Switzerland used to be the team in the Olympic hockey tournament that would put in a good effort but come up short in the end.
At the 2014 Sochi Olympics, however, things have changed. In three games they’ve given up just one goal and scored twice. The Swiss came away with two wins in round-robin play and their 1-0 loss to Sweden was their lone blemish.
With Jonas Hiller and Reto Berra holding things down and the Swiss defense playing extra stingy, the players know they’re a team that can’t be looked past now. Nino Niederreiter and Mark Streit
Streit’s statement is a big one. In the past, the Swiss could feel proud of a well-played loss against powerful teams like Canada, Russia, or the United States. Now, the bar for success is that much higher and they’re gunning for a medal in hockey.
The Swiss came away with a silver medal at the 2013 World Championships after losing to Sweden 5-1 in the gold medal game. To get there they beat the United States in the semifinals.
The improvement has been steady and if they keep playing smothering defense with outstanding goaltending, they can earn their first medal since the 1948 Olympics.