A 2-1 defeat to Russia has delivered the final blow to Switzerland's disappointing campaign at the world ice hockey championships in Germany.This content was published on May 6, 2001 - 18:12
Needing a win on Sunday to preserve any realistic chance of reaching the quarter-finals, Ralph Krueger's side got off to a dream start against the Russians. In only the fifth minute of the match, Michel Riesen received a pass from Gian-Marco Crameri, neatly spun and swept the puck past Russian goalie Maxim Sokolov.
The Russians struck back convincingly in the second period, though. First, Valeri Karpov deflected a long-range shot past Martin Gerber for a 23rd minute equaliser. Then with just seconds of the period remaining, NHL star Alexei Yashin peeled away from his marker before slamming in his first goal of the tournament.
The final period saw the Swiss team coping better with the Russian attacks, but failing to produce many chances of their own. With no change to the 2-1 scoreline by the final buzzer, Switzerland's already slim hopes of reaching the quarter-finals had faded away completely.
On Monday Switzerland are due to play their final match of the tournament against Italy, with next year's seedings and the Swiss team's injured pride the only things at stake.
by Mark Ledsom, Hanover
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