Switzerland’s men’s hockey team has benefited from the stellar play of goaltender Jonas Hiller, who has posted back-to-back shutouts in the tournament.
The media has harped on the tricky goaltending decisions other countries have had to face (Finland with Kari Lehtonen and Tuukka Rask; Canada with Roberto Luongo and Carey Price; and the U.S. with Jonathan Quick and Ryan Miller for example). Yet there seems to be no such controversy with the Swiss. Hiller’s play in two of the three games has probably muted that to some degree.
That’s not to take anything away from Reto Berra, who allowed only one goal in a 1-0 loss to Sweden in Switzerland’s second preliminary game.
Switzerland hasn’t scored much in the preliminary round, just two goals in three games. The latest came Saturday, when Switzerland defeated the Czech Republic by a score of 1-0. They’ve been involved in shutouts in each of their three games (they’ve all been by scores of 1-0, too). Goaltending has been a big key to their success. The positive results have given Switzerland a different mentality on the international stage – they expect to win.
“Jonas is giving us a chance to win every game,” said Simon Bodenmann, as per the IIHF. “We’d be happy to score a couple more goals, but if we win like this, it doesn’t matter.”