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Krueger's first cut

Krueger's men begin their Olympic countdown on Wednesday Keystone

Switzerland ice hockey coach Ralph Krueger has slimmed down his squad for next week's international schedule, giving some clues as to his likely line-up for next year's Winter Olympics.

This content was published on November 1, 2001 - 14:38

Goalkeepers Reto Pavoni and Marco Bührer have been dropped for the match in Zurich and next weekend's Deutschland Cup competition, along with Zug defender Patrick Fischer II and forwards Björn Christen and Mattia Baldi.

Pavoni seems to have the most reason to be disappointed following his impressive performances in the Swiss goal during the 1999 world championships in St Petersburg.

In naming his latest selection, Krueger insisted that Pavoni had not been completely ruled out for the Winter Olympics, "because we can't definitely reckon on the services of (Swiss Stanley Cup winner) David Aebischer yet."

However with next week's matches forming the Swiss team's only gatherings prior to their pre-Olympic get-together in January, time is clearly running out for those not currently in the squad.

Injuries have ruled Davos forwards Patrick Fischer and Thierry Paterlini out of next week's programme although both could still figure in Krueger's plans for Salt Lake City.

Two young defenders have managed to force their way into the reduced squad, with Bern's David Jobin and Kloten's Martin Höhener receiving their first international call-ups.

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