It didn’t take long for the Swiss to get into trouble. Just 20 seconds after the opening match, Christophe Bercchi received a quick penalty kick. But rather than being a problem, short hand has turned out to be a blessing. Robert Lantusi lost the disc at his blue line while holding the disc ice, and Beuss Sutter pushed it forward to open the ice as Dennis Malgin tracked him down. He entered the goal and fired a slap shot from close range, defeating Adam Hoska in the 0:52 minute, achieving the first goal of the match.
Moments later, Calvin Thorkopf broke free and fired high, narrowly missing a second from the same penalty.
Malgin and Thurkauf were sparkling all the time and nearly touched up shortly afterwards to score a beautiful goal, but Thurkauf couldn’t get the shot he wanted and the match remained 1-0.
The Swiss team beat their opponents in the first 20 minutes, outperforming Slovakia 17-6, but their only mistake proved costly. The defense was caught when Lantoussi made a pass through the middle, breaking into the Swiss side on his own. Genoni parried, but lost the disc when it was spinning in his crease, and Milos Roman pushed the disc in from the blue ice at 10:33.
Michael immediately and Christian Marti had a chance later but failed to connect, leaving the score 1-1 after 20 minutes.
The Swiss took the lead again in 3:56 with another combination. In this case, Dominik Egli took the ball and Christian Marti took his baton in front. A short time later there was a frightening collision at the Swiss Blue Line. Samuel Takak couldn’t get to the lass along the boards, and hit hard on line assistant Hannu Surmanen, who couldn’t get out of the way. Both men crashed hard on the ice, and while Takak finally got up and went back to play, Surmanen had to leave. He was replaced soon after by reserve official Joseph Spohr.
Juraj Slavkovsky tied the match in favor of the Slovaks at 5:32. He came out of the corner and fired a powerful shot past Genone’s gauntlet. The result was a relief for the 18-year-old, who advanced in the Olympics by seven goals but has yet to break his strings in Helsinki.
And at 12:59, the Swiss advanced for the third time in the match in the best possible way. A skewed pass at the Swiss blue line saw the disc return to the Slovak finish just as Timo Maier exited the penalty area. The puck picked up the loose ball with a clear detachment, hitting Huska with a shot.
“I got really lucky,” Meyer said. “Sometimes you hit the posts and the goalkeepers make great saves, sometimes you’re lucky to be at the right time in the right place and that’s pretty much it.”
In addition to goals and spills, a real plague of penalty kicks appeared in the second. In total, eight minors were called, including too many skaters in both directions.
Captain Nico Hescher doubled Switzerland’s lead early in third. Taking a nice breakaway pass from Marty, he hit Huska with a shot between the pads at 5:44. This came right after Thomas Tatar fired a shot off the post on another game of many of the skaters.
We’re not done yet, though. The Slovaks got a lucky chance at 9:07 when Takak threw the disc into the front of the net with hope and meekness. His wishes came true, as the puck bounced off the sled of defender Tobias Geiser and entered it, making it play with one goal again.
But with 6:27 left to finish, Michael immediately got a huge penalty kick to his knee, and soon after Siegenthaler took a minor, leaving the Swiss two men up for a full two minutes. They killed it brilliantly, but then the Slovaks pulled Huska to create five more players. Late in this position, coach Craig Ramsey took a long time to change players and was reassessed off the bench, dashing the team’s hopes of a comeback.
Herzog finished with a blank netter with 23.4 seconds remaining.
“It wasn’t a perfect match,” Mayer admitted. We took a lot of stupid penalties. But we found a way to win again, which is huge. Great job by PK to kill all those penalties. We have to learn from that. We have to pay attention. We can’t do it again. By taking so many penalties. , when you play against Team Canada, they will take advantage of that. It is going to be really difficult.”
In fact, the Swiss face a day off tomorrow against Canada on Friday. Slovakia will play Kazakhstan on the same day.