By Bill Brophy for WCHA.com
Janine Alder couldn't have been more excited when she got the call on the St. Cloud State campus a few weeks ago. The Huskies' sophomore goalie was selected to play in her second-straight Winter Olympics.
"It is every players' dream to go there and to walk into the opening ceremony and play in those games," said Alder a few days after learning she would represent Switzerland in Pyeongchang, South Korea. "I feel there are many more thrills to come."
Alder had one of those thrills Sunday when she made 19 saves and posted a shutout in her Olympic debut. Switzerland blanked Korea, 2-0, to advance to the fifth-place contest in the 2018 Games.
"It was just awesome to get game time and it all worked out perfectly," said Alder. "It's one of the best days of my life, getting to play and then having such a good performance from everybody."
The Swiss, who had a bronze medal at the 2014 Games in Sochi, Russia, will play Japan, which beat Sweden, 2-1 in overtime Sunday. Sweden will play Korea Tuesday in the seventh-eighth place game.
Here is a recap of the classification games: http://www.nbcolympics.com/news/switzerland-beats-korea-2-0-advancing-fifth-place-game
Here is a recap of the Swiss victory: http://pyeongchang2018.iihf.hockey/women/news/sui-cor-class/
There are 37 current and former Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) athletes competing in the 2018 Games and 30 of them will play in the Olympics' version of the Frozen Four.
The semifinals begin Monday and here is a preview: http://www.nbcolympics.com/news/olympic-hockey-day-10-preview
Four-time Olympic defending champion Canada will face OAR at 6:10 a.m. (CST) Monday in one semifinal. The United States, winners of the last four world championships, will play Finland in a game that begins at 10:10 p.m. CST tonight.
Gigi Marvin is an Olympic veteran for Team USA. The former Minnesota standout had many hours of physical therapy that allowed her to get back to the Olympic stage. Here is her story of perseverance and belief in God: http://www.startribune.com/years-of-therapy-prayer-get-team-usa-s-gigi-marvin-back-on-ice-to-olympics/474402353/
Former North Dakota star Michelle Karvinen knows her Finnish team is a distinct underdog tonight and also knows hockey fans want a Canada vs. USA matchup for the gold medal, but she says don't count out Finland tonight against the U.S.: http://pyeongchang2018.iihf.hockey/women/news/fin-swe/
The bronze medal game is set for Wednesday and the gold medal game is on Thursday.
The standings from Pool A and Pool B's preliminary rounds are here: http://pyeongchang2018.iihf.hockey/women/
Also, Sarah Murray, a former athlete at Minnesota Duluth, is the coach of the historic Korean team and she said Saturday that she plans to continue coaching after the Games. A story is here: http://www.nbcolympics.com/news/south-korea-hockey-coach-will-stay-two-more-years
Switzerland's Alina Muller is the top scorer in the tournament with 10 points (7 goals, 3 assists) and her teammate Christine Meier has eight (0-8). Stalder (3 goals, 3 assists) is third in Olympic scoring with six points and has one more point than Karvinen (3 goals, 2 assists). Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson, a former North Dakota star, is Team USA's top scorer with three points (2-1), tying her with UMD alumna Pernilla Winberg of Sweden (2-1).
Among other WCHA alumnae in the tournament, Brianna Decker has two points with two assists and Finland's Minnamari Tuominen (1-1) also has two points. Canada's Sarah Nurse, Sweden's Johanna Fällman, Canada's Haley Irwin, and Team USA's Monique Lamoureux-Morando, Gigi Marvin, Hannah Brandt and Dani Cameranesi have each scored one goal apiece. Canada's Jocelyn Larocque and Brigette Lacquette, and the United States' Meghan Duggan and Hilary Knight each have an assist, and Annie Svedin of Sweden registered an assist Saturday. Finland's Noora Räty has two victories, a 2.29 goals-against average and a .924 save percentage in tournament play, while Maddie Rooney of Team USA, Alder and Ann-Renée Desbiens of Canada (also a shutout) have posted goaltending victories.
Team USA includes 14 former and current WCHA players. Team Canada includes nine former and current WCHA players, while Team Finland has seven, Team Sweden features five WCHA alumnae and Team Switzerland has two players with WCHA ties.
Here is the breakdown of WCHA players on the rosters.
* -- denotes that player has eligibility remaining
Goaltenders (2): Alex Rigsby, Wisconsin; *Maddie Rooney, Minnesota Duluth
Defense (4): Monique Lamoureux-Morando, North Dakota; Gigi Marvin, Minnesota; Lee Stecklein, Minnesota; Sidney Morin, Minnesota Duluth
Forwards (8): Hannah Brandt, Minnesota; Dani Cameranesi, Minnesota; Brianna Decker, Wisconsin; Meghan Duggan, Wisconsin; Amanda Kessel, Minnesota Hilary Knight, Wisconsin; Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson, North Dakota; *Kelly Pannek, Minnesota
Goaltender (1): Ann-Renée Desbiens, Wisconsin
Defense (3): Brigette Lacquette, Minnesota Duluth; Jocelyne Larocque, Minnesota Duluth; Meaghan Mikkelson, Wisconsin
Forwards (5): *Emily Clark, Wisconsin; Haley Irwin, Minnesota Duluth; Sarah Nurse, Wisconsin; Natalie Spooner, Ohio State; Blayre Turnbull, Wisconsin
Goalie (2): Noora Räty, Minnesota; Eveliina Suonpää, Minnesota Duluth
Defense (1): Mira Jalosuo, Minnesota
Forwards (4): Michelle Karvinen, North Dakota; Susanna Tapani, North Dakota; Emma Nuutinen, North Dakota; Minnamari Tuominen, Ohio State
Defense (3): Johanna Fallman, North Dakota; Emilia Andersson Ramboldt, Minnesota State; Annie Svedin, Ohio State
Forwards (2): Maria Lindh, Minnesota Duluth; Pernilla Winberg, Minnesota Duluth
Goalie (1): *Janine Alder, St. Cloud State
Forwards (1): Lara Stalder, Minnesota Duluth