Canada to play for gold
by Andrew Podnieks|30 AUG 2021
Canada continued to dominate its opponents, taking care of the Swiss to advance to tomorrow's gold-medal game against the United States.
photo: Matt Zambonin / HHOF-IIHF Images
Canada did exactly what it had to do tonight against Switzerland and skated to a dominating 4-0 win to advance to the Women's Worlds gold-medal game against the United States tomorrow night for the first time since 2017.

The hosts scored early, took any Swiss hope out of the equation, and kept their foot on the gas for sixty minutes.

With the loss, the Swiss will move on to the bronze medal game earlier in the day against Finland.

Canada poured 65 shots at Swiss goalie Andrea Braendli, who was nothing short of brilliant in defeat. At the other end, Ann-Renee Desbiens made only 10 harmless saves to record the shutout.

"I think there is another level this team can bring," said Renata Fast, who had a goal and an assist tonight. "I'm happy with what we've done so far as a team, and we've definitely built momentum throughout the tournament, but I still think there is more in the tank. We have such a talented group, so much skill, so much depth. Everyone has been contributing."
Canada vs Switzerland (SF) - 2021 IIHF Ice Hockey Women's World Championship
CAN SUI 30 AUG 2021
In retrospect, Canada's only adversity through the first six games of the tournament came back in the first period of the first game, when they fell behind, 2-0, to the Finns. But they rallied for a 5-3 win and haven't looked back.

"I think that was important," acknowledged coach Troy Ryan. "I think all those little aspects in an event like this are important, how you respond to it, will make a difference, and I thought our women did a great job in that situation. Hopefully when we look back on that, it will be a pivotal point."

Right from the opening faceoff it was clear Canada meant business and there would be no upset tonight. They got the puck deep and pressured the Swiss defenders, and created shots seemingly at will.

"They're so good with the puck and came at us with a lot of speed," said Swiss captain Lara Stalder. "I think we weren't really ready from the get-go. After a while, I think we started battling more, too, so we got some chances, but they're a really good team. They like to share the puck, and their defence are really active, so it was hard to get out of our own zone."

Canada scored first after a long period of pressure and a faceoff win in the attacking zone. Brianne Jenner controlled the puck in the corner and whipped a pass out front to Fast, who had snuck in behind the defence and one-timed the hard pass at 5:14.

A minute and a half later, they made it 2-0. This time, a Fast point shot was tipped in front by Melodie Daoust past Andrea Braendli. It was Daoust’s fifth goal of the tournament and her 11th point, tops among all players. 

The Swiss didn’t get their first shot until midway through the period, a harmless shoot-in from the point, and they had only one decent scoring chance, that off the stick of Stalder that was stopped by Ann-Renee Desbiens without incident.

Daoust got her second of the game early in the middle period off another faceoff win. Marie-Philip Poulin took a shot that Daoust tipped, and the puck went high in the air and landed behind Braendli before trickling over the goal line.

Canada overwhelmed the Swiss the rest of the way, one wave after another controlling the puck in the Swiss end at will. But with all the passing and team speed, tenacity and physical superiority, they could beat Braendli, who was nothing short of spectacular in goal, only once more.

Rebecca Johnston added Canada's fourth goal late in the third on a power play. She got the puck at the point, walked in, and ripped a low shot under Braendli's glove at 16:58.

Moments earlier, the Swiss had their best chance of the night on a Canada power play. Noemi Rhyner stole the puck at the blue line and raced the length of theice, with two Canadians in pursuit, but her hard shot beat Desbiens only to ring off the stick side post and stay out.
Canada vs Switzerland (SF) - 2021 IIHF Ice Hockey Women's World Championship