This was a tough one and might be what a lot of people will disagree over. There’s a thin margin separating 3rd from 4th on this list. While Meeri Raisanen made a name for herself recently at the 2016 World Championship and rightfully earned a lot of fans, I still have to go with Florence Schelling. This is also the tough spot where you are comparing the quality of the team in front of the goalie along with the quality of the leagues they play in.
It’s no secret that the Swiss as a team/organization in women’s hockey needs to improve up front. Apart from being obviously behind Canada/USA the Swiss are also behind Finland, Sweden, and Russia. Look at the past Olympics in Sochi. The highest scoring player had 3 points in 6 games. It’s nearly impossible to win with that kind of offensive support. Despite that Schelling turned in the best performance of the Olympics to win her team the Bronze Medal.
And that wasn’t a performance that anyone can forget either. Every so often there are those goalies who put a real scare into your team and make you doubt yourself. In the Semi-Final game against Team Canada it was one of those moments where if you were a Canadian fan you started to have some doubts creep in when the Swiss scored to turn it into a 3-1 game. Usually Canada has to wait until playing the USA for a close game but this time it was the Swiss giving Canada a close game because of Florence Schelling.
On the world’s biggest stage for international hockey Florence Schelling did what the men’s team has yet to do and win a medal. Even if you don’t remember Schelling’s saves or the even the Bronze medal game, just look at Schelling’s accomplishments from Sochi: All-Star team, Top Goalie, Bronze Medal and Most Valuable Player. Schelling came to play, dragged her team to the Bronze Medal game and her team did the rest by scoring four goals in the 3rd period.
Looking at her play recently we see that Schelling’s team were the Swedish Women’s League Finalists and the Swiss avoiding relegation at the Women World’s Championship in 2016. Considering very few people in North America follow the European women’s leagues it’s understandable that Schelling’s hype has fallen.