Naemi Herzig scored with 8:33 remaining in the third period as Switzerland defeated Germany 1-0 in the opening game of a best-of-three relegation series at the 2022 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 Women’s World Championship.
"It feels great," Herzig said. "I think it's a great feeling that we had a victory today. It was important, and we look forward to the next game."
Making her first start of the tournament, Nadia Haener made 12 saves for the Swiss to earn the shutout.
Herzig scored on power play when she found a rebound in the slot and fired it under the blocker of German goaltender Sara Brammen while falling to the ice.
"I think the shot came from the defense and then I went for the rebound," Herzig said. "I just put everything I had into the shot and it went in."
Alessia Baechler and Alina Marti picked up assists on the play.
Herzig skated in her first game after missing the last two with an upper-body injury.
"It was hard," she said of sitting out. "But I'm proud of this team, what they did."
Bremmen finished with 29 saves for the Germans.
"We know we have two good goalies that can keep us in the game and give the team a chance to win," Germany coach Franziska Busch said.
Herzig also complemented the netminder's effort.
"I think (Bremmen) is quite good with her blocker and when she goes down," Herzig said. "It was very hard to beat her, but I am happy (my shot) went in."
The Germans struggled to generate offense. After a nine-shot first period, they manage just three over the final 40 minutes.
"I think the intensive game last night and the short time of regeneration took a lot of our energy. I'm sure we will be fully recovered and motivated to equalize the series on Sunday."
When the teams met during the opening game of round-robin play, Germany produced the lone goal in a win with 45.8 seconds remaining in regulation.
They meet for Game 2 of the series Sunday at 14:30. If the Germans win, the deciding contest will be Monday at 14:30.