Japan’s sun sets
Swiss survive as Stalder, Huni lead attack
The Swiss, who won Olympic bronze in 2014, dodged a bullet. The last time they were relegated was at the 2004 IIHF Women’s World Championship.
Lara Stalder paced the Swiss attack at McArthur Island Centre with a goal and three assists, and linemate Christine Huni added a goal and two assists.
Japan used back-up goalie Akane Konishi instead of starter Nana Fujimoto in this game. (According to the Japan Ice Hockey Federation, Fujimoto was "not in good condition" today.) Florence Schelling earned her first shutout of the tournament for Switzerland, which outshot Japan 23-20.
Germany will take Japan's place at next year's tournament.
It is a disappointment for the Japanese, who were hoping to return to the elite division for an unprecedented third straight year. Their plucky play always makes them crowd favourites.
At 8:50, Evelina Raselli opened the scoring for Switzerland on the power play.
Two quick goals early in the second period put the Swiss in firm control. Anja Stiefel scored at 1:16, followed by Stalder at 2:30.
With 38 seconds left in regulation, Huni added an empty-netter to make it 4-0.
Switzerland will look forward to competing at the 2017 IIHF Women’s World Championship in Plymouth, Michigan.
Japan vs. Switzerland (R2)
Switzerland defeated Japan 4-0 on Sunday afternoon to win the relegation series in two straight games. Japan is relegated to Division I.