Elena Gaberell scored the go-ahead goal on the advantage midway into the third period, lifting Switzerland to a 3-1 victory over Slovakia in round-robin play at the 2022 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 Women’s World Championship.
Gaberell one-timed a pass from defender Annic Buchi from the top of the right faceoff circle under the glove of goaltender Laura Medvidova at 12:19.
Swiss netminder Margaux Favre finished with 17 saves, including three after Gaberell's tally.
"I didn't have a lot of work, but I feel I made the saves I had to today," Favre said. "The defense did a really good job clearing out my rebounds."
Slovakia had an opportunity to tie the contest at two apiece when they went on a power play following an illegal hit by Alessia Baechler with 1:43 to play. Instead, Jade Surdez capitalized on a Slovakian turnover in the neutral zone and scored on a shorthanded breakaway with 47 seconds remaining to seal the victory.
Switzerland went 2-for-4 on the power play after going 0-for-5 yesterday against the Germans.
"We practiced a lot, especially the power play, and to score — finally — was a relief," Alina Marti said. "It's one of our tactics to shoot as much as we can. Yesterday it didn't work out. Today it did work out and that was really good."
The Swiss, who suffered a hearbreaking 1-0 loss in the final minute to Germany on Monday, improved to 1-1 in the tournament.
"We learned from yesterday," Marti said. "Yesterday we fell in a hole. Today we played, had fun, saw what the game brings and thankfully it ended up on our side."
Slovakia scored the opening goal — its first of the tournament — 3:17 into the second period. On the rush, Emma Plankenauerova found Zuzana Dobiasova breaking toward the net. With Favre at the top of the crease, Dobiasova tapped it in behind her.
Switzerland responded with its first goal of the event with 2:48 remaining in the second. After crisp passing around the perimeter on the power play, Marti's slap shot from the right faceoff circle produced a rebound for defender Nina Harju. The 17-year-old found it at the edge of the crease and knocked it past Medvidova.
For the second straight game, Slovakia managed fewer than 20 shots. Coach Gabriela Sabolova noted the team has struggled in not just getting shots, but quality ones, as well as providing screens to create opportunities for deflections.
"We didn't have enough shots," she said. "Eighteen shots is not enough."
The Slovaks had an opportunity to take a 2-1 lead on a penalty shot 1:22 into the third period.
After a highlight-reel toe drag by Barbora Kapicakova to evade the Swiss defense for a breakaway, she was pulled down by Gaberell. Nina Hudakova took the ensuing shot, which was broken up with a stick check by Favre.
"We had it in our hands," Sabolova said. "This loss is really hard, but we will sleep and tomorrow is a new day."
Switzerland faces unbeaten Czechia at 16:00 on Thursday. Slovakia, which is 0-2, meets Germany in the 20:00 contest.