Here is Captain Kathrin Lehmann on the remarkable & emotional win vs her friends on the Swedish team on April 10th.
We all knew that winning in regulation time against Sweden is the only chance to qualify for the quarterfinals…never in the history of Swiss women’s hockey have we won after 60 minutes against a top 4 team. We beat Sweden and Finland during a world championship game but it was after shoot out or in overtime.
For me the games vs. Sweden are always something special. I played 4 seasons in AIK Solna – a Stockholm located club. I played with many great Swedish players like Maria Rooth and Katharine Timglas. Benny Andersson the Equipment manager of Team Sweden was also our Equipment manager in Solna. He was somehow my best friend in Sweden.There are still many players in the Swedish national team that I played with during my time in Solna. We won 2 Gold Medals and the European Cup – we went through great times but of course also difficult times.
For me it is always a huge challenge to play Sweden. I am so motivated – but on the other hand…somehow “is something wrong”….Linea Beckmann (and her dad) drove me home after every practice in Solna. When there was a good ice hockey game live on the radio during our trip home we drove very slowly and took an extra loop to hear the end of the game. Daniela Rundqvist translated always for me – till I spoke Swedish, and Gizela Bloom invited me for dinner – but, of course, I had to cook Swiss food… There are so many wonderful “heartfelt” stories that are with me on the ice when I play Sweden.
I do know all the other players like Frida Nevalainen, Kim Martin and Captain Erika Holst too. I also know all their families because they travel to all the games and all world championships. My father always joined the “Sweden group” when he was watching the worlds the past few years. When we played Sweden he was the only Swiss Jersey wearing person in a big yellow group – my father got finally a Sweden Jersey to really be a “Sweden fan” when Switzerland wasn´t playing. I still get the tickets for our games for the Swedish parents. Sweden is such a great country and culture. That´s why I fell in love with Sweden.
Sweden and our team are staying in the same hotel here in Burlington, Vermont . So of course the “friendly trash talk” started the evening before the game. I told Kim Martin that I saved my goal for her…
And yes, it is about ice hockey…about playing world champion ship – so fade out all these stories – but I took them with me to motivate me and show them all how much I love the game of hockey and how proud I am to be Swiss.
Against Sweden, we came out huge as a team – we didn’t only have the Swiss cross on the jersey we filled it up with spirit and determination. The chance to win against Sweden in 60 minutes was a given..even though it might be a small one. We know that we have to fight for any centimeter on the ice, we knew that their goalie, Florence Schelling needed to have a big day. We knew that Sweden could score first…that´s why we didn´t get nervous when Jenny Asserholt scored the first goal. We kept skating, were very focused on our game plan and kept shooting on Swedish goaltender, Kim Martin.
It was of course a big moment for me when I finally stood alone in front of Kim Martin after a great assist of my “blog mate and line mate” Julia Marty. I faked Martin and scored….it is just a great feeling to score against Sweden.
It was Julia herself who scored to take the 2-1 lead. It is her 3rd goal in the 3rd game – on defence!!! We knew that it was kind of early (still 17 minutes to play) to think about that being the final score. Sweden was too good – so we weren’t shocked when “old timer” Erika Holst scored the 2-2. There were still 11 minutes left to play. We had such a drive, determination and such a “calm attitude” during the game that I was happy not to play against us!
Somehow every one of us knew that the chance to score again would come – and our goalie, Florence Schelling will do anything necessary so that we just can focus on scoring. If we can play with our passion and creativity then we can beat any team (but Canada or USA). And finally Sara Benz scored with 3 minutes left to get the game winning goal. The last three minutes was just sheer determination – we fought for every puck – but we still played smart. To have this healthy balance between being smart and let the emotions guide you gave us the never expected but wished for victory against Sweden that brought us directly into the quarterfinals and to Sochi.
Against Russia we have the chance to get revenge for the quarterfinal last year we lost 4-5 after extra time…so, cross fingers that the another unbelievable Swiss story will go on..
The Swiss vs Russia game will be posted late April 11, 2012 after Swiss player, Stefanie Marty sends. .
Alternate Captain Caroline Ouellette from Team Canada answered questions from Elizabeth Etue on the final game. Canada lost 3-2 in overtime against the US at the 2011 World Championship.
EE: It was a low scoring game but lots of chances. Did Canada have some jitters?
CO: We expected the game to be very even. We knew that little details would make a big difference as far as winning races and managing the puck. I think both teams looked nervous at times and it is normal when so much is on the line. Both teams had lots of shots and scoring chances and both goalies made great saves at times. It was a very high pace game where we did not have much time for decision making. Both teams pressured very hard.
EE: Talk about Canada’s Gillian Apps goal with 8 seconds left in first period.
CO: Not only was it a beautiful goal with a perfect shot released quickly through two American players, it was also a huge emotional boost going into the dressing room for the 2nd period.
EE: Coach comments after 1st period?
CO: Very positive. Build on the momentum created by Appsy's goal. He talked about managing the puck better in the neutral zone and making sure we were pressuring their defence as much as possible. Keep putting the puck on net and going for rebounds.
EE: Canada seemed to lack energy in second period?
CO: I think we had moments but were unable to sustain offensive chances consistently. (American) Jenny Potter's goal was beautiful and it felt a little like it deflated our team for a moment. We finished the period strong in the last 5 minutes.
EE: Comments in dressing room after 2nd period?
CO: Display more urgency and play with desperation but still poise. Stay disciplined and stay out of the penalty box. Keep the shifts short so we have good energy throughout the period. Stay connected and make short passes
EE: Rebecca Johnston’s goal for Canada seemed to change Canada’s momentum in the third period.
CO: Johnny's goal was huge and it was a great shot. She had a great tournament for us and kept it going in the final. There were only 4 minutes left but we felt like the momentum was turning our way with that goal.
EE: The US overtime goal: the puck seem to slide through all sorts of legs which is unusual. Hilary Knight was on Canadian goalie’s doorstep.
CO: We talked before the OT about putting the puck on net as much as possible; in OT every shot is a good shot. I think the U.S. might have used that same approach. It was an unlucky bounce for us, first on one player then one another in the crease and Knight happened to skate pass it and had time to stop the puck bring it back to stuff it in an open net. We were so proud about killing the penalty in OT and thought we would make it happen after that. We were disappointed that we did not get a call on Jayna's half breakaway in OT. I thought that as much as our penalty was deserved in OT, that was also a clear hooking situation on a good scoring chance. Unfortunately, because it was a turnover I think the referee might not have been close enough to make a call. I do not want to take anything away from the U.S. they played a great game and were well prepared. We knew that it would be a very even game where Overtime might be required and when you make it there anything can happen.
EE: What does this mean for the team; your perspective on the game.
CO: It is disappointing for sure because we are well aware that it has been 3 world championships in a row where we lost to the U.S. I thought that we had a great preparation camp before worlds where 36 players compete to make the team. It was the highest calibre ever at a selection camp. I think that this approach is great to develop players and ensure that we have the best team at Worlds.
Ryan (Walters-coach) said he was proud of us and how we battled until the end. Individually we will have to review our preparation throughout the year to keep getting better so in the end the team is better.
Forward Stefanie Marty scored 2 goals and notched one assist for Team Switzerland in the 2011 World Championship. She is a senior who played for Syracuse University for 2010/11 season. See http://winih.com/player/switzerland/167 for more details.
Here is her blog on Switzerland’s game for fifth place vs. Sweden and below the frustraing game vs Russia.
Sweden 3 Switzerland 2 Sunday April 24, 2011.
After the tough loss against Russia we had to motivate ourselves again and get the focus for the Sweden game, which was the game for the 5th place. After a day off, we managed that pretty well. After all, we couldn’t lose anything. We already reached our minimal goal of being ranked 6th. Further, we knew it was not only the last game of the season, but also the last game of our world championship at home with the great fans and we had the chance to beat the number 3 and 4 in the world ranking for the first time ever in the same tournament.
Our performance over the game was satisfactory. The whole team was focused and fought for the whole game, which not only lasted 60 minutes, but 70 minutes plus shoot-out. At the end we didn’t have the necessary luck. Sweden won the game 3:2 in the shoot-out. Again, the disappointment after the game was huge. But at the same time, such a tight loss against Sweden, who always dominated us over the last few years, was a great performance.
The loss meant the 6th place for us, which is good, but not great. I think we played a really good tournament as a team, but didn’t have the necessary luck in the deciding moments. We didn’t only win in overtime against Finland, but lost against Sweden and Russia in OT.
After the quarter-final loss against Russia, the biggest disappointment probably was that we didn’t get to play in front of our home crowd in the semi-finals and in the bronze-medal game. The home crowd made this world championship a really special one for me. For two weeks women’s hockey was in the focus of the Swiss media and a lot of people came to watch the games. This clearly exceeded my expectations and made the world championship a success.
Russia 5 Switzerland 4. Friday April 22, 2011.
The game against Russia was a big one for our team. It was not just another game at a World Championship. It was the quarterfinal at home and for once our opponent wasn’t Finland or Sweden, but with Russia a team that was ranked behind us in the world ranking.
Plus the 4,100 fans that were present at the game made for a new record for Swiss women’s hockey. Thus, it is self-evident that the whole team was super motivated and optimistic about the game and we had high expectations.
The beginning of the game went in our favor. Even though we did not play our best hockey and Russia had several good chances, we were leading 3:0 after 40 minutes. We knew Russia is a strong team that never quits and we couldn’t manage the lead over the last 20 minutes. We not only let Russia tie the game, but after 55 minutes they even scored the 4:3. Somehow we were too enthusiastic after our 3:0 lead and probably already had the belief of the semi-finals or bronze-medal game in the back of our minds. Now, we had to react and scored in the last minute of the regular time to send the game into overtime. Both teams had good chances to decide the game, but at the end it was the Russians who scored the final goal and advanced to the semi-finals.
It was a tough loss, probably one of the toughest the Swiss national team has ever had. In the last few years it has almost always been us that came back and turned the game around. Now, for the first time I can remember, it was us who couldn’t manage the lead in a big game. As hard as it sounds, I am sure the whole team learned a lot out of this game and gained a lot of experience.
The three-peat is now official. The U.S. won its third straight world title with a 3-2 overtime victory against Canada at the 2011 World Championship at Hallenstadion arena in Zurich Switzerland.
Hilary Knight scored the game-winning goal at 7:48 of a 4-4 overtime period. US goalie Jessie Vetter made 51 saves in the championship-winning effort.
Team USA finished the tournament with a 4-1-0-0 record to capture the gold medal for the fourth time in the last five world championships.
"I am so thrilled for the players," said Katey Stone, head coach for Team USA. "They've worked extremely hard and bought into everything we were trying to accomplish. They played their hearts out - what an awesome night."
After skating to a scoreless draw for the majority of the opening frame, the teams traded goals in the closing minutes for a 1-1 score after one. Jocelyne Lamoureux put the U.S. on the board at 16:56 after connecting on a give-and-go play with her twin sister, Monique Lamoureux-Kolls. With just eight seconds to go in the frame Canada's Gillian Apps fired a slap shot under the crossbar to tie the score.
Captain Jenny Potter scored the lone goal of a tightly-contested second period to put Team USA back ahead, 2-1. Splitting a pair of Canadian players, she hit the top right corner of the net with a backhanded shot at 12:05.
On the power-play late in the third period, Canada tied the game on a Rebecca Johnston goal at 16:04 to force overtime. But Knight scored the championship-winning goal 7:48 into the 4-on-4 sudden-death overtime session to seal the victory for Team USA.
Canada lost a nail biter to Team USA in overtime at the 2011 World Championship final. USA and Canada were tied 1-1 after the first period. Gillian Apps scored for Canada with 8 seconds left in the period.
In 2nd period Jenny Potter deked the Canada defence scoring a beautiful goal midway in the contest making in 2-1 for the USA at the end of two periods.
Rebecca Johnston scored on a powerplay for Team Canada near the 4 minute mark of the third period to send the game into overtime. Hilary Knight, parked at the net popped a sliding puck past Canadian goalie Shannon Szabados for the game winner.
Caroline Ouellette is scheduled to send her blog to WINIH on the game sometime tonite or Tuesday morning. WINIH will also be doing a telephone interview with Team Canada assistant coach Dan Church.
Click below for the game summary: