Switzerland has been in the upper echelon of women’s hockey for the last few years but hasn’t been able to get over the hump and make it to the medal stand. This year, if they can stay healthy, Switzerland could have a chance to show their true potential — but that’s a big if.
Forwards: Laura Carpenter, Rahel Entleer, Emma Ingold, Cindy Joray, Sinja Leemann, Lena Marie Lutz, Alina Marti, Alina Müller, Kaleigh Quennec, Alena Lynn Rossell, Lisa Rüedi, Lara Stalder
Defenders: Alessia Baechler, Lara Christen, Sarah Forster, Janine Hauser, Nadine Hofstetter, Shannon Sigrist, Nicole Vallario, Stefanie Wetli
Goaltenders: Andrea Brändli, Saskia Maurer, Caroline Spies
Three Players to Focus On
Stalder has been one of Switzerland’s top players for about a decade. How the 28-year-old shows up for Switzerland could be a big indicator of how the team does in the tournament. Last year, Stalder wasn’t able to play in the entirety of the tournament — she was in Covid protocol and only played five out of seven games.
That said, if she can stay healthy and injury-free, Stalder is one of the top players in the entire world, not just for Switzerland.
Like Stalder, Müller is a core part of Switzerland’s roster. Also like Stalder, she’s had bad luck at Worlds, but it’s been even worse for the 25-year-old. Müller also tested positive for Covid-19 last year and played just three games, and the Worlds before that she injured herself early in the tournament, getting on the ice just twice before she was sidelined. Müller is another one of the best players in the world, an elite playmaker and goal scorer in her own right. She’s been a Top-10 Patty Kazmaier nominee all five years of her college career, and she can skate with anyone. If she can stay healthy, Switzerland will be in a much better spot.
Christen saw a lot of ice time in the last WWC, and it’s likely she’ll be relied on again to eat up big minutes for Switzerland. She played 31:39 in Switzerland’s quarterfinal last year and posted one goal and one assist. Though she was just 19 at last year’s tournament, she was also one of Switzerland’s alternate captains, and the 20-year-old has a high ceiling. She’s been in Switzerland’s pipeline since 2016-17, when she first joined the U-18 team, and has been a constant for them since. While Stalder and Müller take care of the offense, they’ll also need to rely on players like Christen and goaltender Andrea Brändli to shut down their opponents.
It might be unusual for a 29-year-old to be the team’s rising star, but Cindy Joray hasn’t taken a traditional path to the Switzerland senior team. This will be Joray’s first time on the Switzerland national team, one of just two players (along with Alena Lynn Rossell) making their debut this season.
Joray is a longtime player in the Swiss Women's Hockey League, and she caught the senior team’s attention this year with her impressive play with EV Bomo Thun — she posted 11 goals and 13 assists in 23 regular season games. Incidentally, Rossell also played for EV Bomo Thun this year, and was called up to replace Noemi Ryhner due to illness.
Staying Strong and Sticking Together
Switzerland’s big X-factor this season will be if they can stay healthy. In the last couple of tournaments, injury and illness have knocked out some of their very best players, testing their depth and forcing new line combinations in an already shortened tournament.
This year, Switzerland is coming in prepared. The team flew to Canada on March 25 to play in a short pre-tournament camp in Barrie, something their head coach Colin Muller says will help ready them for the tournament. It could give Switzerland a significant leg up — part of the difficulty of Worlds is bringing so many players together and building chemistry in a short window.
Switzerland has been consistently decent — they’ve been in the top five in their last three WWCs and seem to be a mainstay in Group A. This can be a tournament for them to take the next step forward.
What Does Success Look Like?
Success for Switzerland looks like: firstly, a medal of any color — and if not that, then staying in Group A. They’ve fallen in the bronze medal game for the last two Worlds and are right on the cusp of getting back on the podium.
April 5 - CAN v. SUI, 7 p.m.
April 7 - SUI v. USA, 11 a.m.
April 10 - SUI v. JPN, 3 p.m.
April 11 - CZE v. SUI, 11 a.m.