As most of you know, last Wednesday was the start of the quarter-final playoffs in the SDHL After we came in 2nd in the regular season, we were to face-off against AIK in the first round, who ranked 7th. Lulea faced-off against Brynäs, Modo against Leksand and Djurgarden against HV71.
It was actually the first time since I play in this league, that the playoff pairings were done like that. Previously, the first ranked team could pick a team that they want to play that was ranked 5 – 8. Once the first ranked picked, it would be the second ranked team’s turn to pick… The same would be done for the semi-final pairings, best ranked team could pick who to play against for the semi-final. I always thought that was very weird, so I was happy now that they changed that for this season.
In our league, we play a best-of-3 playoff series, but if you are the better ranked team, you have your first game away and then 2 home games. To me, this is very strange as well and I still can’t get used to it. 😊 So for us being the second ranked team, we made our way to Stockholm to face off against AIK last Wednesday in the first game.
The first game was not a good game from our side. I think we were very nervous and didn’t know what to expect of AIK since we haven’t played them in quite some time. On top of that, the luck really wasn’t on our side, we had a couple shots off the post and some really good chances that we just couldn’t capitalize on. We ended up losing that game 1-0 and were therefore with our backs against the wall for the second game of the series.
We had Thursday off from practice, which was good to recover and recoup the mind. Friday evening we had a workout and a practice. The workout was a rather quick one, with only 3 weight exercises that were all executed explosively for the quick legs. The practice had a strong focus on the things we didn’t do well in the game on Wednesday, so that we could gain back our confidence for Saturday’s game.
Saturday, game #2, do-or-die. I was nervous and I told myself, I’m not ready for my season to be done yet. I wanted to play the best game of the entire season and be the strong backbone this team needs. Well, haha, that didn’t turn out the way I wanted. We got scored on 10 minutes into the game and were behind 1-0. Were we crestfallen? No, we got right back up and scored shortly before the end of the first period to tie up the game. Once we scored that goal, it was like the knot finally opened, and we were able to score one goal after the other. The final score was 4-1 and we were headed to the game #3 in this playoff series.
After the game, we had a team dinner at a sports bar in Linköping. It was a nice evening and felt good to hang out with the team and fuel up for the next day.
Sunday, game #3, do-or-die. Unlike Saturday, I was not nervous at all. I knew we got this, and yet again, I was not ready for the season to be over yet. Not once since after the game on Saturday did I doubt that we would not win that game #3 on Sunday. I’m pretty sure that the rest of the team had the same feeling than I did. We came out strong from the first second of the game and did not give up any chances for AIK to become dangerous. On the other hand, we created many good chances and were able to win the last game 5-0.
With that win, we punched a semi-final ticket along with Lulea, Djurgarden and Modo. Semi-final pairings are Lulea – Djurgarden, Linköping – Modo. 4 incredibly competitive teams and I’m extremely excited for this series to start tomorrow!
Keep your fingers crossed!
With Sunday’s game, the regular season came to an end and here’s my regular season recap.
We captured 2nd place with 87 points in 36 games played which in my opinion is great. All teams get stronger and more competitive every season, so we can be very proud of ourselves for capturing 2nd place.
For me personally, I too can be very happy and proud of my performance and my achievements during the regular season. Coming back from such a long knee injury, I was a bit hesitant at the beginning of the season, unsure how good I will be and how my knee and my entire body will hold up. Surprisingly, or maybe not that surprisingly, my knee was holding all the way.
I was badly out of shape after the knee surgery and I was struggling getting back into shape, until I started working with my conditioning coach Andrea Zryd again. I strongly believe that the off-ice workouts that I did this season, were the game-changer in my on-ice performance. From week to week, from month to month I felt better, lighter and stronger on and off the ice.
I had 31 games played in net, 2 games where I was backing up and missed 3 games due to a torn groin right before leaving for the Olympics. In those 31 games, I had 854 shots against and let up 44 goals. My Goals Against Average was at 1.45 and I had a Save Percentage of 94.85%. I had 10 shutouts, 26 wins and 4 losses. I was the leading goalie by save percentage and goals against average as well as game winning shots with 8 saves and a 100% rate.
I strongly believe that I’ve stepped up my game throughout the last couple of seasons, but especially during this season I was able to get better and better. In addition to the off-ice trainings that made me stronger, my performance self-evaluation sheets that I filled out after every game improved my game incredibly. Being able to critically reflect my games helped me overcome the fact that I do not have a goalie coach available, but instead teach myself.
I was holding myself accountable of everything this season. No excuses for nothing. I’ve created this determination, this drive that kept me going throughout the entire season. In every off-ice training, I pushed myself to and beyond my limits, creating new limits. During on-ice practices, every puck was played until the end (even if the players did not finish playing, I would still track and follow my rebound), and I skated way more than I ever did before.
It looks like all my effort has paid off so far, but now, now it’s all about the play-offs. The play-offs are like an entire new season. Even more so this season, it being the Olympic year and teams like Canada and USA centralize and therefore are done with their season after the Olympics. A lot of teams picked up new players for the play-offs and therefore they will be even more competitive and our 2nd place in regular season has little meaning.
We too got a new player on our team. Courtney Birchard from Canada is a new player that we were able to bring on the team and I am extremely pumped about that. I played and lived with Courtney back in 2012/2013 when I was playing for the Brampton Thunder in the CWHL. Back then, Courtney and her family welcomed me at their house, now I was able to welcome Courtney to my house… 😊
Now it’s the most fun time of the season though and I’m even more excited for it to start right away as well. We face off against AIK in a best-of-3 quarterfinal series on Wednesday, Saturday & (Sunday)!
Overall, it’s been a great season so far, but I want more… 😊
I hope you’re all having a great weekend! So, I have received a bunch of questions regarding my makeup that I use when playing hockey, so I figured I could share that with you. Especially since I am a sucker for make-up!!! 😊
First off, I want to clarify, that I have different routines when I am travelling than when I’m home. The reason for that is basically, I have a zillion things, but obviously not the space to bring it everywhere I go. So since I’m on the road right now with two away games, I figured, I could share my travel makeup routine with you first.
I start my routine with applying the MAYBELLINE New York Eyestudio (Blackest Black) gel eyeliner underneath my eyelashes to make my eyelashes appear thicker and more compact. While the eyeliner is drying, I do my eyebrows.
My eyebrows I do with these two pencils. I am very insecure about making my eyebrows, because I feel if you put just a bit too much color, your entire look will be different. That’s why I keep my brows to the minimum, just filling it in a bit with different browns to make them look fuller as well.
Once the brows are done, I start with applying eyeshadow. For that, I use the Clinique high impact eye shadow trio pallet (Sugar Sugar & Rose Wine Duo). First I apply the ‘white’ right underneath my eyebrows to highlight. Then I use the rose to cover my eyelid. To further define my eyes, I apply the ‘wine’ towards the outside of my eyelid as well under the lower eyelashes. To finish off the eyeshadow look, I apply a bit of ‘white’ to the inside of my inner canthus.
To finish off my eyes, I apply 3 different kind of mascaras. First I apply a base coat mascara by KIKO, followed by a blue mascara by KIKO and then lastly a black L’Oreal Power Volume Collagen Mascara. The base coat helps create volume and length, the blue mascara brings some more color to my greenish eyes. Although I put black mascara over the blue, the blue will still be seen at some parts where not everything was covered by the black. I’ve been doing that for many years and everyone who has seen me doing that told me I was crazy. But hey, it works for me and I enjoy doing it. 😊
Lastly, I put some powder (by KIKO – Radiant Fusion Baked Powder) on my cheeks and forehead, followed by a KIKO bronzer powder (104) that I use for a bit of contouring.
So, that’s pretty much the makeup I use while on the roard. I love putting makeup on so I probably take a whole lot longer than it probably could take me. I would say that this makeup routine takes approximately 10 mintues. So it’s rather quick! 🙂
Let me know if you have any questions!
It was though, I put so much pressure on myself throughout the entire Olympics and then I had a brutal game like that… I was devastated. Disappointed. Sad.
That was the ending of yesterday’s post! So here comes the continuation…
After the game, we were told that we will already face off against Korea the next day at 12pm. Let me tell you, it was a very long rest of the day after the quarterfinal, but good thing I had very good distractions. I was happy that I was able to talk to my family and many other close people in my life. By the time I hit the bed in the evening, I had a clear mind and was ready for the next challenge against Korea.
As I mentioned in the previous blog, the quote: “The lower you fall, the higher you’ll fly”, was reversed for us, well this time it only happened to me. The higher you fly, the lower you fall… In the morning of the game, I was asked to go talk to the goalie coach, where I was told I wasn’t going to dress for the game. The reason? He wished I would have made more saves in the quarterfinal……
I was devastated. Disappointed. Sad. Again!
It was a very difficult situation for me, I had to grin and bear it, for the team.
I made a decision for myself though, to get a really good weights, core and a bit of conditioning workout in. It felt great to sweat all my emotions out! It was actually during that workout, I experienced one of my Olympic highlights (later post)…
I felt great after, so much positive energy and excited for the last game for 5th place. Before that was the case, we had another “off-day” with no ice. That was 2 days without touching the ice, that was quite special for me, as in a tournament 1 day is absolute max. I enjoyed a great off-day, got to discover a bit more of South Korea and recharge even more for the last game.
Finally, it was the day of the last game of these Olympics. I wanted it to be perfect! Even though we had a 4:40pm game, our schedule was packed before that. We had a 45-minute pre-game skate, two meetings, lunch and snack.
The pre-game skate felt terrible, after not being on the ice in two days, I felt rusty. I decided to continue all the same routines, did them more conscious though. Every movement I made was 200% conscious.
I decided to skip the cooldown after the pre-game ice and lunch in order to get more downtime and a 1-hour nap before the game. I had a tough time falling asleep for my nap, I was so excited for the game, I really wanted to get that 5th place!
Eventually I fell asleep and felt better after the nap. After the meeting, the team was headed to the dinning hall for a snack, I ate a light lunch instead, before heading to the rink. Once at the rink, all my conscious movements continued. I felt better and better with every movement. Additionally, I followed my pre-game routine for warm-up precisely and the closer the game came the better and better I felt.
Good things don’t last, right? Haha well for the on-ice warm-up, I was thinking of telling the coach not to start me. I felt terrible, could not catch a single puck. Something didn’t feel right. I tried to pull myself together, thinking it’s just the nerves. Once in the locker room again, I did my usual mental preparation and all of a sudden I felt ready like never before.
The game itself was probably not the best game I was part of. We played well, but I felt like Japan had the better chances, I was determined though. I wanted to win this game, for me it was 5th place or nothing. Good thing, we took the lead within the first 4 minutes of the game and never gave it up… 😊
Once the horn sounded after 60 minutes and we won the game 1-0, captured the 5th place, I was so relieved. So much weight fell off my shoulders with that last win. I started crying, it was such an emotional moment for me…
Although we couldn’t confirm our bronze medal from Sochi and the MVP I was awarded, we won 5 games out of 6 games played! How sick is that?
A pretty strong finish to these Olympic Games… 😊
Due to the emotional roller-coaster called the Olympic Games, I have been slacking on writing my blog and sharing my experience with you all. So here goes a post about flying high…
After the historical game against a united-Korea, things got rolling for myself and the team. After a game off-day, we played against Japan. Although Japan outplayed us and were clearly the better team, we managed to get a 3-1 win, which meant that we already qualified for the quarterfinal. We were all so excited, as reaching the quarterfinal was our main goal. But we wanted more, we wanted to come in 1st in our group, which meant we still had to beat Sweden in the last group game.
It’s great having an “off-day” after every game. To be able recover properly and refocus on the next opponent is great and I truly believe helps the competitiveness in the tournament. So with lots of new energy and a fresh mind, we faced Sweden in the last group stage game and yet again, won this game 2-1. What a ride!
For the first time ever, we came in 1st in the group stage and won all the games in the group stage. Not bad, eh?
After the group stage, we had two off-days until the quarterfinal. February 15th was for the first time in over 2 weeks, that we received an off-day from the ice. We still did an off-ice session. I was tired. I wish we would have had a full off-day the latest that day. We’ve been having a crazy schedule every day, even on gamedays. With such a schedule, the little down-time we had became even more important.
I needed some of the down-time to meet with my parents and just go outside of the Olympic premises and clear my head. Do some sightseeing and eat outside the dinning hall and so forth. It was very much needed.
Our second off-day we went back on the ice for a 70-minute ice session as well as some off-ice. On that day, the entire focus was on the next day, the quarterfinal against the Olympic Athletes from Russia.
I was extremely pumped to get the 12pm game, which meant we wouldn’t get an additional ice training to tire us out more. It’s nice to just get up and roll…
Everything was going so well for myself and the team, we were so excited and ready for the quarterfinal! The quote: “The lower you fall, the higher you’ll fly”, was reversed for us. The higher you fly, the lower you fall… We got outclassed by OAR, big time.
From my side, it was a weird game. I never felt good, throughout the entire game. Every puck on net felt weird, I couldn’t make a good save. The Russians did a very good scouting on me and never just put a puck on net, only when they had a legit goal chance. It was though, I put so much pressure on myself throughout the entire Olympics and then I had a brutal game like that… I was devastated. Disappointed. Sad.
The dream of another Olympic medal just shattered… It would be difficult to come back from that…
A lot of people over the years have asked me why I wear number 41 as my jersey number and I was always reluctant to tell them why. I felt embarrassed to tell people, but now I realized that it’s perfectly fine… 😊 So here you go!
Back in November 2004, I was part of the Swiss National Team travelling to Beijing, China for the Olympic Qualification Tournament for the Torino Olympic Games in 2006. On November 14th, 2004 we played an all or nothing game against China. The winner of this game would qualify for the 2006 Olympic Games.
The game was very tight and was only decided in the last 6 seconds (!!!) of the game when Claudia Riechsteiner scored the game winner (3-2) against China! With that, the Swiss Women’s Ice Hockey Team qualified for the first time in history for the Olympic Games!
Since that day, I created a countdown for myself, I wanted to be part of the Swiss Team that is travelling to Torino, Italy in 2006. The countdown started at 453 days!
So, long story short. 41 days before the opening ceremony I was selected to be one of the two goalies on the Swiss Team. I remember this day like it was yesterday… December 31st, 2005, we sat on the bus driving home from a tournament and I was asked to go talk with the coach and that’s when I was told that I made the team.
At this point I realized that my dream will become reality and with only 16 years old, I will be going to the Olympic Games. What a day!
Ever since that day, number 41 has been my jersey number and a good reminder of how fortunate I am to be able to represent Switzerland on the international stage! 😊
What a historical day it was yesterday.
With a rather late wakeup, we made our way to the rink for a pre-game skate around noon. It was a longer pre-game skate than I anticipated, usually it is 30 minutes, now it’s 45 minutes. Anyways, pre-game skate was good and you could tell that it was the day of the first important game. It was gameday behavior for many, which is different than a regular day. Much more focus, much more serious and much more quiet.
In the afternoon, we had quite some off time, which I used for a longer nap, it being two hours. I really needed those two hours though. The schedule has been tough and tight and I am still trying to catch up on the sleep I lost due to doping control.
After the nap, we had a team meeting and a snack/dinner before we drove to the rink.
It was during the drive to the rink where it really hit me about the significance of that game we were about to play. Along the streets on the way to the rink where hundreds and hundreds of people standing waiving the united Korea flag. I started getting nervous…
Once at the rink, I got into my regular pre-game routines and it felt really good. I was excited to play a game again, excited to play at the Olympics again. When it was time for on-ice warm-up and I saw all the people in the stands already, I got goosebumps. Warm-up went well and when I got back into the locker room, I had to refocus and get my tunnel “vision” going. It felt more difficult yesterday than it did in other games, but I knew I only had to focus on my game and not the historical part of the game.
Yet, that refocusing went well but I lost it again right when we were standing on the blue line before the puck drop. It was a very special atmosphere in the arena and the crowd was cheering really loudly. I got really nervous here.
Once I was in my crease, I went through my focus points yet again and knew right away, that now it’s all good. I’m fully focused on the game. It was a good feeling to finally get it and know that I won’t get distracted. When the game started the entire game was a bit nervous, but soon from our side we were able to put that nervousness down and just play.
I did not have much to do during that game, only 8 shots on net. It was my first time facing Korea, and I was very surprised by how good they played yesterday, especially their goalie that was absolutely incredible in net. She’s the backbone of that team and she stood on her head yesterday. We ended up winning the game 8-0 which was a great start for us. With that game being over, the focus switched to the Japan game that we play tomorrow.
After such an historical and late game, I had trouble falling asleep right away when we got back to the village at around 1:30am. I had a rather short night again, so I was happy that we had a relaxed day today. We went on the ice for a 70-minute practice and then the rest of the day we were off. I decided to go to the beach and just enjoy it there, it was absolutely beautiful. So nice weather, but very very very cold and very windy.
Now I’m excited for another gameday against Japan tomorrow!
The day of the opening ceremony is finally here, and this is almost the most exciting day of the entire Olympics! To be able to walk into the stadium representing your country among the best of the best athletes in the world is just indescribable!
The day started off late so I took this opportunity to catch up on some sleep and slept until 10am. A quick breakfast and then we were off to the rink for the Olympic team picture and training. The team picture and all the other pictures are so important to all of us, these are our memories with our teammates. Taking pictures takes quite some time, but unfortunately we were only given 10 minutes and then practice started. Previously, we would have at least 30 minutes so you could get pictures with almost all teammates, but not this time. I will share the few pictures I took along the Olympics with you!
After practice, we had a quick cool down before heading back to the village for a late lunch. Right after lunch, we had the Olympic rookie initiation with 9 new players. Due to limited time, this was a quick one where the rookies had to wear part of the equipment (chest protector, gloves, or helmet) and go around the village and trade stuff with other athletes. The team that traded the most won. They had 30 minutes for that.
After this was over, we finally had 1 hour to just relax and get ready for the opening ceremony. At 5:50pm all the Swiss athletes in our village met outside our house and would walk to the bus that would bring us to the opening ceremony venue and the rest of the Swiss delegation.
Once at the venue, we were meeting up with the rest of the Swiss delegation and all the other athletes from all over the world as well. We were waiting for quite some time in a heated tent. That left lots of time to walk around, take pictures and meet up with other athletes. It was great and I took some pictures with some pretty amazing athletes (pictures to be posted at a later time). Once it was our time to walk, we all got into the lines and we prepared right behind Sweden.
This time, I decided not to take my phone out while walking, instead just socking it all in and enjoying the moment through my own eyes and not through the camera. It was awesome! Such a special time!
As we have our first game tomorrow, we had an early departure, which meant that we would leave the venue right after we walked and drive back to the village. Once back at the village, we all went for a quick snack at the dining hall before going back to our house.
It was another unforgettable experience to be walking in the opening ceremony representing Switzerland. With an incredible amount of emotions, I am headed to bed now and all focus is on gameday tomorrow against Korea!
It has been a crazy couple of days, so much going on here, I’m giving you a quick recap and hoping that I will find a bit more time from now on! 🙂
So basically, after my Olympia Mask announcement, we had another exhibition game against Finland in Goyang, which we lost 4-1. It was a good game, both teams had many good chances. The exhibition games were over, and so was our preparation camp in Goyang. We packed our bags immediately after the game and put them on a truck that would bring them to the ice rink in Gangneung. The rest of our day we spent packing our suitcases at the hotel and many more meetings before an early good night.
On Wednesday morning, we left with the bus at 9am from the hotel in the direction of the Olympic Village in Gangneung. The ride to the village took somewhat 4 hours but it seemed a lot faster, as the excitement to get to the village became higher and higher. Once at the village, the real stress started with accreditation validation, luggage scanning and IOC pictures before actually entering the village and finding the Swiss house, your apartment and room. This took a lot longer than in our schedule anticipated, so we had to rush to the dinning hall to get some lunch before having another meeting and heading to the rink for the first ice practice on the Olympic ice.
The rink is nice, real nice! I’m really excited for the tournament to start!
After practice we drove back to the village, had dinner, another team meeting, physical therapy and then it was basically time to get a good night rest for today.
Well I guess, the antidoping had some different plans with my sleeping scheduled. At 11:10 pm (!!!) they came knocking at my and 11 other player’s doors. That meant, getting up again and making our way to the doping control tent just 5-minute walk from our house. Once there, the waiting began. They only had 3 (!) controllers for 12 players. By the time I saw a controller the first time it was past midnight.
The doping control procedure is that an athlete has to pee 90ml into a cup and that the specific gravity has to be above 5. First time I failed to get above 5 for gravity, so I had to wait 45 minutes (without drinking) for my second try. 45 minutes later, 2nd try, same thing. Gravity was below 5 again, so I had to wait another 45 minutes until the 3rd and last try. Yet again, on my 3rd try I didn’t get above 5 and therefore the mission was aborted. At this point, it was almost 2am (!!!).
With a very short night, our second day in the Olympic Village and Olympic rink started. First off, a 70-minutes long ice training was on the schedule. After practice we went back to the village to have a quick lunch. After lunch, it was time for the media afternoon at the House of Switzerland in PyeongChang. Our coach Daniela, captain Livia and assistant-captain Lara and myself were selected for the media afternoon. We got a mini-van driving us to the 30 min away House of Switzerland with a bit of a detour, but we made it. Once we got there, we faced a bunch of journalists as a group before we got split up for individual interviews. The most popular questions?
- Whether we will confirm the bronze medal from Sochi?
- How we handle everything going on around our first game against Korea?
- My eye?
The answers are simple:
- The situation now is a lot different than in Sochi. This time, we are in the bottom group and have to be in 1st or 2nd position after the preliminary round in order to qualify for the quarterfinal. To get to the quarterfinal is our main goal.
- The game against Korea is very exciting. It’s great to see that sport unifies! In the end, we have to focus on our game and do everything in our power to win this game, no matter who the opponent is.
- My eye is good! It’s still very colorful, but it doesn’t hurt anymore and doesn’t hinder me.
After all the questions were answered, we drove back to the village where I was able to get some new Bauerfeind compression tights at the polyclinic here at the village.
The day was almost up, and it was time for dinner and another team meeting where we all first received our brand-new Samsung Galaxy Note 8 phones, and then spoke about tactics again.
Monika and myself went quickly around the village after the meeting for an evening stroll and explore a bit more before heading back to the rooms.
The Games are almost starting and everything is very exciting! Everything goes by so quick now, with the opening ceremony happening tomorrow and our first game after tomorrow!
Finally, here it is; my mask for the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games!
Thank you so much to everyone for their great ideas and suggestions, I tried to take in as many as possible that would fit to me and my personality. Thank you again!
The center piece of the mask is a toque. The toque I was wearing on the picture I posted back in December when asking for ideas. This was besides the Swiss Cross and chocolate and all that, the most voted idea. I really liked this idea!
Going into the little details, on the chin, there is the Swiss Cross which all of the 6 goalies (women and men) of the Swiss team have. This displays a common appearance of all the Swiss goalies. Around the Swiss Cross, there is my jersey number, 41. I wanted this to be small, as the Olympic Games are, my opinion, not about the individual athlete but the country that athlete represents.
On the sides, underneath the toque, is a gondola. A gondola is very common in Switzerland with the many mountains we have. Also, it is a childhood memory when my family went skiing around Christmas time. Right under the gondola, you’ll see the Matterhorn mountain. The most famous mountain in Switzerland!
Off the Matterhorn, there is a typical Swiss train but with the extra of a steam locomotive. The steam then would create another Swiss Cross.
On the back plate, there is yet again a Swiss Cross, filled with chocolate, a cowbell, swiss cheese and a watch. All symbols of what Switzerland stands for. The watch in the middle also represents “the time is now”, time for the 2018 Games to start, time for the hockey tournament to start, time for us to show what we’ve got, and lastly time for me to show my performance. The Swiss Cross has angle wings on the left and right. These wings are now called the Swiss wings, hopefully making us fly far during these Olympic Games.
Also, there are Edelweiss flowers all over the mask, a representation of a typical and common Swiss flower.
Lastly, and this is the most important part! There are approximately 364 little stones, representing the most important people that have brought me to where I am today as an athlete, but also as a person. The list is long, my parents, family, relatives, coaches, teachers, teammates and many more are in there. On that list, there are also people that I don’t personally know and they might not even know who I am, but they have inspired me at one point in my life.
With that being said, a huge thank you for everyone that has supported me throughout my life as an athlete and as a person! Thank you, thank you, thank you!
Let me know if you have any questions about my mask, I’d be more than willing to answer!