International Ice Hockey Federation

Swiss stay up

France demoted, but many lessons learned

Published 14.01.2016 14:57 GMT-5 | Author Andrew Podnieks
Swiss stay up
ST. CATHARINES, CANADA - JANUARY 14: Switzerland's Lisa Ruedi #11 and France's Juliette Vial #6 battle for the puck during relegation round action at the 2016 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 Women's World Championship. (Photo by Francois Laplante/HHOF-IIHF Images)
Switzerland defeated France for the third time in four days, and swept the best-of-three relegation series with a 2-0 win this afternoon.

Rahel Enzler led the way with a goal and an assist.

The result means that Switzerland will play in the top division of WW18 for 2017, while France, newly promoted for this year, will be back in Division I next year.

"We're happy with the win, for sure," Enzler said. "We fought as a team, and even when we were up 1-0 we didn't lose our composure."

"I'm proud of the girls," French coach Nolwenn Rousselle said. "It's difficult for us when we score only two goals in five games this year. But we learned a lot. I think it's good for us for the future, and the girls now know what they have to do all year to get back here."

Today’s win comes despite Anais Aurard’s great performance in the France goal. She stopped 38 of 40 shotes, while her counterpart, Vanessa Bolinger, made only nine saves to record the shutout.

The Swiss got the only goal of the opening period on the power play. Enzler’s point shot was stopped by Anais Aurard, but the rebound came right to Jessica Schlegel and she made no mistake.

The French had a great chance to even the score later when they had a two-man advantage got 54 seconds, but they could muster only a couple of shots from the outside.

The second was a fast but tame affair, the best scoring chance coming when Noemi Ryhner went in alone, only to be stymied by Aurard.

Enzler made it 2-0 at 2:42 of the third when a bad French giveaway led to the puck coming into the slot right on her stick. She fired a quick shot past Aurard for the insurance goal.

"It was my first world championship goal," Enzler beamed. "I was very happy. I was going in to forecheck, and it was just luck that the puck came right to me."