International Ice Hockey Federation

Swiss in control, win 4-0

Swiss in control, win 4-0

Balanced attack neutralizes Latvia

Published 14.04.2017 22:23 GMT+2 | Author Andrew Podnieks
Swiss in control, win 4-0
POPRAD, SLOVAKIA - APRIL 14: Latvia's Sandis Smons #7 and Janis Voris #1 look back as Switzerland's Nando Eggenberger #22 scores while his teammate Nico Hischier #13 looks on during preliminary round action at the 2017 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 World Championship. (Photo by Andrea Cardin/HHOF-IIHF Images)
The Swiss won their first game of the U18 while Latvia dropped its second straight tonight in Poprad.

Switzerland used its speed and playmaking to control the puck and the game, defeating Latvia by a 4-0 score in its first game of the tournament.

The loss drops Latvia to 0-2 and already leaves it in a precarious position for next week as it hopes to avoid the relegation round.

Nando Eggenberger scored twice for the winners and Gianluca Zaetta stopped all 27 shots for the shutout. The Swiss fired 44 shots on the Latvian goalies.

"We came out strong and had a good start," said Nicoo Hischier. "We wanted to win and have a good start to the tournament. Maybe we were a little casual in the second, but we were good again in the third. It's a big win for us."

"I feel like we played well, but we had a couple of mistakes and that cost us," admitted Latvian forward Valters Egle. "They scored three goals by passes to the back door. We have to eliminate that. And we have to work on our penalty killing."

Eggenberger opened the scoring at 2:57 when he converted a nice pass from Nicolas Muller, beating Janis Voris with a clean shot. 

The Swiss made it 2-0 at 13:12 on a couple of fine plays during a delayed penalty. Justin Sigrist held onto the puck as he circled the goal, not wanting to give up possession, and his patience paid off.

He found Philipp Kurashev clear on the other side and made a great pass to get it there. Kurashev made no mistake and whistled the shot in.

Coach Igors Smirnovs pulled Voris and inserted Niklavs Rauza to start the second, but early in the period the Swiss made it 3-0. Sigrist knocked in a loose puck from in close on a power play.

Eggenberger scored his second goal of the night early in the third. Driving down the right wing, he flew past a Latvian defenceman and cut in on goal. His bad angle shot fooled Rauza at 3:50.

Switzerland plays Finland tomorrow while Latvia has the day off to regroup. Latvia plays Easter Sunday against the Finns in the evening looking to score more than one goal as it has in its first two games.

"We know we have to score more," Egle acknowledged. "Hopefully we'll get it going. We also only had two power plays today, so we need to get more chances. I still feel like we can make the quarter-finals."

"We have a good team," enthused Hischier. "We have a lot of guys playing in their second tournament, and I think we can surprise some people here."


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