Swiss ice hockey players made history in Germany on Wednesday with their first ever win over Canada in a world championship match.
The 4:1 victory put Switzerland top of their group, which also included Italy and Latvia.
Both Switzerland and Canada go forward into the next round. Switzerland, with six points, has an excellent chance of making it on into the quarter finals. Canada, with only three, will find it more difficult.
The Swiss coach, Sean Simpson – himself a Canadian – had made some changes to the line-up he used in the matches against Latvia and Italy, putting Thomas Deruns alongside Ivo Rutheman and Martin Plüss.
The tactic paid off: the trio were responsible for three of Switzerland’s four goals.
Attack and Defence
The Swiss seized the advantage in the 12th minute with a goal by Rutheman, followed three minutes later by a second from Plüss.
Canada responded a few seconds later with a goal from John Taveres, the only man able to get round Swiss goalkeeper Tobias Stephan.
At the beginning of the second time, Andres Ambühl put the puck in the net to bring the score up to 3:1, and the last Swiss goal came from Deruns in the 46th.
The Swiss defence used aggressive forechecking, which hampered the Canadian attack.
Stephan, playing for the first time in the current championships, replacing Martin Gerber, made a total of 31 saves.
The game was played before a sell-out crowd of 12,500, in the SAP arena in Mannheim.
In the next round Switzerland will meet Sweden, the Czech Republic and the winner of the France-Norway match.
Switzerland last beat Canada in the first round of the Turin Olympics in 2006.
In the 76 year history of the championships, Canada has won 24 times.
However, many of Canada’s stars are not playing in the current championships, since they are involved in the National Hockey League in North America. Many top US players are also absent for the same reason.
The United States, who were the Olympic silver medallists, finished bottom of group D, and face a play-off in order to escape relegation.
swissinfo,ch and agencies
Game in brief
(1:2, 0:1, 0:1)
SAP-Arena in Mannheim: 12,500 spectators
Swiss goals: Rüthemann (12th minute)
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