Swiss bow to Germans in hockey quarterfinals
Switzerland’s World Championship ice hockey run came to an end on Thursday after Germany handed them a 1-0 defeat during the quarterfinals.
Germany now advances to the semifinals to face Russia, who beat Canada. Also in the semifinals, Sweden will face the Czech Republic, both of whom mounted wins against Denmark and Finland, respectively.
Switzerland takes fifth place at the tournament, the best showing since 1998 when they took fourth on home ice during the championships.
The team, ranked 8th at this year's contest, had come into the tournament strong and were the favourites over Germany, ranked 12th.
Indeed, the Swiss dominated the first period, despite losing forward Martin Plüss to the penalty box for 25 minutes for spearing and misconduct after hitting an opponent in the groin with his stick.
In a gritty period where brute force seemed to rule over finesse, the Swiss still pummeled the German goal keeper, Dennis Endras, with almost twice as many shots as the Germans could fire off in return.
Things went south for the Swiss early in the second period, when, 31 minutes into the game, Philip Gogulla drilled one past Swiss keeper Martin Gerber’s left shoulder to give the Germans the winning goal. By the end of that period, the Swiss had managed to make only seven shots on goal compared to Germany’s 16.
The Swiss can still skate away with an historic win over Canada earlier in the tournament, a first for the Swiss. Early round-robin play was also particularly fruitful for the team, which emerged from their group against Italy, Canada and Latvia undefeated.
That fun fizzled when the top three teams from each of the four groups moved into the qualifying rounds and Norway handed the Swiss a 2-3 loss. Sweden then embarrassed the Swiss with a 5-0 defeat, setting the Helvetians up for Thursday’s defeat against Germany.
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