Skip to content

Stunned Swiss left lost for words, looking for answers

Feb 18, 2014, 4:07 PM EST

Switzerland forward Roman Wick, left, and forward Luca Cunti react on the bench in the closing minute of play against Latvia in the third period of a men's ice hockey game at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2014, in Sochi, Russia. Latvia won 3-1 to advance to the quarterfinals. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) AP

Defense and stellar goaltending can take you far, but without anything else to back them up, eventually they will prove to be insufficient.

That’s the reality Switzerland is coping with after its 3-1 loss to Latvia. That defeat denied the Swiss entry into the quarterfinals for the first time since the 2002 Olympics and hurt their aspirations of building off of their silver medal showing in the 2013 World Championship.

“It’s crushing. … A little bit of a loss of words right now,” defenseman Mark Streit told NHL.com’s Dan Rosen.

“It’s a huge disappointment for Swiss hockey.”

Switzerland only allowed one goal in the round robin, but the squad couldn’t get anything going offensively. Certainly the Swiss are known more for their defensive game, but they also had a couple noteworthy skilled forwards in Damien Brunner and Nino Niederreiter. Neither player had a point in this tournament.

“I don’t know,” Brunner said. “Sometimes you click, sometimes not. We just had nothing going on.”

Goaltender Jonas Hiller, who was the team’s best player with a 0.67 GAA and .971 save percentage, was similarly dejected after his hard work went to waste. He suggested that the talent is there, but the team might not have been putting forward a complete effort.

So while Latvia celebrates its historic win and prepares for a daunting match against the Canadians, the Swiss will be left to put the pieces back together and wait for their next opportunity to show that they’re more than just a team that can frustrate goal scorers.

Latest Posts
  1. PHT Morning Skate: 85-year-old aims to set hockey Guinness record

    Dec 19, 2014, 8:02 AM EST

    Don Van Massenhoven Getty Images

    The picture is of former referee Don Van Massenhoven, who will serve as the event’s recorder.

  2. Make it six in a row: The losing continues for the Oilers

    Dec 19, 2014, 1:10 AM EST

    Chris Tierney, Andrew Ference AP

    But they did score more than two goals in a game for first time since Nov. 28.

  3. Flyers’ Giroux bites the jersey of Gudbranson

    Dec 19, 2014, 12:35 AM EST

    Screen Shot 2014-12-18 at 6.45.05 PM

    Because everyone likes a snack before they line up for a faceoff, right?

  4. Panthers need only six rounds to defeat Flyers in shootout

    Dec 18, 2014, 10:52 PM EST

    Roberto Luongo Getty Images

    And Roberto Luongo’s victory ties him for 12th on the all-time list.

  5. Crosby back for Pens after missing three games with the mumps

    Dec 18, 2014, 6:39 PM EST

    Sidney Crosby AP

    He’ll be in the lineup when Pittsburgh takes on the Avs at home.

  6. Avs’ Stuart to play game No. 1,000 tonight

    Dec 18, 2014, 6:33 PM EST

    Florida Panthers v Colorado Avalanche Getty Images

    When Colorado takes on the Penguins at Consol.

  7. Ben Eager signs with Blues’ AHL affiliate

    Dec 18, 2014, 6:07 PM EST

    Ben Eager

    Journeyman tough guy is back playing in North America.

  8. Diving fine has players more ‘aware’ of NHL’s crackdown on embellishment

    Dec 18, 2014, 5:30 PM EST

    Neal dive

    So says Sharks coach Todd McLellan, who witnessed James Neal’s cannonball on Saturday.

  9. (Video) PHT Extra: What’s wrong with the Stanley Cup champs?

    Dec 18, 2014, 5:05 PM EST

    Tyler Toffoli, Steve Ott AP

    The Kings have lost five of their last six.

Featured video

More than a Stanley Cup hangover?
Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. S. Crosby (4220)
  2. B. Bishop (2793)
  3. D. Krejci (2739)
  4. C. Crawford (2336)
  5. C. Kunitz (2179)
  1. O. Palat (1899)
  2. C. Perry (1890)
  3. B. Elliott (1808)
  4. T. Oshie (1694)
  5. J. Toews (1521)