Freshman Forward Plays Again Saturday with Spot in Medal Round at Stake
SOCHI, Russia – Freshman forward Phoebe Staenz (Zürich, Switzerland) scored the first Olympic goal by a Yale women's ice hockey player on Wednesday, but Switzerland fell to Finland 4-3 in overtime. The Swiss are winless in their first three games at the Olympics, and must win their quarterfinal matchup on Saturday at 3:00 a.m. Eastern on MSNBC to advance to the medal round.
Staenz saw 24:19 of ice time Wednesday. She had six shots on goal, tied for second-most on the team. She scored on a power play eight minutes into the second period, tying the game 2-2. After Finland went back ahead 3-2 later in the second, the Swiss tied the game with 3:35 left in regulation but lost on a goal 2:38 into overtime by Finland's Jenni Hiirikoski.
Switzerland, which fell to Canada 5-0 on Saturday and to the U.S. 9-0 on Monday, is currently ranked No. 5 in the world in women's ice hockey. The team finished fifth at the 2010 Olympics and seventh at the 2006 Olympics.
The Olympic women's ice hockey competition takes place Feb. 8-20. The 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.
Russia and Sweden are both 2-0 in Group B, so in the quarterfinals Switzerland will face the winner of Thursday's game between Russia and Sweden. Finland will face the loser of that game in the other quarterfinal game. UPDATE Feb. 13: Russia beat Sweden, so Switzerland will face Russia on Feb. 15 at 3:00 a.m. Eastern.
The winners of those two quarterfinal games advance to the semifinals on Feb. 17, while the four teams not in the semis compete in the classification round for spots five through eight. Classification games take place on Feb. 16 and Feb. 18.
The gold medal game and the bronze medal game are on Feb. 20 at Bolshoy Ice Dome.
Staenz (whose last name is pronounced "Stence") was one of 21 players selected for Switzerland's roster. She has extensive experience playing with the Swiss National Team, including three appearances in the IIHF Women's World Championship (sixth place in 2013 in Ottawa, a bronze medal in 2012 in Vermont and a sixth-place finish in 2011 in Switzerland). Prior to making the Swiss National Team for the World Championship in 2011 she played for the Swiss Under-18 team for three years.
Staenz, a resident of Ezra Stiles college at Yale, has made an instant impact for the Bulldogs. She currently leads the team in goals, assists and points (9-14-23). Her selection to the Olympic roster is another milestone for the Yale program. The other Bulldog women's ice 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. Yale's former head coach, Hilary Witt, is an assistant coach with Team USA this year.
Resor had two assists in the 2006 games, including one in the U.S. team's 4-0 win over Finland for the bronze medal. Soesilo and Germany finished fifth that year, with Soesilo getting one assist -- on the game-winning goal in a 5-2 win over Italy that earned Germany a spot in the 5/6 classification round game. Babony had one assist in 2010, when Slovakia finished eighth.
Switzerland Olympic Women's Ice Hockey Schedule
- Saturday, Feb. 8, 8:00 a.m. Eastern time: Canada 5, Switzerland 0
- Monday, Feb. 10, 5:00 a.m. Eastern time: USA 9, Switzerland 0
- Wednesday, Feb. 12, 3:00 a.m. Eastern Time: Finland 4, Switzerland 3 OT
- Saturday, Feb. 15, 3:00 a.m. Eastern Time: Quarterfinals vs. Russia (NBCSN)
- Sunday, Feb. 16, TBD: First Classification Round (5 through 8)
- Monday, Feb. 17, TBD: Semifinals (TV: NBCSN)
- Tuesday, Feb. 18, TBD: Second Classification Round (5/6, 7/8)
- Thursday, Feb. 20, TBD: Bronze Medal Game (TV: NBCSN) or Gold Medal Game (TV: NBC)