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Olympic dark horse? Switzerland announces evaluation camp roster

Jul 25, 2013, 1:23 PM EDT

Mark Streit

The last time Switzerland won a medal in Olympic ice hockey, the year was 1948 and the games were played outdoors at the St. Moritz Olympic Ice Rink.

The Swiss came away with the bronze that year (Canada won gold; Czechoslovakia silver); however, it’s been a pretty tough go since.

Could the 2014 Games in Sochi, Russia, mark Switzerland’s return to the Olympic podium?

Well, let’s be honest, probably not. But if you’re looking for a dark horse, the Swiss do feature veteran NHLers like Flyers defenseman Mark Streit and Ducks goalie Jonas Hiller. They also have some young talent up front in Flames forward Sven Baertschi and free agent Damien Brunner. Nashville defenseman Roman Josi is another promising young player.

Suffice to say, it would be unwise for the favorites to overlook this team.

You may recall in 2010 when Switzerland pushed home side Canada to a shootout in the preliminary round. The Swiss were eventually eliminated by the United States in the quarterfinals, but only by a score of 2-0 (with an empty-netter).

Switzlerand also won a silver medal at the 2013 World Championship — beating Canada and the U.S. along the way — losing in the gold-medal game to home-side Sweden.

For the complete list of 47 players invited to Switzerland’s Olympic evaluation camp, click here.

  1. endusersolutions2013 - Jul 25, 2013 at 1:50 PM

    The comment about the Swiss beating the USA and Canada during the World Championships is preatty weak – the dates of the championship completely eliminated everyone playing in the NHL playoffs. N. American players represent 77% of 2012-2013 NHL players.

    M

    • endusersolutions2013 - Jul 25, 2013 at 1:51 PM

      Hit enter too soon. I was gonna say, maybe they should call it the “Greater European Chanpionship”.

    • Jason Brough - Jul 25, 2013 at 2:17 PM

      It wasn’t a “comment.” It was a fact. Readers know the World Championships are during the NHL playoffs. Doesn’t need to be spelled out for them. Canada still had some pretty good players on that team. Stamkos. Giroux. It was a good win for Switzerland.

      • endusersolutions2013 - Jul 25, 2013 at 3:20 PM

        Good win, sure. An indication that they can stack up against a full USA or Canadian team? I don’t think so. Play a competitive game? Sure. Make it to the medal round? Maybe, and they’d still need to pass Finland or the Czech Republic.

    • atwatercrushesokoye - Jul 25, 2013 at 4:42 PM

      They beat Canada 2-0 in the 2006 Olympics, on the big ice the Swiss play a stifling neutral zone trap oriented game and attempt to suck the life out of both the game and their opponent, if the opponent breaks through they count on their goalie to make a big save, then they just bide their time and wait for their opponent to make a mistake so they can counter attack.

      It’s boring to watch but it’s effective, the Swiss always give Canada trouble.

      • endusersolutions2013 - Jul 25, 2013 at 5:00 PM

        Good observations, and that also reinforces the Canadian and USA team selection this time around to NOT select a team that emphasized size and physicality, as that they realize that that was a problem in 2006.

  2. tmi3rd - Jul 25, 2013 at 2:07 PM

    They’ve consistently improved over the last decade, and they play smart defensive hockey. Sure, they’re a bit short on scoring and depth, but they’re certainly no gimme in the win column. I expect they’ll be a dangerous opponent this time around.

  3. chuchie414 - Jul 25, 2013 at 4:20 PM

    Just like I said earlier in the summer on some other Olympic article this should be the breakout Olympics for the Swiss. They will upset one or two teams for sure.

    Also: Luca Cunti (Sorry had to do it!)

  4. reeggss - Jul 25, 2013 at 8:54 PM

    I am sorry but you are reaching if you think the Swiss can knock off Canada, Sweden, Russia, USA in THIS year’s Olympics. Their team is very weak with good goaltending. USA and Sweden have great goalies, Canada and Russia have great teams that can cover up some of their goalie deffiencies. You are underestimating talent. I haven’t even mentioned the Czechs, Slovakia, Finland.

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