Entering the third period, it looked like Sweden would finish the Olympics with its third medal in women’s ice hockey. Instead, Switzerland stormed back to win its first, beating the Swedes 4-3 thanks to a spirited final frame.
As NBC’s Daniel Marrazza notes, it’s been ages since any Swiss Olympic team earned an ice hockey medal regardless of gender:
It’s also been some time since there has been some variety in women’s teams earning medal. Before Thursday, only four nations have reached the podium since the sport debuted in 1998.
Switzerland’s game-winning goal ended up being an empty-netter, while their third goal came from Jessica Lutz (pictured wearing No. 17), who makes coffee for a living, as this Washington Post story details.
Her boss knew. Some co-workers and maybe a few of the regulars did, too. But it’s safe to say most passed through the small coffee shop in Northwest Washington, ordered their Americanos and macchiatos and had no clue the smiley barista was bound for the Olympics. And they surely would have never guessed that Jessica Lutz — born in the United States, raised in Rockville, educated in Connecticut — would be representing a country 5,000 miles away.
In a tournament where competitive balance was regularly questioned, the Swiss showed that hockey results are rarely preordained.