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Canada take too many penalties, shoot a lot of shots, score enough goals on Swiss

Sarah Fillier scores twice...again!

Olympics: Ice Hockey-Women Semifinal - CAN-SUI
Feb 14, 2022; Beijing, China; Team Canada forward Sarah Fillier (10) shoots the puck against Team Switzerland defender Stefanie Wetli (18) in women’s hockey semifinal during the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games at Wukesong Sports Centre.
George Walker IV-USA TODAY Sports

Team Canada won their second game of of four in the group stage, beating Team Switzerland by the same scoreline they beat the Finns a couple afternoons ago, 4-1. Sarah Fillier scored the first two goals of the game (but didn’t get the hattrick), while Emily Clark and Blayre Turnbull put the game away from the third line.

Alina Marti scored for the Swiss in the third period as Ann-Renée Desbiens allowed one goal on eight shots in the win. Canada peppered Andrea Braendli with 46 shots, with four going in against her. Canada took 13 shots in the first, 19 in the second, and 14 in the third.

Fillier led Canada with two goals on six shots in only 12 minutes of play as Canada spent 12 minutes of the game shorthanded. Captain Marie-Philip Poulin was second on the team with five shots in 20 minutes, but also took two penalties for an illegal hit and for tripping.

Canada will play Japan this morning at 9am ET on TSN, with the last game of the group stage against the United States on Tuesday. All teams in the tournament get one back-to-back and this will be the one for Canada. Definitely beats what Finland had to go through with Canada then USA on Thursday and Friday last week.

Highlights from the game via IIHF

Boxscore from the game via IIHF

Canada’s Lineup

Forwards

20 Sarah Nurse — 29 Marie-Philip Poulin (C) — 19 Brianne Jenner
44 Sarah Potomak — 10 Sarah Fillier — 9 Jessie Eldridge
26 Emily Clark — 40 Blayre Turnbull — 51 Victoria Bach
47 Jamie-Lee Rattray — 27 Emma Maltais — 7 Laura Stacey
43 Kristen O’Neill

Defenders

3 Jocelyne Larocque — 14 Renata Fast
28 Micah Zandee-Hart — 21 Ashton Bell
17 Ella Shelton — 12 Meaghan Mikkelson
23 Erin Ambrose

Goalies

35 Ann-Renée Desbiens
38 Emerance Maschmeyer

Switzerland’s Lineup

Forwards

22 Sinja Leemann — 25 Alina Muller — 7 Lara Stadler
26 Dominique Ruegg — 14 Evelina Raselli — 24 Noemi Ryhner
15 Laura Zimmermann — 28 Alina Marti — 71 Lena Marie Lutz
8 Kaleigh Quennec — 12 Lisa Ruedi — 19 Emma Ingold
6 Mara Frey

Defenders

17 Christen Lara — 82 Alessia Baechler
16 Nicole Vallario — 10 Janine Hauser
18 Stefanie Wetli — 9 Shannon Sigrist
4 Nadine Hofstetter

Goalies

20 Andrea Braendli
29 Saskia Maurer

Notable Lineup Changes

Erin Ambrose was back in the lineup yesterday after missing the first game of the tournament; she started as the seventh defender. Jamie-Lee Rattray swapped with Kristen O’Neill on the fourth line after only playing seven electric minutes in the first game. Kristen Campbell sat for Emerance Maschmeyer as the backup, expect Maschmeyer to play tomorrow morning against Japan as Desbiens gets a break on the back-to-back.

First Period

Penalties

Canada continued to take a lot of penalties, with Poulin (illegal hit), Fast (illegal hit), and O’Neill (holding) all taking penalties in the first period. This is often a problem for USA’s top heavy offense when the two go at each other, but against Switzerland they only gave up two shots across those six minutes.

1-0

Sarah Fillier is and always will be automatic in the first period, as she scored 10 minutes into the game for Canada. After cycling on the forecheck, Shelton on defense was able to get the puck in a dangerous spot, Fillier came up to the right wing and smashed a shot past the goalie.

Canada’s second line hasn’t been the elite passing line it was in the past with Spooner and Daoust both able to command the ice as much as Fillier. Now Potomak and Eldridge are playing a more direct game, getting the puck down low, creating openings, and allowing the defenders and Fillier to take advantage. Fillier made the most of her chances, scoring the first two goals for Canada, including the eventual game-winner.

Potomak got a breakaway late in the first period from a turnover near the benches, but Braendli got a piece of it from the far side and it trickled wide into the corner. Still, a good chance for a relative newcomer for Canada on the world stage. Potomak had another chance early in the second period as she was able to cut across from the left faceoff dot to the slot and rip a shot that was stopped by Braendli.

Second Period

The Swiss first line was able to get some chances during their shifts, including on the power play when a one-timer from Marti just wide on the short side in the first couple minutes. They were essentially matched up head-to-head against Canada’s first pairing of Larocque and Fast in an attempt to shut down Muller and Stalder.

2-0

Fillier scored again, this time the second goal of the game in the second period. This goal was helped by Eldridge on the backcheck as the second line was late on a shift, but once Fillier snatched the turnover, it was all her magic as she beat Braendli with a deceptive shot under the blocker. And in a split second, after a good period for Switzerland, the deficit was doubled.

Ella Shelton actually had a similar chance to Fillier about five minutes before when she stepped up at the offensive blue line, powered towards the net, but her shot was stopped with the blocker. The young 24-year-old defender has become increasingly more impressive as this year’s tournaments have progressed. She’s slowly moved up the defense pairings and been trusted in big defensive situations. She would be a rising star for her team in club hockey.

3-0

A classic third line goal for Canada as Emily Clark increased the lead. Victoria Bach started the play by aggressively stealing the puck from a Swiss forward trying to get the puck out of the zone, and she got puck down to the corner for Blayre Turnbull. As Bach drove to the net, Turnbull was able to find Clark going to the far post who put the puck home. Great teamwork from the relentless trio.

Third Period

3-1

Switzerland got on the board in the third, Marti finally getting the puck through Desbiens in a set rush play that created a two-on-one in front of the net. I really liked the camera shot showing the entire play, as Canada couldn’t keep up with the moving puck. However it was too little too late. I think the Swiss could’ve put up a much more dangerous fight had they scored on one of their power plays in the first or the one that bled into the second. Then it would’ve been a one-goal game or even tied. Assists went to linemates Zimmermann and Lutz.

4-1

As much as Fillier is the early game scorer, Blayre Turnbull is the late-game killer. Just like the last game, Fillier scores early, and Turnbull puts it away. This game was no exception as Turnbull took the won puck from Renata Fast at the defensive blueline, and attacked the uncommitted Swiss defenders to make a swift east-west move and bury her shot.

You need players with many different strengths in hockey. You can’t just have four lines of the same thing on a team. For all the work she puts on the ice throughout the game, and the ruthless dagger she tends to always provide with a late lead, how could you not want Blayre Turnbull on your team.

Once again, Canada plays Japan on Sunday at 9am as Group A continues. Denmark vs Hungary at 11am is the only other game on the schedule today.