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Behind the Glass of the 2019 Worlds in Espoo

Breaking down the numbers from group play

Michelle Jay

It’s time for another installment of Behind the Glass — the Ice Garden’s weekly column collecting stories, stats, trends, and observations from the world of professional women’s hockey the 2019 IIHF Women’s World Championship.

That’s right, this is a special midweek edition of Behind the Glass! Let’s take a dive into some stats, trends, and observations from the group stage of the 2019 Worlds.


Team USA

  • The U.S. has the best even-strength goal differential in the tournament by a wide margin. Team USA has 22 even-strength goals for and just one even-strength goal against through the first four games of the 2019 Worlds.
  • Four teams — including two other Group A teams — had more power play opportunities than Team USA, but the U.S. finished with the best power play in the group stage with a 35.71 percent success rate.
  • Kendall Coyne Schofield is leading all skaters in even-strength scoring thus far with three goals and three assists. Coyne Schofield is averaging 3.0 shots per game and is tied with Natalie Spooner for the scoring lead.

Team Canada

  • Thus far, captain Marie-Philip Poulin has played just seven shifts and a total of 4:44 TOI for Team Canada. She appeared in Canada’s game against Russia on April 8, but only played in the first period.
  • Natalie Spooner has scored four goals and picked up three assists — all primary — to lead all skaters in Espoo in primary points. She, Megan Keller (USA), and Klára Hymlarová (CZE) are also the only skaters with two power play goals in the tournament.
  • Canada finished first in SF60 (shots for per 60 minutes) and second in SA60 (shots against per 60 minutes) in the group stage — they averaged 45.0 SF60 and 16.75 SA60. Canada also had to kill an average of four penalties per game, which makes their average shot differential (+28.25) even more impressive.

Team Finland

  • The Hall of Fame-bound Jenni Hiirikoski leads all defenders in scoring with five assists — four of which have been primary. She’s also leading all skaters in Espoo in total assists.
  • Center Riikka Sallinen, 45, has four assists — two of which are primary — for Finland. She’s the oldest player in the tournament by nine years, five months, and 27 days.
  • Finland averaged 41.0 shots per game in the games they played against Switzerland and Russia; they averaged 23.0 shots per game against USA and Canada.

Team Russia

  • All three of Russia’s goals in the group stage were scored on the power play. Their 3.7 team shooting percentage is the lowest in Espoo by 2.18 percent.
  • Goaltender Nadezhda Morozova, 22, is the only Russian goalie who has earned a win in Espoo. She’s also the only Russian goalie with a save percentage north of .900. Russia’s .854 team save percentage is the lowest in the tournament.
  • Captain Olga Sosina is the only player on Team Russia who has had a multipoint game. She’s also taken 19.75 percent of Russia’s shots through the first four games of the Worlds.
Ice Hockey - Winter Olympics Day 11 - Finland v Russia Photo by Martin Rose/Getty Images

Team Switzerland

  • The Swiss piled up just 40 shots on goal in group play, which was the lowest shot total among all 10 teams in Espoo.
  • Switzerland and Russia were tied with the lowest even-strength goal differential in the group stage. Both teams were in the red by a margin of 16 goals, but Switzerland allowed 17 goals against at evens compared to Russia’s 16.
  • Forward Evelina Raselli has scored two of Switzerland’s three goals thus far in the tournament. She’s also one of a dozen players in Espoo who has an even-strength goal and a power play goal.

Team Sweden

  • Sweden’s special teams play was definitely their biggest weakness in the group stage. Their 7.14 percent success rate on the power play is the worst in the tournament, and their 68.75 percent success rate on the penalty kill is the second-worst in the tournament.
  • Sweden had the second-highest SF60 (33.31) and lowest SA60 (19.10) in Group B, but also had the lowest team save percentage (.859) in Group B. The Swedes and the Czechs were the only teams in Group B who finished in the green in even-strength goal differential; Sweden was +1, the Czech Republic was +6.
  • Rising star Hanna Olsson leads Sweden in primary points in Espoo with a power play goal and three primary assists at even strength. She also has 13 shots and is averaging 22.5 shits per game.

Team Germany

  • Forward Marie Delarbre is one of just two players in the tournament with eight penalty minutes. Delarbre is also one of two players on Germany with an even-strength goal.
  • Julia Zorn, who always elevates her game in big tournaments, leads Germany in points and primary points thus far. All three of her assists have been primary.
  • Germany’s .943 team save percentage is the best among Group B teams and is second in the tournament only to Team USA. Jennifer Harß has a .942 save percentage for Germany and has faced the second-most amount of shots in the tournament.

Team Czech Republic

  • The Czechs are the only team that has empty net goals thus far in Espoo; both of their ENGs have been scored by forward Tereza Vanišová.
  • A cursory look at the Czech Republic’s team stats suggests that their strong even-strength play is the reason behind their outstanding start to the 2019 Worlds. Their 33.75 SF60 was more than double their 16.00 SA60.
  • Connecticut Whale star Kateřina Mrázová is one of just two players in Epsoo who has taken at least 90 faceoffs. She has an impressive 61.11 percent success rate on the faceoff dot thus far. Mrázová also has a goal and two assists in the tournament.

Team Japan

  • Center Haruka Toko leads all skaters in Espoo with her 77.94 faceoff percentage. She’s taken 68 draws thus far and has lost only 15 of them.
  • It appears that the key to Japan’s success thus far has been the exceptional goaltending of former NWHL player Nana Fujimoto and stellar special teams play. Japan’s 28.57 percent PP was second only to Team USA (35.71 percent), and their 87.50 percent PK is tied with Canada as the best in the tournament thus far.
  • Veteran forward Hanae Kubo is leading Japan with four points through her first four games — three of those points have come on Japan’s red hot power play. She had two goals and one assist — all at even strength — in five games at PyeongChang.

Team France

  • France’s Caroline Baldin has faced more shots than any other goaltender in Espoo (121), and she has a .933 save percentage. She ranks fourth among the goaltenders who have played in at least two games in total save percentage.
  • Lara Escudero is the only player on France with two goals and more than one point at even strength. The HC Lugano star has put 11 shots on net and has skated more than 20:00 TOI in a single game twice thus far in Espoo.
  • France had to kill more penalties (20) than any other team in the group stage. Thanks to their great goaltending, they finished the group stage with an 85.0 percent penalty kill.

Data courtesy iihf.com and the author’s own tracking.