Switzerland Dominating IIHF World Championships

Nino Niederreiter (Patxi64/Flickr)

Nino Niederreiter (Patxi64/Flickr)

The IIHF World Championships 2013 in Sweden and Finland have so far been a dream for Switzerland. The Swiss, led by Canadian head coach Sean Simpson, have so far dominated the Championships with three games played.

It all began for the team on May 3rd, with Switzerland facing off against Sweden. Despite being the underdogs, the Alpine nation stunned the hometown crowd at the Globe Arena in Stockholm with a dominant display of skill, winning the game in regulation time.

Matthias Bieber, Nino Niederreiter and an empty netter by Toronto born Swiss player Ryan Gardner secured a 3-2 win over the highly touted home side with Nino Niederreiter, a prospect of the New York Islanders, being selected as the Swiss player of the game.

After defeating the hometown Swedes, the Swiss did not rest on their laurels, putting up another classy display against the tournament favorite Team Canada on May 5th.

Switzerland scored goals one and four in a 2-2 regulation draw against the powerful Canadian team skating with star NHL players such as Steven Stamkos, Andrew Ladd and the Staal Brothers.

With Reto Suri scoring for the Swiss in the second round and Matt Duchene scoring in the third round of the penalty shootout, it took until round 8 for the Swiss to score again, Reto Suri netting his second goal of the shootout with Colorado player Matt Duchene failing to score on his final attempt.

A name that may be familiar to Canadian hockey fans is that of Swiss player Martin Gerber, starting netminder against both Sweden and Canada. Gerber most recently played in the NHL for the Edmonton Oilers in 2010/11 and throughout his career, the 38-year-old has featured in a total of 241 NHL regular season and playoff games.

About playing against his native country, Switzerland head coach Sean Simpson told CBC:

“It’s my job now to win for Switzerland, but it’s very special to not only to win against Canada, but every time you play against Canada”

After two great performances to begin the championships, no one could have blamed the Swiss for having an off-day, playing a tough Czech Republic team just 24 hours after the thriller against Canada.

Nobody told the Swiss though, the young team making it three wins from three games. After the Czech Republic led through 40 minutes following a double from Jiri Hudler, Switzerland stormed back in the third period, scoring 3 goals in the final 20 minutes through Simon Moser, Simon Bodenmann and an empty net goal by Reto Suri to seal the deal.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g_2ZYLO5nFk

Through the impressive performances against arguably three of the best teams in the tournament Canada, Sweden and the Czech Republic, Switzerland finds themselves at the top of Group S with 2 wins and 1 overtime win for a total of 8 points and a goal differential of +5.

The next challenge for the Swiss comes on Wednesday May 8th at 4pm local time against Slovenia in Stockholm,  with the Slovenians having lost both of their opening games against Norway and Belarus.

As per the official IIHF World Championships website, the current Swiss roster consists of the following players:

Goalkeepers

Name

Birthdate

No.

Club

BERRA Reto

3 JAN 1987

20

EHC Biel

GERBER Martin

3 SEP 1974

26

Rogle Angelholm

Defence

Name

Birthdate

No.

Club

VAUCLAIR Julien

2 OCT 1979

3

HC Lugano

BLINDENBACHER Severin

15 MAR 1983

5

ZSC Lions Zurich

SEGER Mathias

17 DEC 1977

31

ZSC Lions Zurich

FURRER Philippe

16 JUN 1985

54

SC Bern

BLUM Eric

13 JUN 1986

58

Kloten Flyers

von GUNTEN Patrick

10 FEB 1985

72

Kloten Flyers

JOSI Roman

1 JUN 1990

90

Nashville Predators

GROSSMANN Robin

17 AUG 1987

91

HC Davos

Forwards

Name

Birthdate

No.

Club

AMBUHL Andres

14 SEP 1983

10

ZSC Lions Zurich

CUNTI Luca

4 JUL 1989

12

ZSC Lions Zurich

NIEDERREITER Nino

8 SEP 1992

22

Bridgeport Sound Tigers

BODENMANN Simon

2 MAR 1988

23

Kloten Flyers

SURI Reto

25 MAR 1989

24

EV Zug

PLUSS Martin

5 APR 1977

28

SC Bern

TRACHSLER Morris

15 JUL 1984

43

ZSC Lions Zurich

BIEBER Matthias

14 MAR 1986

48

Kloten Flyers

GARDNER Ryan

18 APR 1978

51

SC Bern

HOLLENSTEIN Denis

15 OCT 1989

70

Kloten Flyers

MOSER Simon

10 MAR 1989

82

SCL Tigers Langnau

WALKER Julian

10 SEP 1986

95

Geneve-Servette

Daniel Schöpf

Daniel Schöpf

Admirer of the NHL, Canucks and the Swiss NLA. Feel free to follow me on Twitter: @HockeyWest

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