On the same day that the Russian men's hockey team played its much-anticipated showdown with the United States, the Russian women were eliminated from medal contention, losing to Switzerland, 2-0.
Stefanie Marty's first-period goal was the difference, while Lara Stadler's empty-net score with just 21 seconds remaining wrapped things up for the Swiss.
But it was Swiss goalie Florence Schelling who was the hero, as Owen Bradley of BBC Radio noted:
Russia's women are out, losing 2-0 to Switzerland. Florence Schelling outstanding for the Swiss, posting a 41-shot shutout. #sochi2014— Owen Bradley (@OwenBradley) February 15, 2014
Schelling tweeted the following yesterday before the game.
You may see Schelling in that picture, but when the Russians look at it, they see a brick wall.
Russia held nearly every advantage except in the final score. They outshot the Swiss, 41-27. They had eight minutes on the power play to just two for Switzerland. They even had the home crowd urging them on in a game they were expected to win.
But it simply wasn't enough, and it was a pretty shocking result, as Dan Marrazza of NBC Sports tweeted:
On the other side of the lot, the #Russian women's team just got knocked out in a stunning upset by Switzerland... Not Russia's finest hour— Dan Marrazza (@DanMarrazza) February 15, 2014
Ben Rothenberg of The New York Times was surprised as well:
Meanwhile on women's hockey side, Switzerland knocks out Russia 2-0 in quarterfinals. Bit of surprise, given their group results. #Sochi2014— Ben Rothenberg (@BenRothenberg) February 15, 2014
Switzerland not only didn't win a game in the preliminary round, they were outscored, 18-3. Contrast that to Russia, which won all three of their preliminary games and outscored their opponents, 9-3. Granted, Switzerland played in the far more competitive Group A, but they still had absolutely no momentum heading into this contest.
Of course, Switzerland's reward for defeating the Russians will be a date with the mighty Canadians, who have won 18 straight Olympic games and defeated the United States in the preliminary round, 3-2.
Russia, meanwhile, cannot medal but will look to win their last two games to salvage some pride. They'll begin with a match against Japan, a team that has never won in the Olympics and scored their first Olympic goal against, you guessed it, the Russians.
Russia won that game, however, 2-1, a narrow margin that surprised some folks. Perhaps it was an indication that the Russians simply weren't quite ready to compete for a medal in these games.
The Swiss will now fancy their chances at a bronze medal, however.