Going into this game, the consensus was that the match-up would be extremely lopsided —and made more so by the absence of an injured Alina Müller. Andrea Brändli, the Swiss goaltender and (I would be remiss not to mention) Ohio State’s starter for the past three years, was determined to change the narrative.
Did she succeed? Let’s see.
Brändli had quite the first period. She made 21 saves in the first twenty minutes alone (that’s more than a save per minute, in case anyone was curious. #Analytics), and finished the first two periods with 41 saves on 46 shots; that’s good for a .891 save percentage. Couple that performance with her outing against the United States, and I would say the Swiss aren’t exactly in bad shape when it comes to their netminding against the two big powerhouses.
The Swiss struggled to generate chances, outpaced by more than four times their own shot quantity each period. Part of that can be attributed to Canada’s stalwart — if young — defense, while much of the rest of it is due to Team Switzerland’s lack of forward depth. Combine both of those factors with Alina Müller’s absence, and the outlook never really looked too great for the team in red and white.
One of the game’s bright spots was this chance by Lara Stalder, which was so close to being the first-ever Swiss goal scored against Team Canada at the World Championship — and not just this World Championship, but any World Championship.
Emerance Maschmeyer says, "No" to Lara Stalder. Her 10th save of the game is a big one. pic.twitter.com/H8sVQhcI4u— Mike Murphy (@DigDeepBSB) August 24, 2021
After the fourth Canadian goal, Switzerland swapped out Brändli for Saskia Maurer, who was absolutely phenomenal against ROC earlier this week. Maurer would play most of the third period, and made 17 saves on 17 shots.
Goals scored by Switzerland: None
Though they stayed off the score sheet through the first period, it wasn’t as though Canada struggled too much — at least, not struggling beyond their inability to get the puck behind Brändli.
Their power play could definitely use some work; as of the game’s start, they were 0-for-7 in the tournament, and failed to convert on their first two powerplays. Then, in a move that bamboozled probably everyone watching, Blayre Turnbull and Emily Clark combined for a shorthanded (!!) goal to put Canada up 1-0.
Canada finally breaks through and they do it shorthanded! What a great PK duo Emily Clark and Blayre Turnbull are. It will be Clark's goal. Looks like Turnbull's initial shot hit post. pic.twitter.com/kBVi6IQJaP— Mike Murphy (@DigDeepBSB) August 24, 2021
Once Team Canada got that first goal, it was as if the flood gates opened. Jaime Bourbonnais slipped one past Brändli and, not twenty seconds later, Natalie Spooner tipped a Renata Fast shot into the net. Mélodie Daoust would add on another before the middle frame was up.
...they still couldn’t capitalize with the player advantage, though.
Goals scored by Canada: Emily Clark (SHG), Jaime Bourbonnais, Natalie Spooner (x2), Mélodie Daoust
TIG’s Players of the Game
These are not the same as the IIHF’s Players of the Game. This honor is based on performance and also vibes.
Switzerland: Andrea Brändli
Canada: Sarah Fillier
- The United States defeated ROC, 6-0
- Hungary vs. Japan coming up at 9:30 PM ET
- ROC vs. Finland @ 2 PM ET
- Czech Republic vs. Germany @ 6 PM ET
- Denmark vs. Hungary @ 9:30 PM ET