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Czech-mate for Swiss side

Czech Jan Marek (L) fights for the puck with Monnet (R)

(Keystone)

The Swiss ice hockey team have lost the second of two warm-up matches against the Czech Republic, offsetting a 3-2 win the previous day.

Ralf Krueger's side lost 3-4 to their Czech opponents, who showed a lot more determination on Friday after their defeat the night before.

Meanwhile, the Swiss side - missing some key players due to the play-offs at home - had to make do with just five defenders and clearly ran out of steam by the end of the game.

The Czech side polished off the match with a late goal by defender Marek Zidlicky, despite valiant efforts by Adrain Wichser and Alain Demuth to equalise. Loic Burkhalter, Marc Reichert and Steve Hirschi each scored a goal apiece during the match, played in Mlada Boleslav, Czech Republic.

However, Krueger said he was satisfied with both games, saying that the Swiss had to contend with tough opponents. He added he was particularly pleased at the performances of new players.

"The performances from Beat Gerber and Steve Hirschi reminded me of the debuts of Mathias Seger and Mark Streit during the 97/98 season," Krueger said.

Krueger said he was also impressed by newcomers Thibaut Monnet and Burkhalter.

"The field is still wide open for team selection for the world championships," he said. But he added that there was "no question" about the fact that Arx, Jenni, Salis, Keller, Vauclair and Aebischer would all be included in the national team, following their Olympic performances.

swissinfo with agencies

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