Switzerland beats Slovakia in battle for third place in Group A women’s hockey

Stefany Marty scored three goals and Switzerland scored two goals 43 seconds apart in the third period to help them defeat Slovakia 5-2 at UBC Thunderbird Arena on Wednesday night in a battle for third place in Group A.

Marty’s second goal of the game at 10:35 of the third period tied it up at 2-2, coming on a beautiful wrist shot that beat Slovakian netminder Zuzana Tomcikova over her left shoulder.

Sara Benz’s goal at 11:18 of the period proved to be the winner, as the Swiss squad never looked back from there.

Kathrin Lehmann  scored a short-handed goal to account for the other Switzerland goal.

Slovakia forward Janka Culikova scored her team’s two goals, and female countryman Nicol Cupkova added two assists, bringing her team-leading tournament point total up to three.  

With the win, Switzerland (1-2) takes third place in Group A and Slovakia (0-3) finishes fourth.

Culikova opened up the scoring at 7:10 of the first period for Slovakia on a nice pass from Cupkova, who outworked a Swiss defender in the corner to set up her teammate for the goal.  

Tomcikova was solid in withstanding a Swiss attack that largely outplayed the Slovaks, including a few sparkling pad saves on a 5-on-3 power play advantage for Switzerland early in the second period.

She finished the game with 40 saves.

A goaltending clinic was put on by Tomcikova’s counterpart Florence Schelling, who was forced to make several spectacular highlight reel saves for her squad, not to mention a sprawling glove save on a Culikova shot to maintain a 3-2 lead for her team midway through the third period.

Schelling made 31 stops, as her teammates outshot Slovakia 45-33.

The two teams entered the game having been outscored by a combined 38-3 margin.  

Switzerland failed to score a power play goal for the third straight game and is a combined 0-for-18 in the tournament.  Slovakia went 0-for-6 with the man advantage.

Team Switzerland came into the game ranked fifth in the world with seven players having previous Olympic experience, while Slovakia is competing in its first ever Olympic Games.

Neither team will be advancing to the semi-finals.

Switzerland will next face the loser between China and Russia, which takes place at 10 p.m. ET on Feb. 18.