2024 Worlds Recap: All They Do Is Winn, Winn, Win - USA Topples Switzerland

Team USA kicked off their 2024 Worlds on a high note, shutting out Switzerland 4-0.

2024 Worlds Recap: All They Do Is Winn, Winn, Win - USA Topples Switzerland
Hayley Winn celebrates her second goal of the night with her teammates. Photo courtesy of the IIHF.

Team USA kicked off their title defense last night with a strong 4-0 win over Switzerland. They also became the first team to earn 100 all-time wins at the IIHF Women’s World Championships.

The first period was largely uneventful. The U.S. was dominant and poured shots on goal, but Andrea Brändli was excellent in goal for Switzerland and made numerous big saves to keep the game scoreless.

Switzerland got the game’s first power play at 11:04, as Haley Winn went off for interference. However, the U.S. mounted an aggressive penalty kill that didn’t allow Switzerland to get anything going.

The first period ended scoreless, with the U.S. outshooting Switzerland 14-4. Aerin Frankel made a couple of big saves for the U.S. despite her low save total, but it was mostly the Andrea Brändli show through 20. The U.S. controlled the vast majority of the play, but she was a brick wall.

A little over five minutes into the second period, Winn finally broke the dam for the U.S. on their 17th shot of the night. The Rochester, NY native fired a wrister from the point past a heavily-screen Brändli for her first senior national team goal. Savannah Harmon and Hayley Scamurra assisted on the goal.

The U.S. continued to dominate play while Brändli stood tall and kept her team in it. The Americans headed to the power play at 11:23 of the second, as Janine Hauser got called for an illegal hit, but the Swiss managed to kill it off.

However, a few minutes later, Kendall Coyne Schofield scored a gritty goal from the top of the crease to extend the U.S. lead in her return to international competition. Alex Carpenter and Hilary Knight assisted on the goal.

Team USA led Switzerland 2-0 after two periods while outshooting them a whopping 35-8. Brändli continued her stellar play, but it felt inevitable that the dam would break eventually under the immense pressure from the Americans.

Penalties dotted the first half of the third period. The U.S. kicked the mini parade off just over six minutes in when Abbey Murphy went to the box for an illegal hit. They killed that off before getting a power play not even a minute later. Alina Müller headed off for hooking Hannah Bilka, but not before a small scrum broke out that left her extremely frustrated that she was the only one going to the box.

With seven seconds remaining on the power play, Knight skillfully redirected a Cayla Barnes shot home, and it was 3-0 USA at 10:47 of the third. Caroline Harvey also assisted on the goal.

Shortly after, Knight appeared to get her second of the night off a beautiful pass by Harvey. Knight pulled off a filthy move to roof it over Brändli, but after review, the puck did not fully cross the line, so it remained 3-0 USA.

However, the U.S. didn’t waste much time making it 4-0 anyway. Winn ripped home another wrister at 14:41 for her second of the night to really put the game away. Coyne Schofield and Knight both assisted on the goal.

The final score was 4-0 Team USA, and they outshot Switzerland an eye-popping 55-11. This game easily could’ve been much more lopsided, but Brändli was brilliant for the Swiss. She was the main difference in stopping the streak of blowout losses to the United States. After all, the U.S. somehow put up one more shot tonight than in last year’s 9-1 rout. That said, despite the scoresheet, there was more to like about the game for Switzerland than just Brändli. While under siege, they looked much more composed than last tournament, including even their more inexperienced players. However, the elite playmaking ability of the U.S. was simply too much for them to stop. 

Overall, there's reason for optimism for both teams after this one. The U.S. didn’t get flustered by not scoring in the first period and pulled off a dominant win despite Brändli’s brilliance. They’re looking as good as expected, and they should be fun to watch grow as the group play schedule steadily gets stronger before culminating with a showdown against Canada. Meanwhile, the Swiss kept the game close for a long time despite the dominance of the U.S., so they should be highly competitive with the other European nations as the tournament rolls on. 

The United States is back in action Friday night, taking on Czechia at 7 p.m. EDT. Switzerland also returns to play Friday in the 3 p.m. EDT game against Canada.