Switzerland took their first win at the 2012 World Junior Championship thanks in part to a pair of goals from forward Christoph Bertschy. The 5-3 win over Latvia means the Swiss can still avoid the relegation round with a win over Slovakia in their final preliminary round game.
Bertschy talked about the win over Latvia following the game.
Switzerland head coach Manuele Celio has his charges playing a hard-working, defensively oriented style at the 2012 World Junior Championship. Although this approach has not produced wins in the first two games of the WJC, the Swiss squad has played well in games against the top two teams in Group A, Russia and Sweden.
Celio spoke with HF following his team’s 4-3 shootout loss to Sweden.
Now that Nino Niederreiter has moved on to the pro game, other players in the Swiss program will be asked to fill that void. One such player is Geegory Hofmann, a prospect of the Carolina Hurricanes. Hofmann is a member of Switzerland‘s 2012 WJC squad, which opened this year’s tournament with a well-played 3-0 loss to Russia.
Switzerland got of to a good start in front of the home crowd. Sweden got an early opening goal through power play by Jungbeck, but the hosts reacted quickly! Monnet notched the first Swiss goal in these championships just 2 minutes later. From then on the home team was closer to the lead than their Nordic opponents.
But Martin Samuelsson had something against these annoying Swiss and recorded a shorthander at beginning of the 2nd. The game turned to Swedens favour and the Swiss started to make everything wrong one possibly can: defenders didn’t move up, forwards forgot to backcheck, bad passing, orientation problems in own slot or just pure lack of concentration! Two quick goals in the 6th minute sealed their fate and gave Sweden a comfortable win!
Luckily the Swiss will face the inferior Ukrainians (18-1 loss against Russia in opener) tomorrow. Hopefully it will bring back the spirit and put the team back on track.
SWITZERLAND 2 - SWEDEN 8 Kloten, 14.04.2000
1st 2nd 3rd TOTAL Switzerland 1 0 1 2 Sweden 1 5 2 8
Scoring: 1, SWE, A Jungbeck (power play) (M Hedlund, P Andersson), 1:00. 2, SUI, T Monnet (S Helfenstein), 2:48.
The 1st Amateur League is the 3rd highest league in Switzerland. Almost all the players have a full or part time job or go to school. The league is split into 3 regional divisions. The winners of each division play a round robin to determine the Amateur Champions.
In the Eastern division (group 1), two 15 year old school boys have drawn a great deal of attention. Not in the news, but of coaches and scouts.
These two boys excel by playing a defensive style of hockey. Offense wins games – defense wins championships. This could also be written like this. Offense is gaining the attention of all – defense is gaining the attention of the experts.
Tim Ramholt and Emanuel Peter are both defensive specialists, but not “defense only” players. Both were born in 1984, but are already playing in the 80 to 82 born juniors category and in the best Amateur league. Also both got called up for the U17 national team in February.
Ramholt is currently playing for the Grasshoppers junior team. His club has signed a so called “Partner Team Agreement”, with Küsnacht, one of the amateur teams. The agreement indicates that the Grasshoppers junior team can lend its players to Küsnacht if requested by Küsnacht. According to Ramholt’s junior team coach Richi Jost “Ramholt is always one of the first players, the Küsnacht coach asks for, when we talks about the players, who will be sent to them for the next game”.