World Cup in Riga – The Swiss go as favorites in a quarter-final duel against arch-rivals Germany at the World Cup in Riga on Thursday afternoon. Failure will be a great disappointment.
“We expect ourselves to progress and we are certainly not satisfied with qualifying for the quarter-finals,” Christoph Burtsky summarized. The Lausanne striker is not used as a wing at the club as usual in Riga, but as a center and has not only performed this function with flying colors due to three goals and three assists. .
Burtsky’s line partner Tristan Scherwe, who is an energy player, said of the high expectations against Germany: “You can see the pressure as a negative or see it as a real challenge and in this image, you can see the pressure as a negative. Can play together how good it is to win against it. Such a nation. I am sure we will go into the game with this attitude.”
Everyone agrees that Germany will be a very stubborn opponent. The DEB selection will try to work out the playfully superior Swiss for the third time in a row in a knockout game off the ice. When the two teams last met in the quarter-finals at the World Cup in Mannheim eleven years ago, the starting point was the same. Ice Comrade went into the game as favorites after victories against Canada (4:1) and the Czech Republic (3:2) – and lost 0:1. In the round of 16 at the 2018 Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, the Germans also won (2:1 nV).
Patrick Fischer, who was the national coach three years ago, doesn’t want to hear anything about revenge. “That was a long time ago. At that time, the main problem was not Germany, but itself. Now it’s a different story with a different team.” Fischer is actually “looking forward to a duel against our sporting opponent. Playing against them is always special.”
Germany won four of the seven games in the opening round and defeated Canada (3–1). They lost against the top two teams in Group B, USA (0:2) and Finland (1:2), but conceded only two goals. They decided to play the deciding game 2-1 in their favor against hosts Latvia to make it to the knockout rounds on Tuesday evening. The results underscore how difficult the Germans are to score against, but also show that they are anything but an over-team on the offensive.
“This is a team that fights very hard and has a steady defense,” Fischer said. “However, we already have two or three ideas on how we can break this dam. However, we always have to be on our guard.” For Burtsky, the key to success is that “we go through neutral territory cleanly and we don’t lose any goals there.” Sherway said: “Our will to fight must be greater than yours. We will be fully adjusted and in the right position to perform.”
Christian Kunst, sporting director of the German Ice Hockey Federation, said the Swiss are extremely optimistic and are confident they will beat the Germans: “They can be the favourites. We say it will be a match at eye level. It will be a fight.” Yes, it will be a fight.”
In any case, the Swiss are very broad-minded looking at their performance so far. In addition, according to Fischer, all players are ready for action, including the most recently injured Dario Simien and Vincent Preplan. On Tuesday evening, the Swiss got into the mood for the deciding stage with a visit to a restaurant – each team has two rights to do this, otherwise life happens in the hotel and the stadium. “It was good,” said Fischer, who is particularly satisfied with the attitude of the players so far.
Sherway responded to a question about which areas he still sees potential for improvement: “I don’t see any specific point. The overall package is there yet. Now it’s up to us to get the best we can on Day X “