Former Storm forward Denis Hollenstein opened the scoring to help lift surprising Switzerland to their 8th straight win at the 2013 World Ice Hockey Championship and advance to the semifinals.
Hollenstein, who was tied for the team leading in scoring entering Thursday’s 2-1 win over the Czech Republic scored his fourth of the tournament.
Switzerland will face Team USA, who dropped Team Russia including Storm alum Fedor Tyutin by the score of 8-3 in their quarterfinal match up.
SWISS TO FINAL FOUR by John Sanful
Switzerland has done the improbable. Paced by exceptional defence and timely scoring, Switzerland defeated Czech Republic 2-1 in the first quarter-final game of the 2013 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship in Stockholm, Sweden.
Switzerland now faces Team USA in the semi-finals on Saturday.
Head coach Sean Simpson has taken this team from 11th place in 2012 to its first semi-final appearance since 1998 on the momentum of eight straight wins in this tournament.
“It’s nice to be back in the quarter-finals,” said Simpson. “This time we had a different game for the result and the team really showed that it wanted to go further in the tournament. Switzerland has often been stuck in the quarter-finals and couldn’t make the hump to the semi-finals. I’m proud that this team has done it.”
Switzerland’s last quarter-final appearance was in 2010, losing 1-0 to Germany.
Last year the Czech Republic made the quarter-finals where they beat Sweden here in Stockholm on their way to a bronze medal.
“Switzerland showed great hockey throughout the tournament and they showed it today again.” Said Czech head coach Alois Hadamczik. ” They deserved to win the game, they were more aggressive in two periods.”
The game started slow as both teams were cautious and feeling out the other. As teams employ their system driven game plans, the quarter-finals reveal those teams most successful in adhering to and improving upon their system.
Switzerland made it 1-0 when Denis Hollenstein scored.
Severin Blindenbacher’s thread the needle pass to Hollenstein out the Swiss out in front. Hollenstein continued his consistent offensive contributions to his team. For Hollenstein, who was tied for the team lead in scoring coming into the game, it was his fourth goal of the World Championship.
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