International Ice Hockey Federation

Meier keeps Swiss alive

OT slapper saves the day, beat Czechs, 3-2

Published 06.04.2017 14:59 GMT-4 | Author Andrew Podnieks
Meier keeps Swiss alive
PLYMOUTH, MICHIGAN - APRIL 6: Switzerland's Nicole Bullo #23 celebrates after scoring with teammates Evelina Raselli #14, Shannon Sigrist #9, and Phoebe Staenz #88 during relegation round action at the 2017 IIHF Ice Hockey Women's World Championship. (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/HHOF-IIHF Images)
Defenceman Christine Meier fired a high shot over the shoulder of Klara Peslarova to give Switzerland a 3-2 win over the Czech Republic at 4:26 of overtime.

"I saw a bit of an opening, but I just wanted to get the puck on goal," Meier said. "Our forwards were getting tired, so I just wanted to shoot. It went in, so I'm pretty happy about that."

The win means the teams will play a third and deciding game in the relegation round tomorrow afternoon.

"We showed a lot of character today," Swiss coach Daniela Diaz noted. "We worked for every bit of space on the ice and wanted it more, I think. I'm very proud of the team."

"This was do-or-die, so we wanted to play as a team and support each other, fight for every puck," Meier added. "And the luck was on our side, which was nice."

"I think we played well," offered Tereza Vanisova, who scored both Czech goals. "We were stronger on the puck, but we didn't score. It's that simple."

The Czechs were the more determined team and harder on the puck, indeed, but the first period was scoreless. The best chance of the first 20 minutes came when an Alina Muller shot squeaked by Peslarova, but Samantha Kolowratova was behnd her to swep the puck out of harm's way.

The Czechs scored first, at 8:39 of the second, thanks to a giveaway in the Swiss end. Aneta Ledlova stole the puck and made a quick pass to Vanisova. Her shot beat Florence Schelling over the glove.

The Czechs continued to dominate in many respects, but Switzerland tied the game off the rush. Phoebe Staenz tore down the right wing on a two-on-one and fed a pass to linemate Nicole Bullo, who made a slick deke and tucked the puck in the open side.

Lara Stalder then gave the Swiss a lead with only 13.2 seconds left in the period. She collected the puck behind her own net and skated freely down the right side. Her sharp-angle shot trickled between Peslarova's pads, a shot the goalie would surely love to have back.

But the Czechs proved resilient. They tied the game early in the third on a simialr rush down the right wing. Vanisova, however, cut in on goal and Sandra Thalmann couldn't check her before Vanisova put the puck past Schelling. The goal, at 3:55, tied the game, 2-2 and set the stage for a dramatic finish in 4-on-4 overtime.

"We weren't worried," Diaz added of the tying goal. "We were working hard and we knew we could still win. And now we have to get ready for tomorrow."