WJC Recap: Switzerland 5, Latvia 3
CALGARY, AB -- A Baertschi-less Swiss squad faced off against Latvia Friday evening, prevailing in a 5-3 decision.
According to www.iihf.com, the 2011 first-round pick of the Flames, Sven Baertschi, has been sidelined after he left the ice in the first period on Dec 28th against Sweden "with concussion-like symptoms. He is listed as day-to-day, but will likely be sidelined for the remainder of the Preliminary Round."
Swiss coach, Manuele Celio said Baertschi will not play in tomorrow’s game but did not rule him out going forward, pending further assessment.
It was, however, a Bertschy that would net the first goal for the Switzerland as Christoph Bertschy scooped up a rebound off a blast from the point and backhanded it in.
Gaetan Haas did further damage for Switzerland in the second frame as he redirected a shot from the blueline through traffic past Latvia’s Kristers Gudlevskis.
Latvia cut the lead in half as Toms Andersons showcased some slick hands to put the puck through on the short-side of Tim Wolf.
Bertschy then recorded his second of the game to re-establish the two goal Swiss lead at 3-1, but the see-saw battle would persist.
The Latvians would not go down easily as they put a pair past Wolf in the third to whitewash the score at 3-3.
“It was our best game this tournament, obviously after last night’s loss. The boys showed character, obviously what kind of character we have in our room to bounce back and battle all the way through,” commented Latvia’s head coach, Eriks Miluns through a translator.
Switzerland’s Haas proved to be the ‘master deflector’ just seven seconds later as he got his stick on his second of the game, which stood up as the eventual game winner.
“We have to work for those goals, we have to be there, we have to deflect, we have to screen the goalie.” said Switzerland head coach, Manuele Celio.
“It shows the way to score is not the Russian way, we are not that good technically as individuals so we need to play as a team and do the right things right.”
Switzerland nearly doubled Latvia’s shots on goal with a 41-23 difference.
The loss will send Latvia in the relegation round, with Team Switzerland duking it out against Slovakia tomorrow at 4pm to determine which round they will enter into.