Winter Olympics 2014: Canada vs Switzerland Women's Hockey Recap

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Would Canada be able to conquer super-goalie Florence Schelling?

1st period

Florence Schelling managed to stuff a first minute breakaway by Brianne Jenner. It was clear from the get go that Schelling would have to be perfect if the Swiss were to squeak out a victory.

Switzerland returned the favour, creating a breakaway of their own via Sara Benz. Szabados stayed calm and easily pushed the shot aside.

Another turnover by Canada led to a decent scoring chance for the Swiss, yet they couldn't manage to produce a rebound and as Szabados once again shut the door.

Canada resumed controlling the flow of the game, however in typical Swiss fashion, Switzerland set 4 women on the blue line and did a great job frustrating the Canadian women by not allowing second chances or many high scoring plays.

Natalie Spooner decided it was time to put an end to the tie game, by sending a beautiful wrist shot over Schelling's shoulder after skating around the net uncontested.  The goal was originally unassisted, but it's worth noting that Wickenheiser created a lot of traffic in front of the Swiss net. They later awarded Wickenheiser an assist.

It appeared that Canada had taken a 2-0 lead during a 5 on 3 power play, however the goal was waved off due to Spooner having a foot in the crease.

The power play continued and this time Canada would take a 2-0 lead without a shadow of a doubt. Natalie Spooner made up for the disallowed goal by tipping a Ward slap shot from the point.

The floodgates were officially open at this point, as Melanie D'Aoust increased Canada's lead to 3-0 by crashing the net and putting home her own rebound.

Switzlerand's best scoring chance of the period came from a very questionable too many men call on Canada's bench. Szabados would not yield a goal and preserved her shutout for the time being.

2nd period

Canada dominated the second frame early, which led to a power play opportunity, but Florence Schelling shut the door on a plethora of chances, including a breakaway shortly after the man-advantage.

Switzerland cut the lead to 2 on a power play of their own. Jessica Lutz scored off a scramble behind the net, as Szabados struggled to get back in her net.

Switzerland worked off this momentum, and seemed to turn the tide by carrying the play for the next 10 minutes. Szabados made a few nice saves and kept the two goal lead intact.

Poulin tried to build on the lead, however Florence Schelling would have none of it. She robbed Poulin with an absolutely beautiful glove save, and followed it up with several nice saves against Spooner and Agosta respectively.

With Schelling in beast-mode, Canada failed to score and went into the third frame up by two goals.

3rd period

The Swiss were on the man advantage early, and Muller put Szabados to the test twice with nice tips in close. Fortunately for Canada neither shots went in, although it was clear that Canada started to feel the pressure of a game that was a lot closer than it was expected to be. Switzerland found a myriad of confidence after their second period goal.

Both teams continued to exchange chances, but the respective goaltenders did a great job keeping the net out of the puck as they faced endless tips, breakaways and wraparounds.

It looked as if Agosta had brought the lead to 4-1, however the goal was called off due to interference with Florence Schelling.

If I am being perfectly honest I'd say that Switzerland was the better team in the third, by a reasonable margin.

Team Canada showed their frustration all game, as Switzerland did the 'little things' right. Canada definitely carried the play, but it was a very good test for the Canadian women heading into the gold medal match up with the USA. Canada can't afford to be as sloppy as they were in the third period if they hope to repeat as Olympic champions.

Florence Schelling was the star of this game, there's no doubt about it. She put up a fantastic 45 save performance.

The gold medal game between Canada and the USA will take place on February 20th at noon.

The Swiss will face off against Sweden for the bronze at 7 am on the 20th as well.

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