2024 Worlds Recap: Team Switzerland

The Swiss started slow, but ended on a high note in Utica.

2024 Worlds Recap: Team Switzerland
Source: IIHF

In The Ice Garden preview for Team Switzerland, it was pointed out this was going to be a tough time for what is the youngest team in the tournament via average age (21.76). The expectation was, with the young talent on the team and the talented veterans, this was most likely a fifth-place team – which they proved to be.

It got close there at the end, especially with Andrea Brändli being injured in the fifth-place game, but Alina Müller ensured the team could experience at least one win before heading home. Switzerland is headed home with a 1-5 record, seven goals for, and 23 goals against to go along with their fifth-place finish.

Team MVP

Might be my goalie bias talking here, as I don’t know who has the better claim to being the Team MVP than Andrea Brändli. As mentioned many times before, this is a very young team, and they remained competitive game after game because of Brändli. 4-0 and 3-0 losses to the best two countries in the game in Canada/USA while facing a combined 90 shots against, with only 28 shots for?

Brändli was coming into this tournament looking to prove she’s one of the best goalies in the world after a stellar SDHL season, and it’s hard to deny she didn’t prove just that. If she had gotten some better goal support, who knows what Switzerland could have done. Here’s hoping Brändli has a speedy recovery from the injury sustained in the fifth-place game.

Key Moment

This really isn’t a hard one to pick: it’s the OT winner from Alina Müller against Germany in the fifth-place game. It was Switzerland’s only win of the tournament and it keeps them in Pool A for the 2025 World Championships.

It felt symbolic, too, that it came from Müller in the 3-on-3 OT where they’re regrouping at their own blueline, and she just decides she’s going to win this all by herself. She gets up to full speed quickly, getting by the German defender, and catches Sandra Abstreiter off guard far side blocker. Abstreiter was squared up for a line drive, but she didn’t expect such a quick move by Müller to the forehand for the game winning goal. That goal salvaged the tournament for Switzerland, who got to go home with their heads held high after being knocked around all tournament.

What’s Next?

What’s next for Switzerland is the same thing that’s always next for the Swiss: try to build upon this tournament. They’re back in Pool A, but they’re back against the same teams that dominated them during pool play. They need Ivana Wey and Alessia Baechler to take steps toward being impact players. If both are interested in heading to the NCAA, they should each have offers on the table from schools to bring them in, which could be a huge boost to their play. We'll have to wait and see what the positive effects from EV Zug getting promoted will do for the Swiss as well, with Lara Stalder leading the way there. Like always, we’re waiting to see if they can continue improving.

Where to Keep Watching the Swiss Stars

The season is over for every Swiss player not named Alina Müller. You can find Müller playing for PWHL Boston starting April 20, as they continue their playoff push. For the coming 2024/25 season, it looks like Andrea Brändli will be back with MoDo of the SDHL. Laura Zimmerman should also be back at St. Cloud State, Nicole Vallario with the University of St. Thomas, and Rahel Enzler at the University of Maine. Lastly, as mentioned above, keep an eye out for Wey and Baechler who stand a good chance of ending up in the NCAA as well. Otherwise, the rest of the team should be playing in Switzerland again until further notice.