics with seven goals to her name.
The game swung in Switzerland’s favor early in the first when Evelina Raselli capitalised on a turnover to score unassisted on a breakaway. The rest of the period seemed to pass by in a flurry of shots at both ends with Schelling and Fujimoto doing their best to keep their teams in it.
The second period saw Japan take over, dominating possession as they held Switzerland to just one shot. But they were still unable to get anything past Schelling.
Going into the third, Switzerland regained their offensive flair, registering eight shot attempts as they flew towards the finish line. For a moment it looked as if Switzerland would be up by two after Müller managed a centering pass to a sliding Stalder, who shot the puck past Fujimoto while still skidding on her knees. The goal, however, would be disallowed based on a crease violation by Waidacher, keeping Japan within striking distance.
Fujimoto was pulled with 2:12 minutes left, however, Japan was unable to convert.
And as the final buzzer went Florence Schelling raised her arms in victory.
Her 10th career Olympic win.
Her fifth shutout.
Her fourth Olympics.