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Switzerland shocks ROC in come-from-behind win

The Swiss were down 2-0 with 11 minutes—then they stormed back

United States v Switzerland: Group A - 2021 IIHF Women’s World Championship Photo by Derek Leung/Getty Images

The first spot in the semifinals at Worlds is officially booked after an exciting comeback by Switzerland in their quarterfinal against ROC. The Swiss found themselves in a 2-0 hole early but battled back late and won in thrilling fashion in overtime.

This game had everything: a third period rally, 3-on-3 sudden death action, some stellar saves at both ends, and an extremely pumped up Alina Müller. Let’s dive in.

ROC

The Russians, who were favored in this game after beating Switzerland 3-1 in the round robin, took control early on and were able to convert almost immediately. Yelizaveta Rodnova knocked in a rebound that Swiss starter Andrea Brändli couldn’t control just 1:18 into the game. They’d quickly make it 2-0 just seven minutes later, scoring twice on just three shots.

That chased Brändli from the net, but ROC wasn’t able to get anything else going for the rest of the game. They stayed firmly in control throughout the first and second and held a 16-8 lead in shots on goal after 40 minutes as well.

With the way the Swiss offense had been producing so far this tournament, it felt like enough for the Russians to come away victorious; but their defense, which had been locked down all game, started to show some cracks in the third. Switzerland took that and ran with it, and Russia wasn’t able to snag back momentum once the game went into overtime.

Women’s Euro Hockey Tour, Six Nations tournament final: Russia vs Czech Republic Photo by Dmitry Feoktistov\TASS via Getty Images

Goals scored by ROC: Yelizaveta Rodnova, Ilona Markova (EA)

Switzerland

Switzerland’s best period of the Women’s World Championship came at the right time. They were staring down a 2-0 hole in the final minutes with the knowledge that they’d only managed one goal so far in four-plus games. Worse, that goal had been scored by Alina Müller, who was knocked out of the tournament with an ankle injury. But it mattered not; the Swiss built on some pressure they’d mounted in the second and started to chip away at the Russian defense.

Evelina Raselli scored the all-important first goal for Switzerland to get them on the board with just over ten minutes to play. Raselli, Lara Stalder, and Phoebe Stänz had been trying to piece together offensive chances all game—all tournament, really—but their efforts just felt out of sync. It seemed like they didn’t have the depth or the supporting cast to connect on plays and sustain pressure, but that changed with Raselli’s goal. Teammate Dominique Ruegg found her crashing the slot.

Alina was pumped about it.

Finally, with about 2:30 left on the clock, the Swiss went on the power play—their fifth of the game. Stänz took a slap shot from the top of the circle and it found its way through traffic and into the back of the net to officially tie the game up.

From there, Switzerland had all the momentum going into the 3-on-3 overtime period. Both teams had some excellent chances through the first five minutes, but it was Laura Zimmerman who capped off the comeback for the Swiss. She one-timed a pass from Sinja Leemann right in front and knocked it past ROC goaltender Valeria Merkusheva for the win.

The Swiss deserve a ton of credit for battling so hard in the third, especially considering they’ve struggled to find goals this tournament. Doing it without Müller is even more impressive; obviously, there are other talented players on this Swiss team, but you just don’t replace a player like her very easily. Goaltender Saskia Maurer was also excellent in relief to keep the game within reach.

They move on to play in the semifinals on Monday. And, just as notable, they’ll maintain their spot in Group A at the 2023 Women’s World Championship, since they’ll finish at least fourth in this tournament.

Goals scored by Switzerland: Evelina Raselli, Phoebe Stänz (PP), Laura Zimmerman (OT)

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.

Russia: Ilona Markova

Switzerland: Phoebe Stänz

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