Ice Hockey World Championship in the Czech Republic: Swiss ice hockey trauma: “Can’t see silver anymore”

Ice Hockey World Championship in the Czech Republic Swiss ice hockey trauma: “Can’t see silver anymore”

The Czechs’ World Cup title sparked a late party in Prague. Photo

© Petr David Josek/AP/dpa

Even in the third attempt, Switzerland failed to achieve the longed-for triumph at the Ice Hockey World Championship. An NHL star made the difference – and prevented the “bank robbery”.

The Swiss ice hockey team had just lost the World Cup final once again, but the outstanding goalkeeper Leonardo Genoni at least kept his sense of humor despite the defeat against the host country, the Czech Republic. “Winning the cup here would have been like robbing a bank. But then the door closed,” said Genoni after the bitter 0:2 defeat in Prague. In the capital of the ice hockey-mad World Cup host country, the seventh title caused ecstasy.

The Swiss, however, quickly sneaked into the dressing room before the World Cup trophy was handed over. Once again, the trophy went to their opponents – just like in 2013 and 2018. “I can’t stand the sight of silver anymore,” complained coach Patrick Fischer. The final trauma continues, with the Swiss only in second place after their third World Cup final.

The Swiss squad, possibly the best ever with seven NHL professionals, failed once again just before a possible first triumph. “This year we believed that we could do it. The fact that it didn’t work out is extremely frustrating,” said NHL top star Roman Josi of the Nashville Predators.

Switzerland loses again in a final

“The hockey gods have rolled the dice. There is no other explanation for this defeat,” wrote the Swiss news portal “Watson.” Despite all the disappointment, the newspaper “Blick” stated: “In recent weeks, with the help of the NHL players, the national team has matured from a team that no longer knew how to win into a world-class team.”

With Josi still young at the time, Switzerland surprised everyone by reaching the final in 2013. However, they had no chance against Sweden in a 5-1 defeat in Stockholm. Five years later, the Swiss only lost to the Tre Kronors in a penalty shootout in Copenhagen. “2013 showed us that it is possible. In 2018, we were already more mature,” explained coach Fischer. “And now we had the feeling that we were ready because we had learned from the last few years when things weren’t good.”

The quarter-final victory against Germany in particular was to pave the way to gold. After four previous defeats in knockout games against the selection of the German Ice Hockey Federation, the Fischer team beat their arch-rivals 3:1 in Ostrava. “Finally,” the Swiss coach cheered after the prestigious victory. After the penalty victory over Canada in the semi-final, history was to be made on Sunday evening.

Fiala cannot be happy about the award

But it wasn’t enough to win the World Cup. Czech superstar David Pastrnak from the Boston Bruins shocked Switzerland with his goal ten minutes before the end. The 0:2 by David Kämpf a few seconds before the end sealed the defeat. “Every final is different, but this year we really believed that we could do it, we thought it would be our night,” said Josi.

Kevin Fiala, who along with Josi was the difference maker for the Swiss team, was at least awarded the prize for best player of the tournament. “I don’t really care, we wanted gold,” said the NHL star from the Los Angeles Kings angrily.

The next attempt will be made at the next World Championship in Denmark and Sweden next year. But Switzerland is aiming for the crowning glory at the home tournament in Zurich and Fribourg in May 2026 at the latest. “I can’t look that far into the future at the moment,” said 40-year-old veteran Andres Ambühl. “Today we are all just sad.”

The hosts, on the other hand, started a huge party. “The Czech Republic is experiencing an ice hockey euphoria like it was last seen after the gold medal win at the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano,” the newspaper “Pravo” noted.

dpa

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