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Switzerland to face Team Canada

Ralph Krueger speaks to players of Switzerland's national hockey team Keystone

Switzerland's national hockey team is playing its first match of the season against Team Canada on Wednesday at Zurich's Hallenstadion.

The friendly match – the first of four to be played in the coming five days – will give the Swiss an opportunity to prove their credentials with just over three months to go until the start of the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City.

Ralph Krueger, the team’s coach, said he hopes to win all four upcoming matches. Last year, Team Canada defeated the Swiss team 6-4 during an encounter at the Hallenstadion.

After its match against Canada, the Swiss team will head on Thursday for Germany, to participate in the Deutschland Cup.

“Last year, we finished second in the tournament,” the Swiss coach said. “But this time, we’re going to win it.

“This week’s victories will reinforce our team spirit before the Olympics.”

In Germany, Switzerland will play Slovakia on Friday. The Swiss players will then face the Canadians on Saturday and the German team on Sunday.

Switzerland plays two more friendly games against Slovakia in the United States, before the start of the Olympics.

“Besides good results, I hope we’ll impose our tactics on the ice,” Krueger said. “I hope we won’t wait until the second period to react.”

The statement was made in regard to the match Switzerland lost against Canada last year. The Swiss team had taken in three goals after the first period, and finally lost 4-6.

swissinfo with agencies

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR