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Swiss pay price for terrible start

Within the first eight minutes of play, the puck passed by Swiss goalie, Martin Gerber, three times

(Keystone)

Switzerland's ice hockey team have made a disappointing start to the new international season, losing 6-4 at home to Canada.

The Canadian side, made up chiefly of players based in Switzerland, stunned the home side with three goals in the first eight minutes of the match.

The Swiss team finally came to life in the second period with goals from debutant Marc Reichert, Michel Zeiter and Julien Vauclair. But swift replies from Lonny Bohonos, Craig Ferguson, and Pat Faloon, saw Canada heading into the final period with a 6-3 lead.

The last 20 minutes were easily Switzerland's best with a single goal from Patric Della Rossa reducing the deficit, but not enough to overcome that dreadful start.

Speaking to swissinfo after the match, Swiss national coach Ralph Krueger admitted that his side had been given a tough lesson in the game's opening minutes.

"Definitely," he said, "but these are games that are going to happen. We would have liked to have started our season a lot differently. But good things come out of these things when you have good characters in your team. We have and we're going to learn from this."

Defensive frailties will be foremost in Krueger's mind as he prepares for this weekend's Deutschland cup programme, but he insisted that Tuesday's experiences hadn't all been negative.

"I'm pleased the guys didn't quit," Krueger said. "They kept creating chances and that's something we can build on at least."

The renovation work will have to begin immediately. Friday sees Switzerland's first fixture in the four-team Deutschland cup competition. The side's opponents will be none other than Canada.

by Mark Ledsom


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