Canada tops Switzerland to advance to gold-medal final of women’s hockey worlds in Brampton

By

Published April 16, 2023 at 8:00 am

Sarah Fillier had a hat trick to lead Canada in booking its ticket to the gold-medal final of the women’s world hockey championship with a 5-1 win over Switzerland on Saturday.

Jamie Lee Rattray and Rebecca Johnston scored the others for two-time reigning champion Canada. Ann-Renee Desbiens earned the victory in net.

Canada will meet archrival U.S. in the gold-medal game on Sunday. The Americans routed Czechia 9-1 in the other semifinal earlier on Saturday at the CAA Centre.

Canada improved to 19-0 all-time and 12-0 on the worlds stage against Switzerland. The Canadians have outscored the Swiss 151-8 across those matchups, including 4-0 in the tournament opener.

Alina Muller scored the lone goal for Switzerland. Andrea Braendli took the loss in goal.

Switzerland will take on Czechia in Sunday’s bronze-medal game in hopes of capturing its first worlds medal. The Swiss fell to Finland (2008, 2021) and Czechia (2022) in its previous medal games.

Canada was held scoreless on 14 shots in the opening period despite being in Switzerland’s zone for much of the frame. The Swiss defence took some of the load off their netminder by blocking a number of shots.

Some prime chances in front as a result of mesmerizing puck handling from Marie-Philip Poulin and Kristin O’Neill were also snuffed out by Braendli.

Blayre Turnbull intercepted a pass in Switzerland’s zone and went in alone but Braendli shut the door at 13:12. Johnston tipped in a point shot with 4:58 remaining but it was waved off by officials for high-sticking, to the displeasure of the home crowd.

Swiss captain and leading scorer Lara Stalder was handed a game misconduct penalty for checking Sarah Nurse from behind with 1:33 remaining in the first. It was initially ruled a five-minute penalty before officials reviewed the play.

Canada’s scoring struggles persisted in the second period. Nurse rang a shot off the crossbar from the slot just under 40 seconds in, and O’Neill was unable to beat Braendli on a breakaway midway through the frame, among other missed opportunities.

But it was Fillier who ended Canada’s drought 11:06 into the middle frame. She fired in a wrist shot from the slot off a dish from Nurse, sending the Canadian crowd into an absolute frenzy.

Fillier doubled Canada’s lead with 2:56 remaining in the second. Natalie Spooner circled around the net and after what appeared to be a shot attempt, Fillier ended up with the puck and put it home despite a Swiss defender being in the midst of checking her to the ice.

Rattray scored a power-play goal 4:48 into the third period to make it 3-0. Claire Thompson sent a shot from the right faceoff circle and after a battle in front, the puck ended up in front of the goal line behind Braendli, where Rattray was able to tap it home.

Fillier completed the hat trick with 4:56 left in the third and the crowd gave her a deafening standing ovation while throwing hats onto the ice. The Georgetown, Ont., native put herself in a tie for the tournament lead in goals with Sweden’s Lina Ljungbolm with seven.

Muller ended Desbiens’s shutout bid with 2:04 left in the game on the power play.

Johnston scored to make it 5-1 with a second left in the game.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 15, 2023.

Abdulhamid Ibrahim, The Canadian Press

INsauga's Editorial Standards and Policies advertising