Some time has gone by now and I was able to process the entire season and especially the loss in the final to Lulea. Overall, I can be extremely proud of my entire season. I don’t many were counting on me on coming back that strong from such an MCL/ACL injury like I had last year. Did I count on such a comeback? Yes and no.
Throughout the entire season, I was wrestling with my positive and negative thoughts. It was especially difficult in August when I started working out 100% again and then later started with on-ice practices. To be able to get back into the “hockey-shape” is probably the hardest thing I’ve ever done and many times, I was wondering if it’ll be worth it and if all that sweat and tears would be worth it. Gladly, after surviving the 1st month and then a 2nd month, I was determined that I will make this season one to remember. Either for the national team, Linköping or for me.
If I can make it through these first months of hell, then I can pull through with it the entire season and be the best I want and needed to be. Of course there were times where I was doubting my ability and times where I wasn’t able to be the best I needed to be. As last season, this season didn’t come without little injuries that were minor setbacks. The first injury occurred in September when I got a “skithumb”, that I was carrying with me all season… Further, after national team tournament in Germany in January, I tore my left groin and was unable to play for 3 games. That’s when I decided to go back home to Switzerland to do rehab in order to not jeopardize my participation at the Olympics. After that, all went pretty smooth until 10 minutes left in this year’s season, when during a safe, I pulled my hamstring. Like I said, no major injuries, but still small setbacks that make it harder to stay motivated.
I can be very proud of my achievements this season. I think my performance exceeded my expectations and I was even able to step it up a notch for the playoffs. I was statistically the best goalie during the regular season, also during the playoffs and earnedthe “Best Goalkeeper of the Season” Award in my league, a great recognition for all the hard work I put in.
Although we did not win the gold helmet, I consider myself lucky to even have gotten to the final and made it to the third and final game. After the first quarterfinal game against AIK, it certainly did not look like we would make it all the way to the final. In the final, Lulea was just the better team and they deserved to win that championship. Congratulations to them!
It feels like it was a very short season, so good thing we went over 3 games in all the playoff rounds, had to make the best of the time, right? 😊
Anyways, with the season over now, I was hoping to get some time to breath and enjoy myself, but unfortunately I have quite a few commitments at university that won’t allow me to take any time off. So until mid-June, when I graduate, I’ll be swamped with university work. But then, then I’ll take a nice vacation and I’m really looking forward to that.
I hope you all have a fantastic spring!
I hope you all had a great week with Easter break, got to enjoy your family and eat lots of Easter eggs!
I’ve had another crazy week with the play-off final week and the Stanford Students from my university project on a visit in Linköping during that time. The Stanford Students flew in Sunday, so after our last semi-final game on Sunday, we met up with them and went for a quick dinner before going home to recover and prepare for “hell week”.
Monday morning, the entire project group (4 Linköping students, 3 Stanford Students and 3 Teachers) went for a company visit to Saab. It was a few very interesting hours, where we got to hear lots about Saab’s background but then also were able to fly in a fighter jet simulator and look at an original fighter jet and so on. Lots of new information, lots to process. In the afternoon, we were scheduled to visit the Linköping aviation museum, but unfortunately, that was closed that afternoon and instead we went back to our office to work. It was a long day, very intensive, so I was actually happy that we had the evening off from practice.
All day Tuesday, the project group and myself were in Stockholm for some sightseeing and team bonding. We split up in two groups and did a scavenger hunt through Stockholm. With very tired legs, I went to practice in the evening, which was to no surprise a terrible practice. After practice, I went home and took a cold bath, which worked wonders!
Wednesday morning, I spent the entire morning at university with the project group working and around noon, I went home to get ready for the game. I had a good lunch and then a two hour nap from 2 – 4 pm, basically right up to when we left for the game.
Game #1, was a crazy game. Fun to have a home game during the week again, after having away games the last 3 weeks during the week. The warm-up was terrible, but I’m actually not worried about that anymore. I’m so experienced, that even if I had a bad warm-up, I can bounce for the game. So actually, once the game started, I felt great in net, barely left any rebounds and if I did, they were controlled ones. I was confident and really thought we could win this game 1. Unfortunately, Lulea’s goalie had an incredible game and we did not manage to score during the entire game, even though we were the better team. With one minute left in the game and a score of 0:0, Lulea managed to score of a face off with a screen in front of me. Game one went to Lulea even though we were the better team. I was disappointed, but not really at the same time. We played so well, I figured we would just do it in 3 games again.
Thursday morning we had practice and then headed to Stockholm Arlanda airport to take the plane to Lulea. It was a rather relaxing day although we were busy from morning till evening when we finally got to the hotel.
Friday morning, gameday #2. We slept in until 9am and had a bigger breakfast at the Scandic hotel before we went for a 30-minute team walk in the area. Right after the walk, we went back to our room and put our legs up against the wall for 20 minutes and then took a 30-minute nap before we had a light lunch. Right after lunch, I went to take another 1-hour nap before heading to the rink at 2pm. What a game again, pretty identical than the game on Wednesday, except the other way around. I had a pretty brutal warm-up again and then felt great again for the game. Even better puck control and less rebounds than on Wednesday. The other way around, because this time, Lulea was so much better than us this time. But we ended up winning the game with a goal with less than 1 minute before the end of the game.
With that, we were to play the championship game on Saturday at 4pm.
The entire morning on Saturday was exactly the same than on Friday. I had such a good feeling, I was ready for that championship game. Ready to go out and play and win that final. It all came out differently, we did not play well at all, including me. Actually, I played terrible. So the disappointment when we last that game, was so big, and it still is. I wish I could have played one more good game and give the team a chance to win the championship.
But it is what it is now and there is no turning back anymore.
We travelled back home to Linköping on Sunday and had a team dinner in the evening before a lot of our players left to go to their Worlds.
Once I’ve absorbed losing the Championship, I’ll write another blog post about the season reflection, so stay tuned.
Last week was a crazy and a very much different kind of week.
I think for the first time since the beginning of the season we had a Monday off from practice. It was a good feeling to get a Monday off and take that night to recover and recharge for Wednesday’s game.
Further, we had an early wake up on Tuesday as we left with the bus for our road trip to Örnsköldsvik at 8am from Linköping. Our first stop we mad in Sandviken shortly before 1pm where we went on the ice for a one-hour practice. It was really good to get up and get out of the bus and move. That way the long bus ride did not actually feel that long. Around 3pm, we continued our trip to Örnskölsvik until shortly before 9pm when we finally got to the rink and hotel. Once at the hotel, we had a quick dinner before heading to our rooms of 4 (!) for the night.
Wednesday was quite the chill morning. We were able to sleep in a bit and then went for a walk with the team before just hanging out at the hotel. During that time, I tried to get some school work done since I was missing quite some time at school with being on the road during the week. After lunch time, I took a 2-hour nap and then we headed to the rink for the first semi-final game against Modo.
The first game was good, everything felt so good. I knew that we were going to win that game. It wasn’t going to be easy but I was confident. The game itself started off being very physical, many penalties were called. So we had to adapt our game, but I didn’t think that would change our chances. Towards the end of the second period, Modo got a ‘too many men’ penalty on which we were able to capitalize and take a 1-0 lead in the game. What a good feeling going into the 3rd period with a lead and knowing that we don’t necessarily need to score anymore but just play safe. We ended up winning the game 2-0 and take the lead in the series.
After the game, we got back on the bus and were headed back home to Linköping. It was a long night with little sleep… We were finally home before 8am on Thursday. The rest of Thursday was a blur, not much sleep, went to school, it was tough. Happy that we had another night off though, so I could go to bed early and catch up on a bit of sleep.
Friday morning I spent in school working on my Master Thesis. For lunch I went downtown with Courtney and hung out there until practice Friday afternoon/evening. Friday was a better day than Thursday, although I still felt very tired. So practice on Friday was actually not really good, but I tried to make the best out of it.
Game #2 on Saturday was a hell of a game. I truly believe, Saturday’s game was the best game I played all season, but we came up short. I was exhausted after 2 periods, but was trying my best to stay in the game and give the team a chance to win. After 3 periods, we had to go into a 10min overtime. During the overtime I think my brain shut off and I my body was just doing something. It went well, until we went into shootout. I got scored twice in a row, and we ended up losing the game 3-2. That meant that we had to play another game on Sunday.
Game #3 on Sunday… After Saturday’s game, I didn’t think I could recover for Sunday’s game. I woke up and felt like I was run over by a truck, not a good sign. Once I went to the rink, I still felt terrible and was hoping for a really good warm-up. That didn’t happen either… By the time that game started, I wasn’t sure how I will be a good backbone for the team. I tried to stay positive though and actually once I made my first save, I felt great. I wasn’t tired, my legs were functioning and my head was on full focus. 60 minutes later, we won the 3rd game 3-0 and we are off to the final…
This was a crazy week, but wait for this upcoming week. It’ll be even more crazy! We are facing off against Lulea in a best-of-3 series in the playoff final. First game is on Wednesday at home and Friday/Saturday in Lulea. Lots of travelling again.
I’m super excited to be in the final and can’t wait for that series to start, it’s going to be tough, but surely lots of fun!
Wish us luck!
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! 😊