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Close, but not Close Enough.

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With a chance to bring home the country’s first gold medal in the IIHF Men's World Championship, Switzerland played the host nation, the Czech Republic, after beating Canada in a shootout in the semi finals. They lost 2-0 in the final due to goals from David Pastrňák and David Kämpf.

Switzerland still has not won a gold medal in the tournament. They have 10 medals in total from the tournament, six bronze and four silver.

Courtesy of Matt Zambonin

This year's roster featured six NHL players. Philipp Kurashev (Chicago Blackhawks), Akira Schmid (New Jersey Devils), Nino Niederreiter (Winnipeg Jets), Kevin Fiala (Los Angeles Kings), Nico Hischier (New Jersey Devils), Roman Josi (Nashville Predators), and Jonas Siegenthaler (New Jersey Devils) all represented their country. Niederreiter, Josi, and Fiala joined after their respective teams were eliminated from the playoffs. Hischier, Josi and Fiala were named Switzerland's best players. Fiala (forward) and Josi (defense) were also named the tournament's best positional players, along with Czech goalie Lukáš Dostál. 

Courtesy of Matt Zambonin

One of the best defensive teams in the tournament, Switzerland only conceded 17 goals in 10 games and scored 33 goals. Goalie Leonardo Genoni was one of the tournament's best goalies with a 94.08% save percentage and one shutout. The Swiss’s biggest win was a 8-0 feat against Denmark. Their most number of goals conceded in a game was in a 6-5 win over Austria. Fiala came into the tournament on fire, scoring seven goals in eight games. Josi led the team in points and Hischier had a hat-trick under his belt. 

Losing only one preliminary round game to Canada and winning in a shootout against Czechia, it was safe to say they had an idea on what kind of game they would be playing in the semi final and gold medal game. Beating Canada in the semis in a shootout was a huge achievement and confidence boost for the team going into the final. In a tight, rough, and skillful game throughout all three periods, Czechia did come out on top, handing Switzerland their third silver medal in 11 years. 

Courtesy of Fresh Focus

The reception from the Swiss fans when they returned, even with only a silver, was a proud one. This team is closer to gold than some may think and people shouldn’t be surprised when they put up a fight against big teams. With a good mix of young players and an experienced group of veterans, this team is headed in the right direction.

Despite the loss, this Swiss team is on the cusp of history. Who knows, when the 2026 tournament rolls around maybe they will win their first on home soil. 

Edited by Giana Robertaccio

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