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The Swiss ice hockey team defeated Finland 3-1

The Swiss ice hockey team defeated Finland 3-1

Ice Hockey World Cup

The Swiss ice hockey team beat Finland 3-1, and now Germany awaits in the quarter-finals

The perfect combination of magic and hard work: In the 3-1 win over Finland, the Swiss found the recipe for success in the quarter-finals against Germany.

Kevin Fiala had a hand in scoring all three goals for Switzerland.

Peter Schneider/Keystone

Victory over Finland puts us in the quarter-finals with Germany. Such as the years 1992, 2021 and 2023. We won in Prague in 1992 (3:1) and lost in Riga in 2021 (2:3) and 2023 (1:3). It is also worth noting: In 2004, we qualified for the quarter-finals at the expense of Germany after beating Germany 1-0 in Prague.

Something is different than it was in 1992, 2004, 2021 and 2023. There will actually be no excuses on Thursday in case of defeat. The reason: Switzerland is nominally better than the Germans for the first time. For the sake of simplicity, we will reduce the dialectical analysis somewhat to two names: Roman Josi and Moritz Seider. Roman Josi here. Not Moritz Seider.

The defense giant was defense minister in 2021 and 2023, and the Swiss simply couldn't get past him. 2021 and 2023 World Cup All-Star Team, 2022 NHL Rookie (Calder Trophy) of the Year. The best defender in German hockey history. Germany's response to Roman Josi. Defensively, he is as good as Roman Josi. Not exactly offensive. To compare style: Roman Jozy is Roger Federer, and Moritz Seider is Boris Becker in hockey. If he plays, the German team is different. One is invincible for Switzerland. However, if he does not play, as is the case in the 2024 World Cup, Switzerland are favourites.

Roman Josi was not included in the World Cup squad in 2021 and 2023. With Roman Josi, the Swiss World Cup team is different. One capable of defeating Germany. Or better: must be defeated.

Demanding victory over Germany is realistic

Demanding victory over Germany is of course arrogance. But if Roman Yossi is there (and not Moritz Seider), and if the best World Cup team in modern history is nominally available, the claim to beat Germany becomes realistic.

Ice hockey is now an unpredictable game on a slippery surface. When it comes to defeat, you always have to take into account how it happened. Were the Swiss cheated by the referee? Were they significantly outgunned (35:15 shots on target) or were they just unlucky (four shots on the crossbar and two on the post)? Those would at least be extenuating circumstances.

However, if the goalkeeper fails, there are not even mitigating circumstances. Because then Patrick Fischer would have nominated the wrong goalkeeper – as happened in 2023 with Robert Maier instead of Leonardo Ginone. He has Leonardo Ginoni, Akira Schmid and Reto Berra at his disposal. Akira Schmid was good yesterday, but perhaps not charming enough to beat Leonardo Ginoni in the quarter-finals.

We hope to get a “cheap” hit.

The most important reason for optimism: The victory over Finland provided the recipe for the match against the Germans. It is the right mix of charm and hard work. The pessimist says: The Swiss match lacks magic since the defeat against Canada (2:3). Roman Jozy is no longer flying across the ice.

But the optimist answers: Magic may be useful against Germany. But it would be more important to simplify the game. Magic with Malush. Just as the score was 1-0. In a critical situation, Roman Lovell shoots against Finland from his own goal area. Harri Sätteri lets the puck bounce. On the stick of magician Kevin Fiala, who has the stick in play for all three goals. The statistics encourage hopes of scoring a “cheap” goal against Germany: neither Philipp Grubauer (89.13%) nor Matthias Niederberger (88.00%) were able to achieve a shooting rate of at least 90%, which is necessary for a victory over Switzerland.

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