June 20, 2024

Canada controlled Josey and won against Switzerland

Roman Josi has to go down once: Canada’s Colton Paraigo joins the gang.Image: Keystone

Ice Cream Master Jack

Switzerland lost 2:3 against Canada. The first failure comes at the right time. From 2019, the chances of advancing to the semi-finals are better than ever.

May 20, 2024, 03:36May 20, 2024, 1:12 pm

Glass Sock, Prague

Roman Josi walks across frozen water like Jesus on the first power play. When he tied the score at 1–1, he was the 11th top scorer and was not the top scorer in the tournament, as three Americans passed him for “free points” in a 10–1 win over Kazakhstan.

When the score was 1:1, Roman Josi pulled off a divine defensive move: he cleared the puck off the line at the last moment to keep the score from 1:2. And then the magic that carried his game (and the Swiss) through the tournament and to five wins dissipates like the morning mist after sunrise.

Were the Canadians better? No. Were Canadians happy? No. The Canadians were too strong. No, but stronger than the previous five opponents. The Swiss managed to take the magic out of the game with intensity. They were able to give Roman Josi the space and time to develop his game to its full potential. Just 19 seconds later, Brandon Thanev caught him in a tough test. After the first break, Jake McBain yells at him after 8 seconds.

This magic finally shines through in the first power play. A work of art by Kevin Fiala to make it 1-1 (12th minute). But now the Canadians are successfully disrupting the circles of the Swiss luminary. After the game he would say:

Also: “Both teams played very well.” Also Swiss. They conceded all three goals when they were outnumbered. At five-on-five they didn’t allow a goal for the fourth straight time. They coped well with the toughness and intensity of the Canadians. The final goal shooting ratio was 22:23.

But you can’t create compelling scoring opportunities from “halftime” without magic. A fast-paced, high-stakes game was decided in the 27th minute. Kevin Fiala has to go to the locker room after a knee test on Dylan Cosens. The Canadians used a five-minute break to turn 1:2 into 3:2.

Canada's Dylan Cosens celebrates after scoring his teams second goal during the opening round match between Canada and Switzerland at the Ice Hockey World Championships in Prague, Czech Republic.

Dylan Cozens was Canada’s match winner.Image: Keystone

This residual exemption is provided only after video consultation. This shows the lost magic of the Swiss: the opponent’s first impact (“first impact”) occurs with the knee and a fraction of a second later with the hip. Close, very, very close.

But the decision is 100% correct.

Should Kevin Fiala be blamed for this act? No. It’s a clash of emotions in a very intense game, and it shows the courage that allows this wizard to be one of the best in the toughest league in the world. With Kevin Fiala, the Swiss lack the attacking wizardry (and therefore magic) to make the difference. Especially on the power play.

Sven Antrighetto, in the 30th minute, failed to make the score 2:2 with a penalty taken by Calvin Durkoff. This is the last big chance.

And speaking of magic: Leonardo Zenoni is a great goalie, but not magical. A silver spell in 2018 would have prevented him from scoring a second goal. Failure will come at the right time. In the second and last group game a year ago against Latvia (3:4 nV).

On Tuesday evening, there is the last match against Finland (8:20 pm, live SRF) to settle the game. To increase self-confidence. Finns are a great opponent for this. However, they need at least one point to progress to the quarter-finals. The Swiss will go into Thursday’s quarter-finals with a fresh, tactical and athletic look.

None of the potential quarter-final opponents could match the Canadians’ toughness and intensity. However – unlike in 2022 and 2023 – this is not enough for the first place: under no circumstances will we meet the “dreaded enemies” Sweden.

Roman Josi is likely to walk like Jesus on frozen water in the quarter-finals again, and the magical attacking triumvirate of Roman-Josi-Nico-Hischier-Kevin Fiala, who have contributed 12 of the 26 goals so far, is likely. Repeat production.

The next semi-final is the closest it has ever been since 2019. Then, the Canadians managed to equalize only in the last second and won in overtime.

PS: Betting on a Swiss win? No. Because we still don’t know who will be in goal on Thursday and whether the chosen goalie (Leonardo Genoni or Akira Schmidt) will be the magic one.

More from the ice cream master from Prague:

HCD, SCB, ZSC and? These clubs have already become Swiss hockey champions

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HCD, SCB, ZSC and? These clubs have already become Swiss hockey champions

HC Davos: 31 titles, 6 since 1986; Last champion: 2015.

Source: Keystone / Ennio Lensa

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