It remains to convert it on the ice, and for its first real test, in an ice rink filled with more than 8,000 fans and won over to the cause of the Swiss, Patrick Fischer’s troupe delivered the part that was expected of it. Faced with needy Canadians, the white cross players managed their meeting well. If Nico Hischier had not tried to score a goal between the legs when he could give his team a three-point lead, Switzerland would have been spared a somewhat tense end to the match. But make no mistake: they were unquestionably the best team on the ice.
History shows the way
After an initial third dominated by Switzerland, it took until the middle period to see the nets shake. And it was the Canadians who scored first. A goal dropped mid-match in power-play which left a mixed aftertaste in the mouths of the Swiss. Because this numerical advantage was caused by a foul by Nino Niederreiter and the Grison could have been seriously injured a few seconds earlier.
Joe Veleno had given him a kick that could have had terrible consequences. That’s why things got worse in front of the Canadian goal. But, fortunately for the men of Patrick Fischer, this opening of the opposing score did not calm their enthusiasm.
They were able to count on their first line and on a gala Nico Hischier. In the 34th, the center of the New Jersey Devils offered a nice number in the Canadian defense before placing the puck out of reach of goalkeeper Samuel Montembeault. The Swiss did not stop there. In the 37th, under the impetus of the excellent Gaëtan Haas, Dario Simion was able to take advantage of a rebound following a throw from Marti to give his colors the advantage.
The safety goal came from the cane of Andres Ambühl. The eternal Grison took advantage of a completely failed change of line from the maple leaf players to give Switzerland a breath of fresh air (3-1 in the 53rd).
There are two games left for the undefeated national team to secure first place in Group B: the Czech Republic on Sunday, then Latvia on Tuesday. The quarter-finals, in which Patrick Fischer and his men are already sure to participate, begin on Thursday.