The Queen in the Mountains has retired, long live the Queen! After joining the biggest stage in hockey in 2004 at the age of 15 Florence Schelling has risen through the ranks to become one third of the Golden Trio. Now though Schelling’s time as a goalie has ended and so has a Golden Era in women’s hockey. It’s unfortunate too because it feels like exposure in women’s hockey is starting to finally ramp up. In took us a decade after Schelling made her first international appearance to realize just how good she is when she should earned the recognition sooner. Now that Schelling is starting to be recognized as one of the best goalies in the game she’s leaving but she’s more than made her mark and it’s up to us to acknowledge the generational talent that is Florence Schelling.
In women’s hockey we’re used to seeing U20 and even U18 players make the Olympic and World Championship rosters especially at the lower levels of the WHC’s. Usually these players are forwards and defenders rarely do we see young goalies make these top flight rosters yet that’s what Schelling did when she was 15yo when she made the Swiss WHC 2004 Top Division roster. Schelling not only made the roster but played the majority of minutes and ending up 3rd in WHC GSAA over veterans like Chanda Gunn, Pam Dreyer, and Hong Guo. Then two years later before Schelling had even turned 17yo she made the Swiss Olympic roster where she once again finished 3rd in GSAA posting a 1.000 QS% all at the age of 16. The only other goalie to have this type of start to her career? Noora Raty.
From there it should have been obvious that Florence Schelling was going to be something special just like Noora Raty was as Florence Schelling had never let go of the starting role on the Swiss national team. This is because even at a young age Schelling not only provided consistency but elite consistency. In Schelling’s ten WHC appearances she had seven Top 3 finishes in both GSAA and SV% while also posting an average 3.338 GSAA over her ten WHC appearances. Her 3.338 GSAA/Appearance is the best among goalies that have had three or more WHC appearances.
Schelling’s WHC career alone earns her a place among the Queens of the Crease. She finished her WHC career with 41 Games Played, 40 Starts, a 20-17-3 record, 34.7 SA/60, 5 SO’s, 0.775 QS%, 33.377 GSAA, 0.826 GSAA/60, 1x Bronze Medalist, 1x All-Star, and 1x Top Goalie. This places Schelling 1st in WHC games played, 1st in Wins, 3rd in Shutouts, 4th in QS% (min. 10 starts), and 1st in GSAA not to mention the GSAA/WHC appearance and Top 3 finishes mentioned above. Schelling was the main reason from 2007 and onwards the Swiss never fell from the Top Division of the WHC. The other part of Schelling’s international career are the jewels earned on Schelling’s crown, the Olympics.
In the Olympics Schelling finishes with 18 GP/Started, 10-6-1 Record, 35.6 SA/60, 5 SO’s, 0.722 QS%, 12.002 GSAA, 0.665 GSAA/60, 1x Top Goalie/All-Star/MVP, 1x Top 3 SV% Finish, 3x Top 3 GSAA Finish and a 3.001 GSAA per Olympic Appearance. This accounts for Schelling being 1st in GP, tied for 1st in Wins, 1st in Shutouts, 7th in QS% (min. 5 starts), and 1st in Olympic GSAA. The prowess of Schelling’s Olympic career is only matched by another third of the Golden Trio Shannon Szabados. We could go into talking about Schelling’s SDHL career and her NCAA career but that’s already been covered in depth for the Greatest Goalies in Women’s Hockey History project as well as the upcoming 2018 Giants in the Crease Goalie Guide.
The last part I want to touch one is Schelling’s legacy and her impact on the game. Because of Florence Schelling we as hockey fans were given a Golden Era of goaltending from 2010 to 2018. Through the history of the game we’ve been given strong duo’s of goalies from the top hockey nations in the world. Never have we been given a trio as close and strong as the Florence Schelling/Shannon Szabados/Noora Raty Golden Trio. These three Titans, Queens, Warriors, etc. have battled it out for eight years and made it known they are the top 3 goalies to ever play in women’s hockey. So what happens next? Will we ever see a trio as dominant as them? Will we ever see a goalie from a small hockey nation make their impact the way Schelling has? If Schelling has her way then we will see a goalie rise up from a smaller hockey nation and follow Schelling’s path. With the work that Schelling has done to help her fellow goalies she is a leader both on and off the ice blazing a bright path for a new Queen in a new Trio.
So to Florence Schelling we raise our glass of whatever we are drinking tonight to you. Thank you for all you’ve done and all you’ve gone through. We wish you the best and hopefully you don’t leave hockey for too long as a Kingdom needs a Queen.