Switzerland punch ticket to PeongChang 2018

Switzerland punch ticket to PeongChang 2018

Andreas Reiner13 Feb 2017Andreas Reiner»

Switzerland's women team will participate at the 2018 Olympic Games in South Korea after winning the qualifying tournament on home ice. Outstanding performances by Lara Stalder and Alina Müller were the cornerstone of this Swiss team which beat Czechia 4-1 in an all deciding game.


For both Switzerland and Czechia the qualifying tournament was the last chance to qualify for the 2018 Olympics. Both teams were on track to make Sunday's game the climax of this tournament. The Swiss had beaten Denmark 6-1 and Norway 4-1 while the Czechs handed the Norwegians a 5-0 loss but experienced some trouble beating Denmark 4-3.

Switzerland were out for revenge on Sunday as Lara Stalder said:"We played better than them but lost in the end at the last World Championships." So the Swiss had enough motivation for this game. Alina Müller added:"We didn't need any additional motivation, the game itself was motivation enough." The fans were treated with a high paced game but few chances on both sides. In the 18th minute Krizova's shot deflected off Schelling's pad and gave Ledlova a wide open net to score the first goal of the game.

Switzerland turns game around

Both teams took a number of penalties in the mid-period but neither could capitalise on their chances. Just as a 4-on-4 situation expired, Lara Stalder passed the puck to Alina Müller who fired a one-timer and beat Peslarova. But things got even better for the Swiss, this time it was the other way round, Müller delivered a pass on Stalder and gave her team the first lead of the game with 18 seconds left in the second period. The Czechs came out in the third period but didn't seem to be able to turn the game around despite their attempts in the powerplay and gritty play.

With 10 minutes left the Swiss were on a powerplay when Meier passed the puck to Müller who stood in a tight angle but was still able to beat the Czech goalie. Jiri Vozak, Czechia's head coach removed Peslova from the goal with a bit more than two minutes left in the game. But as it happens so often, the opponents created a break-away. In this case it was the duo Stalder/Müller. Müller who had the chance to score by herself passed to Stalder who put the final score up 4-1. "I knew that Lara would score for sure so I passed the puck instead of taking my own chance", a very happy Alina Müller told the media after the game.

Daniela Diaz, the Switzerland head coach on the game and the moment:"We'll enjoy this moment but as of next week, the focus will lie on the upcoming World Championships". And as if the hockey gods wanted this to happen, the Czechs will get their chance on revenge when they meet Switzerland at the World Championships in Plymouth, USA in March. 

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