Just one week before the start of the World Championships in Sweden, Switzerland's ice hockey team has been solidly beaten by Slovakia, 1:6.This content was published on April 19, 2002 - 23:40
From the start whistle, the more than 5,000 Swiss fans gathered in Biel realised it would be a long night.
After just ten minutes, Slovakia was leading 0:2. Things only got worse, and before the second break pulled around fans had started to make their displeasure known.
At the start of the second period, Switzerland appeared to rally, but faltered after missing a good chance. Slovakia struck back, scoring two more in short succession.
Rubbing salt in the wounds
The defeat has only served to deepen bitterness over the team's disappointing performances at this year's Winter Olympics.
However, coach Ralph Krueger said prior to the game that he only considered it preparation. "Our actual results are secondary to me," he sad.
"The important thing is to arrive at the championships in Sweden in the best possible shape," he said.
The Slovak team was well stacked, with a number of players from North America's prestigious NHL.
swissinfo with agencies