Ice HockeyTen things to know about the U20 World Cup
From December 26, in Canada, the Swiss team will try to qualify for the quarter-finals of a tournament spied on by NHL recruiters.
Switzerland 8th in 2022
In 2022, after the tournament was postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Swiss team finished 8th in the tournament which was played in August in Edmonton. In the quarter-finals, it lost 6-3 to Canada, future gold medalist. She had left Alberta with only one victory (3-2 against Austria in the group stage).
Moncton as home
The 2023 edition will be held from December 26 to January 5 in Halifax (Nova Scotia) and Moncton (New Brunswick), Canada. Switzerland will be based in Moncton, the birthplace and residence of former LNB points collector Derek Cormier. She will deliver her four group matches at the Center Avenir, an ice rink built in 2018, which can accommodate 8,500 spectators and which is the usual home of the Wildcats in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.
Finland to start
In the first phase of the tournament, the Swiss will face Finland, the reigning vice-world champion (December 26 at 5 p.m.), Latvia (December 27 at 10 p.m.), the United States (December 29 at 10 p.m.) and Slovakia (December 31 at 5 p.m.). Based in Halifax, the other group is made up of Canada, Sweden, the Czech Republic, Germany and Austria.
The quarters in the viewfinder
In their group, each nation plays four matches. At the end of this phase, the first four teams of each group reach the quarter-finals, an objective which is that of Switzerland. The last of each group will play for its place at the first level of the world elite in a series of best of 3 matches. The loser of this duel is relegated.
A very foreign Switzerland
The Swiss framework was made up of 28 players, twelve of whom play in foreign formations. The final cut has been reduced to 24 players (below).
Two of these hockey players have already been drafted by an NHL team: defender Brian Zanetti (4th round by Philadelphia in 2021) and Solothurn back Lian Bichsel (1st round by Dallas in 2022).
Bayer, Act III
For the third time, Switzerland M20 is led by Zurich’s Marco Bayer (50), former defender of ZSC Lions, Kloten, Zug, Davos, Ambri, Rapperswil and Langnau in the LNA.
The favorite is Canadian
Holder of the title, Canada is favorite to succeed itself. The Maple Leaf Nation is brimming with talent in the offensive sector, including Shane Wright (4th overall pick in the 2022 NHL Draft) as well as Connor Bedard and Adam Fantilli, the likely first and second picks in the 2023 draft. Behind the Canadian bench, there will be a well-known face in Switzerland. Former rear of Sierre and Basel, Stéphane Julien is indeed one of the assistants of coach Dennis Williams.
Canada and others
Canada is the most successful country in the competition. The maple leaf has adorned itself with gold 19 times. Follow Russia (and USSR) with 13 conquests, the United States (5) and Finland (5).
10 years, 3 countries
For ten years, the trophy has only been owned by three nations: Canada (2015, 2018 and 2020, 2022), the United States (2013, 2017 and 2021) and Finland (2014, 2016 and 2019) .
A Swiss medal
In history, Switzerland has climbed onto the podium once. In 1998, in Finland, it was adorned with bronze following its victory against the Czech Republic in the final for third place (4-3).
David Aebischer had been the great craftsman of this fantastic epic. The Friborg goalkeeper, who allowed only 1.58 goals per game, was named the tournament’s best goalkeeper.