Swiss slay China

JIM BENDER, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 7:21 AM ET

The Swiss proved themselves to be a legitimate threat to earn a trip to the bronze- medal match last night.

Forward Laura Ruhnke scored a pair of goals to lead Switzerland to a 5-1 victory over a dangerous Team China in a 2007 Women's World Hockey Championship contest before 4,048 spectators at the MTS Centre.

"It was kind of a revenge game because we qualified for the Olympics over China and we thought they were going to come out hard," Ruhnke said. "We wanted to prove that we were the right team to go and we used that for motivation as well.

"It was a really positive experience for our team and for women's hockey in Switzerland. It's always great when we can make the next step and compete at the international level. And it's a lot of fun when you can score a lot of goals."

The victory gives Switzerland a leg up on the race to qualify for the bronze-medal match in the second group.

China plays Sweden at the MTS Centre today at 3:30 p.m.

"That was a big win," said Swiss coach Rene Kammerer. "We've got one place more in the world ranking now, too, and that's important.

"The Swedish team is very physical and stronger. But with our team, anything is possible now."

The Swiss have today off to rest up for tomorrow's showdown with the Swedes, whom they have never beaten on the international stage.

The Swiss upset Germany to advance to the second round and the Swedes may be starting to feel uncomfortable as they were previously upset by Finland.

"We're going to do our best on the ice and see what we can do," Ruhnke said. "I guess it will come down to our game ... We've exceeded all our expectations already so we don't have much to lose on the ice. Anything's possible.

"(Winning the bronze) would be a very successful week and a nice way to go home."

Stefanie Marty and Ruhnke scored just 35 seconds apart with less than seven minutes left to salt the game away.


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