International Ice Hockey Federation

Ruedi scores 3 vs Japan

Ruedi scores 3 vs Japan

Swiss win Game 1 of relegation series 5-2

Published 11.01.2017 22:59 GMT+1 | Author Derek O'Brien
Ruedi scores 3 vs Japan
PREROV, CZECH REPUBLIC - JANUARY 11: Switzerland's Lisa Ruedi #11 scores a first period goal against Japan's Ayu Tonosaki #1 while Kokoro Ota #26 defends during relegation round action at the 2017 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 Women's World Championship. (Photo by Steve Kingsman/HHOF-IIHF Images)
Lisa Ruedi and Noemi Ryhner led Switzerland offensively with three goals and two assists, respectively, and goalie Saskia Maurer was great again in a 5-2 win.

With those points, the two Swiss forwards now rank first and second in tournament scoring – Ruedi with six points and Ryhner with five.

“Oh, I didn’t know that,” a surprised Ruedi said when informed of that after the game. “It’s nice, we’re happy and proud, but more important is the win.”

Yes, it was an important win. Yesterday these teams tested each other out in a full dress rehearsal, with Switzerland winning a tight 2-1 game. This time they had a little more breathing room on the scoreboard, but it still wasn't easy.

The teams traded goals in an evenly played first period, on two nice shots. At the 11-minute mark, Ruedi scored her first goal streaking down the left wing and firing a shot over Ayu Tonosaki's glove. Just over three minutes later, the Japanese evened the score when Remi Koyama picked the top corner on Maurer.

Otherwise Maurer was great in the game, though, stopping 32 of 34 shots. The Swiss goalie has played in all four of the team's games so far and has been a standout in all of them.

“She’s always behind us and keeps us in the game,” said the captain Ryhner. “She’s very important to us. She faces so many shots and stops most of them.”

Speaking of the whole team, Ryhner said: “We started the first period a little slow and didn’t play our game, but in the second period we got it together and started going better.”

In the second period, Japan out-shot Switzerland 12-6, but the Swiss scored the only two goals. In fact, Ruedi scored the only two goals 1:35 apart, completing her hat-trick.

Describing the second goal, Ruedi said: “I shot it from the blueline and one of my teammates was in front of the net to screen the goalie. I think it was a nice shot and a good screen also.”

Shannon Sigrist and Sydney Berta added goals in the third period to give Switzerland a commanding 5-1 lead, before Miyuri Ogawa got one late one back for Japan to make the final score a bit more respectable.

After a day off, the teams will be back at it again on Friday. Japan must win to avoid relegation, whereas Switzerland will look to secure its place in the top division next year.

“We can’t relax, we have to start with a good first period next time,” Ryhner said. About the Japanese team, she said: “We can’t say they are lazy. They don’t quit. They play a full 60 minutes, so we have to also.”


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