WOMEN’S WORLDS PREVIEW: CANADA VS. SWITZERLAND
Saturday, August 27 | 1 p.m. ET | Herning, Denmark | Preliminary Round
TV: TSN | Stream: TSN Direct
After opening with a win on Thursday, Canada’s National Women’s Team moves on to its next challenge in Switzerland as preliminary round play continues at the 2022 IIHF Women’s World Championship.
Canada opened its schedule with a 4-1 win over Finland on Thursday. Sarah Nurse got Canada on the board first, tipping in a point shot from Marie-Philip Poulin, and the two connected a second time before the end of the opening period as Poulin finished a setup started by Nurse. Meaghan Mikkelson counted her first goal since the 2016 women’s worlds in the second and Blayre Turnbull finished the scoring into an empty net in the third.
Switzerland started against Japan on Friday, coming away with a 3-1 victory . Captain Lara Stalder and Alina Müller finished with a goal and an assist each, with Lena Marie Lutz rounding out the scoring into an empty net in the third. The Swiss held Japan to just 17 shots on goal.
Canada last saw Switzerland in the semifinals of the 2022 Olympic Winter Games, getting points from 16 different players (including all 13 forwards) and racking up 61 shots on goal in a 10-3 semifinal win . Marie-Philip Poulin scored twice and Sarah Nurse recorded four more assists on route to her record-setting 13 helpers and 18 points in the tournament. Brianne Jenner made a little history of her own, closing out the scoring with her ninth goal, equalling the Olympic record as part of her MVP performance.
WHAT TO WATCH
This is the first world championship for Mikkelson since 2017, and her first major international competition since the 2018 Olympics. The 37-year-old defenceman came back from a devastating knee injury to become the oldest blue-liner to ever play for Canada at women’s worlds when she stepped on the ice for the opener, and celebrated with her first international goal in 2,341 days. (It was also her 50th point, becoming the sixth Team Canada defender to reach that mark.) The St. Albert, Alta., product brings maturity and strength to the back end.
Switzerland’s strength comes in the form of its veteran forwards. Müller and Stalder led the way during the Swiss’ semifinal run in Beijing, finishing with 10 and nine points, respectively; no other skater had more than four. The duo were the only Swiss to record points in the semifinal loss to Canada – Stalder had two goals and an assist, while Müller added a goal and a helper. Confident leaders who know how to find the back of the net, they’ll be leaned on heavily if Switzerland hopes to contend for a medal.
A LOOK BACK
While the Swiss women’s program has made huge strides, including Olympic bronze in 2014 and a bronze medal game appearance in 2022, Canada continues to own the head-to-head history, winning all 15 meetings.
In seven meetings at the world championship, Switzerland has never scored a goal against Canada.
The best offensive performance belongs to Poulin, who recorded a four-goal game against the Swiss at the 2013 women’s worlds . There have been four five-point efforts, including two – by Natalie Spooner and Claire Thompson – in the preliminary-round meeting between the teams in Beijing .
All-time record: Canada leads 15-0-0
Canada goals: 131
Switzerland goals: 6
Source: Hockey Canada