Sweden’s ice hockey squad crushed Switzerland 5-0 in world championship play in Germany late on Tuesday.
The loss amounted to the worst performance to date for the Swiss since the beginning of the tournament. The team now face Germany on Thursday in the quarter finals in Mannheim.
The Swedes dominated nearly all aspects of the game held before 5,757 spectators. During the first period it seemed the Swiss hardly saw the puck.
Swedish coach Bengt-Ake “Gus” Gustafsson, a former player with the National Hockey League and Olympic champion, used a defensive strategy that perfectly muzzled Swiss speed on the ice. In all, Switzerland had just two real chances to score but failed to capitalise on them.
Switzerland enter the quarter finals with defeats now against Sweden and Norway. Had they beaten Sweden, the Swiss would have faced Denmark, one of the weaker teams in the quarter finals. Germany, with two NHL players, will pose greater problems for the white cross squad.
Nevertheless, Switzerland is still a favourite for the quarter-final elimination rounds. The last time that happened was in 1992 in Prague, when Switzerland beat Germany 3-1 and Sweden won the tournament.
swissinfo.ch and agencies