RETRO HOCKEY: A Swiss fairy tale where it is not a sport of only six countries

When Swiss star forward Kevin Fiala arrived late from the NHL to the current championship, he enthusiastically declared: “I want to help the team, we haven't won gold yet…” It's True, the Swiss national team is making its way among hockey's select elite, but it has not yet reached the top.

She was already close to a shock title in 2013, when the miracle of the country of the Swiss cross was stopped by Sweden. And it was the same five years later May 20, 2018 in Copenhagen, the Swiss were only one step away from gold this time. And there was also Fiala, a striker of Czech origin.

They almost didn't even advance from the group

The year 2018 showed that hockey is no longer a six-country sport. At the Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, the Germans shone with silver, almost depriving Russia of its triumph. And another foreign fairy tale was written in May by Switzerland.

At the same time, he has made almost no progress compared to the base group. They failed to beat the elite teams, including the Czechs, and only beat the Austrians in overtime, but managed to take fourth place by one point at the expense of Slovakia. And that's how we moved to the elimination fights from the most difficult position.

The team around Fiala, Roman Josi, Nino Niederreiter, Timo Meier and a wall named Leonardo Genoni in goal found form at the right time. The 3:2 results surprised Finland in the quarterfinals and Canada in the semifinals with the legendary Connor McDavid, who has not participated in the next championship since then.

“He scored 108 points in the NHL this year, but we struggled as a team, all of us! We blocked shots and helped each other out. And what Genoni caught was incredible,” said Fiala's attacker at that time.

The Swiss wanted revenge in the final. In 2013, the Swedes suffered a 1:5 defeat in the duel for gold, but this time they were more than a balanced opponent, even leading twice in the match. Although the sold-out Royal Arena in Copenhagen turned largely yellow, the atmosphere was mainly provided by the fanatical Swiss fans.

Only the raids have been decided

“Hopp Schwiiz, hopp Schwiiz,” echoed through the arena as Timo Meier gave the Swiss a 2-1 lead. However, Sweden equalized and the final continued late into the evening. During the 20 minutes of extra time, no goals were scored and separate raids followed. A cruel way to decide the title of world champion.

Also in the skills competition, Switzerland had a head start, but Tre Kronor produced another feat. Filip Forsberg followed his namesake Peter and became another famous raid hero.

Extremely sad, but also proud, the Swiss were bitten by another final defeat. “I'm really very proud. We played with heart. Hockey is on the rise for us, we've come a long way. But we have to keep working and improving,” said a disappointed Meier with a gold medal. money around your neck.

And the representation of the Alpine country continues to improve, which they are trying to show this year as well. Maybe after five years it was time to receive a medal. This time he doesn't have to stick to money…

2023 Hockey World Cup

John Robinson

"Extreme gamer. Food geek. Internet buff. Alcohol expert. Passionate music specialist. Beeraholic. Incurable coffee fan."

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