PIESTANY, Slovakia – Switzerland is back in the top division of the IIHF World Women’s U18 Championship after one year. The Swiss faced little challenge and won the deciding game against France 9-1 in the Division I tournament in Piestany.
Switzerland started with a 15-1 victory against the newest entry in this competition, Kazakhstan, and continued with wins against Austria (5-2), Norway (12-1) and Slovakia (3-0).
On Friday, the Swiss met the only other undefeated team, but the game was decided early (4-0 after first) and the French had to settle for silver.
The Swiss had three Olympians on their team with the twins Laura and Sara Benz and Sabrina Zollinger. Sara Benz also won the scoring title with 18 points (9+9) before Nina Waidacher (6+7=13) and her two years younger sister Isabel Waidacher (6+6=12).
The Swiss also dominated the other individual statistics with Lara Stalder as the +/- leader (+18) and defender with the most scoring points (4+5=9). Sarah Küng had the best save percentage in the tournament with 95.65%, slightly before Slovakia’s Jana Budajova (95.42%).
Host nation Slovakia won the bronze medals after a 1-0 victory against Austria. Norway finished in fifth place after defeating Kazakhstan 9-2 in the clash of the winless teams on the last day.
The directorate’s individual award choices:
Best Goalkeeper: Jana Budajova (Slovakia)
Best Defenceman: Lara Stalder (Switzerland)
Best Forward: Sara Benz (Switzerland)
Most Valuable Player: Nicol Cupkova (Slovakia)
Click here for scores and stats of the tournament.
Click here for the photo gallery.