Germany Cup – The Swiss national ice hockey team began the Olympic season on Thursday with the first game at the Germany Cup in Krefeld. The goals are high.
The tournament in Krefeld, with Slovakia hosting Germany and Russia as opponents, is gaining importance due to the upcoming Olympic Winter Games in Beijing. It outlines the line-up. If the Deutschland Cup is generally used to introduce young players to the international stage, this time the team has several veterans such as Andres Ambuhl, Yannick Weber or Simon Moser. There are eight players in this year’s World Cup squad. Goalkeepers Philipp Wuthrich and Ludovic Weber, as well as strikers Nando Eggenberger and Sandro Schmid, were also considered a quartet that never played for the national team.
“We want to test a lot of different players here and in the home tournament (December 16/17, editor) and look at tactical matters,” says national coach Patrick Fischer. So no one is selected twice before final preparation for seeding. National teams director Lars Weibel added thoughts about the team to Krefeld: “We have developed our game based on our knowledge from the World Cup in Riga. So now the players who have passed have the opportunity to implement it. Opportunity is there.. We bring more quality to it. Improvements don’t stop in age.”
no psychic story
In Riga, it was a bitter disappointment for the Swiss in the quarter-finals against Germany, who lost 3–2 after a 2–0 lead after a penalty shoot-out. As a result, those responsible conducted an “honest” analysis. “We saw that it is not a mental story of how this defeat can be explained,” Weibel explains. “The key is to stay proactive. We have enough potential to overtake the quarter-finals in the future.”
Staying active is easier said than done, after all, there is also an adversary. Patrick Fischer, how do you manage it? “Because of our experiences, we’ve seen it twice now (in the 2019 World Cup quarter-final against Canada, the Swiss conceded a 2-2 draw 0.4 seconds before the end of regular time). It’s important to remind players that Do this to move forward. We will no longer be idle.”
The forechecking has been slightly adjusted to be even more aggressive. In games with discs, further detail should “help us capture more pucks in the attacking third. I expect we will score more goals as a result,” says Fischer. What about defensive? “We’re doing really well there, we’re playing very aggressively.”
right target upwards
This season’s goals are very ambitious, as the semi-finals will be aimed at the Winter Games as well as the World Championships in Helsinki and Tampere. Till now the quarter finals have always been discussed. “We discussed the goals very intensely and controversially,” Weibel says. “Our way of thinking is that if we want to achieve great things, we have to optimize objectives and stick to them.” Fischer says: “We believe in our qualities, we have a strong team. We have now made it to the World Cup quarter-finals four times in a row. Were we satisfied with that? No. We want to make it to the final.” Weekend, then we can talk about a successful tournament, so that’s an honest goal.”
But for now it is too far. Firstly, the Swiss are looking to win the Deutschland Cup for the fourth time after 2001, 2007 and 2019. The match against Slovakia starts on Thursday. Against the Eastern Europeans, the Swiss decided the final seven doubles in their favor, most recently celebrating an 8–1 victory at this year’s World Cup. “We plan to work on the details and improve,” Weibel says.
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