Switzerland's continued their preparations for the upcoming ice hockey world championships with a 4-2 friendly win in the Czech Republic on Friday.This content was published on April 6, 2001 - 22:30
Already without the services of Switzerland's North America-based stars, Swiss coach Ralph Krueger was also unable to call upon any players from Lugano or the Zurich Lions, since the two teams are still involved in the Swiss league playoffs.
Nevertheless his makeshift team put on an impressive display, scoring their first goal through Ivo Rüthemann during a powerplay in only the second minute of the match. A minute before the end of the first period, Patrick Sutter doubled Switzerland's lead, again on a powerplay, before Alain Demuth made it 3-0 with the only goal of the second period.
The Czech team had to wait until the 44th minute before getting themselves on the scoresheet, Martinek scoring a powerplay goal to reduce Switzerland's lead to 3-1.
Just four minutes later, though, the Swiss were cruising once more, with the Ukrainian-born Vitali Lakhmatov scoring a goal on his international debut. The Czech Republic's second goal came late on in the match, Cajanek beating Langnau's goalie Martin Gerber with just two minutes remaining.
Krueger used Friday's game to try out seven new players, but it was one of his most experienced players, Zug's André Rötheli, who the coach singled out for praise.
"He was the brains of the team in the powerplays, and was at the heart of our two opening goals," Krueger pointed out.
As well as the latest win, the Swiss coach's preparations have been boosted by news from Canada that Edmonton have released Michel Riesen for the world championships. Riesen will join up with the national team on Thursday, following Saturday's second match against the Czech Republic and Wednesday's friendly against Sweden.
swissinfo with agencies