Patrick Fisher is a big thinker. Before his first Olympics as a coach in 2018 in Pyeongchang, he was convinced he could win a medal. The tournament ended in disappointment for the Swiss. They left the ice as losers in three out of four matches and failed in the round of 16 against Germany (1:2 thereafter).
Now the situation is similar. Once again, the NHL players are missing out and again the Swiss count – the goal is to qualify for the semi-finals and then win a medal, of course. In theory, the lack of players from the best league in the world is an advantage for ice owners. Of course, Roman José, Timo Maier & Co. could have raised the level of the team significantly, but the cancellation of the NHL hits the major nations even more.
Four years ago, Germany seized the moment and won the silver medal. Little was missing from the Olympic victory, as Russia equalized in the last 56 seconds before the end of normal time and outperformed 3:3 and won in overtime. What the Germans have achieved should also be possible for Switzerland if the existing potential is tapped.
Will you work this time? The odds are definitely better. For Fisher, it’s already the seventh major tournament (OS and World Cup) as a national coach, so the backpack is full of experience. His record since the disappointment in Pyeongchang is impressive: in 2018 he led the team to the Silver Cup, in 2019 and 2021 the Swiss narrowly missed the World Cup semi-finals – three years ago she was 0.4 seconds ahead of Canada, last year against Germany by 44 seconds. .
16 players from last year’s World Cup team are also in Beijing. Fischer relies on an experienced team that includes many leaders, led by Andres Ambul, who is running for his fifth Olympic Games, and Rafael Diaz, who is competing for the fourth time. “We grew up together,” Fisher says. “Many players have been with us since I took office.” “The fact that we know each other and have a core is our biggest advantage. Not only are we experienced, we are also strong players, fast and strong. Four years ago we suffered a lot. Now we are ready to correct that. I have a very good feeling with this team in these constellation”.
Swiss women want to repeat the Sochi coup
The delightful images are unforgettable when the Swiss women’s ice hockey team won the bronze medal at the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi. Repeating this exploit is a difficult proposition for Colin Muller’s team. The USA and Canada are still in a category of their own, and Finland ranks highest.
Last August in Calgary, the Swiss team proved they were on the right track when they reached the semi-finals for the first time since winning the bronze medal in 2012. They lost the third-place match against Finland 1:3. The Swiss women drew courage from this tournament, especially since the player First Alina Muller was missing after the second qualifying round match due to an ankle injury.
A lot has happened in women’s ice hockey in this country since Sochi. 13 of the 23 players are based in North America or Sweden. In Beijing, the Swiss team is ranked fifth in the world rankings in Group A, so it is certain that it will advance to the quarter-finals. Only then is it really dangerous for them.
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