Switzerland looking to avoid relegation round at U18s

After a close call with France last year, Switzerland wants to avoid the relegation round this time around.

The bad news for Switzerland is that they lost the top scorer of not just their team, but of the entire tournament, in Alina Muller, who’s too old to participate this year. The good news is that they still have Rahel Enzler, who finished tied for second in overall scoring last year, finishing with one goal and five assists.

Also returning to the team is Jessica, Schlegel, who was the team leader in face off wins last year, racking up 25 wins and finishing with a 58.14% success rate.

What will be most interesting to watch with Switzerland is their goaltending; both of their goalies last year are not returning, replaced by Saskia Maurer and Ramona Forrer, both born in 2001.

The team still have several key returners, but what may help Switzerland perform well this year is if they can keep their special teams up to par; last year, they had the top-ranked power play in the tournament. If they can replicate that same success this year, they’ll certainly boost an offense missing last year’s top scorer.

The Swiss were playing for their lives last year when they beat France to avoid relegation. They’re surely hoping to avoid that type of matchup all together this year.

Switzerland is playing in Group B, along with Japan, the Czech Republic and Finland. You can find a full schedule here, and Switzerland’s preliminary schedule is below:

January 7 Team Switzerland v. Team Finland @ 2:15 PM ET

January 8 Team Switzerland v. Team Czech Republic @ 10:15 AM ET

January 10 Team Switzerland v. Team Japan @ 2:15 PM ET