Staenz Helps Switzerland Win Mountain Cup, Still Vying for Olympic Roster Spot

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Phoebe Staenz. (photo by Sam Rubin ?95, Yale Sports Publicity)

Freshman Forward Registers One Goal and Three Assists in Tournament

RADENTHEIN, Austria – Freshman forward Phoebe Staenz (Zürich, Switzerland) of the Yale women's ice hockey team helped Team Switzerland win the Mountain Cup earlier this week in Radenthein, Austria. That tournament, which featured four teams, is one of the last competitions before the selection of the Olympic roster.

Switzerland opened the tournament with a 4-0 win over France on Dec. 20; Staenz assisted on one of the goals. She then had a pair of assists in the 3-2 win over Austria on Dec. 21. She scored a goal in the 6-2 win vs. Slovakia on Dec. 22 that clinched the championship for the Swiss.

Staenz has seven goals and nine assists in 11 games with Yale this season. She leads the Bulldogs in scoring and is second in the nation in points per game among freshmen.

Staenz has extensive experience playing with the Swiss National Team. She played for Switzerland in the IIHF Women's World Championship in 2013 in Ottawa (sixth place), 2012 in Vermont (bronze medal) and 2011 in Switzerland (sixth place). She also played for the Swiss Under-18 team for three years.

Last month, Staenz played for Switzerland at the Smile Japan Bridgestone Blizzak Challenge in Tokyo, where she scored a pair of goals in her country's 3-2 overtime win vs. Germany in the first game of the tournament.

Prior to coming to Yale Staenz was Boston Globe All-Scholastic and the Division 1 Player of the Year in girls' prep school hockey at Choate Rosemary Hall. She was also league MVP and led her team with 38 goals and 23 assists. The team was New England finalists.

Staenz also played hockey for Assabet Valley, winning a national championship earlier this year. A resident of Ezra Stiles College at Yale, she plays classical and jazz piano as well as the drums.

Up next for Switzerland is the Meco Nations Cup in Füssen and Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany. Switzerland plays Sweden on Jan. 4 and Austria on Jan. 5, with the championship (and third- and fifth-place games) on Jan. 6. That six-team tournament also includes Finland, Germany and Russia.

Switzerland will then play in the Olympics in Sochi, Russia, Feb. 8-20. That eight-team tournament starts with teams competing in groups of four. Switzerland is in "Group A" with No. 2 Canada, No. 3 Finland and No. 1 USA. After three games of round-robin play within each group, the top two teams in Group A advance directly to the semifinals (Feb. 17). The third- and fourth-place finishers in Group A play the second- and first-place finishers from Group B (No. 7 Germany, No. 10 Japan, No. 4 Russia and No. 6 Sweden), respectively, in the quarterfinals on Feb. 15. The gold medal game and the bronze medal game are on Feb. 20 at Bolshoy Ice Dome.  

Switzerland is currently ranked No. 5 in the world in women's ice hockey. The team finished in seventh at the 2006 Olympics and fifth at the 2010 Olympics.

The Swiss Olympic Team roster (21 players) will be announced on Monday, Jan. 27. The other Yale women's hockey players in Olympic history were Helen Resor '09 (USA) and Denise Soesilo '10 (Germany), who played at the 2006 Olympics, and Natalie Babony '06 (Slovakia), who played at the 2010 Olympics.

Report by Sam Rubin '95 (sam.rubin@yale.edu), Yale Sports Publicity

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