International Ice Hockey Federation

Switzerland tops Japan

Four points for Huni in return to Swiss team

Published 28.03.2016 16:37 GMT-7 | Author Lucas Aykroyd
Switzerland tops Japan
KAMLOOPS, BC - MARCH 28: Switzerland's Christine Huni #19 celebrates her first goal against Team Japan assisted by Switzerland's Lara Stalder #7 during preliminary round action at the 2016 IIHF Ice Hockey Women's World Championship. (Photo by Matt Zambonin/HHOF-IIHF Images)
Unlike in 2015, the Japanese weren’t able to open these Women’s Worlds with an upset win. They fell 4-2 to Switzerland at McArthur Island Centre on Monday.

Forward Christine Huni (nee Meier) showed no rust after a five-absence from this tournament. She led the way with two goals and two assists for Switzerland

Japan shocked host Sweden with a 4-3 shootout win to kick off last year in Malmo, and they’ll get another crack at the Swedes on Tuesday evening.

This game was a duel between Florence Schelling, named Best Goalie at the 2014 Olympics, and Nana Fujimoto, named Best Goalie at the 2015 Women’s Worlds. Switzerland outshot Japan 32-28.

Japan ran into early penalty trouble, and the Swiss took advantage. Appearing in her first Women’s Worlds game since 2011, Huni drew first blood with a power play goal at 7:33.

With under two minutes left in the first period, Japanese captain Chiho Osawa tied it up.

However, it took just 1:50 into the middle frame for Lara Stalder to put Switzerland up 2-1 with a two-man advantage. The Japanese would never equalize again.

Third-period goals by Phoebe Stanza and Huni put the game out of reach. Yuka Hirano cut the deficit to 4-2 on the power play with about 10 minutes left, but that was as good as it got for coach Yoshifumi Fujisawa’s troops. Daniela Diaz earned her first Women’s Worlds win as the Swiss head coach.

Next up for Switzerland is the newly promoted Czech Republic. The Czechs last appeared in this tournament in Ottawa 2013.