Bolgareva nets hat trick in ROC victory over Switzerland

Posted at 9:24 PM, Feb 03, 2022

Switzerland's women's hockey team had a rough go of things in their first game of the 2022 Winter Olympics. They were flat out dominated against a vastly superior Canadian team early Thursday morning, falling by a score of 12-1 and being outshot 70-15 — not a typo. And then late Thursday night the Swiss had the tough task of taking on a fresh ROC team playing its first contest of these Games.

Their second tilt at the Olympic tournament wasn't nearly as lopsided as the drubbing they suffered against Canada, but the Swiss were once again outmatched for the second consecutive day, falling to the Russian athletes by a score of 5-2.

Unlike their game against Canada, Switzerland did an admirable job of staying with the ROC for much of the contest. They hung around with the ROC squad in the shots department (31-30 in ROC's favor) and were strong in the faceoff circle, winning over 63 percent of their draws. Still, they were unable to find the back of the net when they needed to, and it cost them in the long run.

Russian forward Yekaterina Dobrodeyeva broke the ice a little under six minutes into the game after cleaning up a rebound in front of Switzerland netminder Andrea Braendli. The ROC held onto the 1-0 lead for much of the opening stanza, but Swiss captain Lara Stalder knotted the game up with a power-play laser at the 17:16 mark of the period. Fortunately for the ROC, though, it took only 13 seconds for Polina Bolgareva to score her first of three goals in the tilt after she had a shot redirect past Braendli.

The Swiss didn't quit after falling behind again late in the first period — they actually scored a shorthanded goal (courtesy of Alina Mueller) early in the second period to tie the game again. From there, though, it was all ROC. Anna Shibanova put the ROC back on top with a one-timed shot from the point at the 10:30 mark of the middle period, then Bolgareva went on to net two more goals of her own — one of which coming shorthanded — to complete the hat trick and give the ROC the three-goal advantage.

It feels pretty safe to say that Bolgareva, who was making her Olympic debut against Switzerland, probably couldn't have asked for a better start to the tournament.

The ROC will next hit the ice Saturday morning against the United States at 8:10 a.m. ET. Switzerland's next game also comes against the Americans. Puck drop for that tilt is set for 8:10 a.m. ET on February 6.

Click here to view all the stats from ROC's win over Switzerland, and click here to watch the full event replay from start to finish.