Staenz, Switzerland Start Nations Cup Competition Saturday

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

Freshman Forward Continues Progress towards Spot on Olympic Roster

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – While her Yale women's ice hockey teammates start the second half of the season this weekend with home games vs. Colgate and No. 3 Cornell, freshman forward Phoebe Staenz (Zürich, Switzerland) will be competing for Team Switzerland at the Nations Cup in Germany -- the last competition before the selection of the Olympic roster on Jan. 27. Staenz was one of 24 players selected for the Swiss roster; that number will be trimmed to 21 for the Olympics.

The Nations Cup takes place 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 is coming off a win at the Mountain Cup last month in Radenthein, Austria. The Swiss beat Austria, France and Slovakia to win that tournament. Staenz had a goal and three assists.

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

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. A resident of Ezra Stiles College at Yale, she plays classical and jazz piano as well as the drums.

The Olympic women's ice hockey competition takes place 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 fifth at the 2010 Olympics and seventh at the 2006 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