After defeating the Latvians by a score of 1-0 on Wednesday afternoon, Team Switzerland found themselves on the other end of a 1-0 game Friday morning.
Team Sweden played their first game of the tournament without captain Henrik Zetterberg, who will not be continuing in the Olympics, and could possibly be out for the season (herniated disk).
Team Switzerland made the odd choice of starting backup goaltender Reto Berra (Calgary Flames) against the Swedes. In 2010, Jonas Hiller played every minute of every game. The decision made little sense, regardless of how outstanding Berra ended up playing.
And surprisingly outstanding he was. He stopped 30 of 31 shots in the losing effort, as his team could provide no offensive support for him.
The Swiss had dominated the first period. They owned the puck and had themselves numerous scoring opportunities, outshooting Sweden 13-5.
In the second period however, the shot totals were reversed, with Sweden possessing the puck more and outshooting Switzerland 17-7.
Like Game 1, this one looked like it was headed to overtime. Berra and Henrik Lundqvist were solid in net, and neither team could finish on their scoring chances.
Late in period number three, Sweden was playing with more determination, with the realization that they needed to find a goal any way they could get it, regardless of how pretty it looked.
With fewer than eight minutes remaining, veteran forward Daniel Alfredsson did just that, as he stuffed home a rebound near the crease to make it 1-0.
The Swiss failed to come back, and they would lose the game by the same score.
There were some positive notes for the team however. Their defense, including Raphael Diaz and Roman Josi, is getting the job done. They have killed off all seven power plays in the first two games combined. Now if only something could be done about their scoring draught (1 goal in 2 games). Damien Brunner registered just one shot on net Friday, and that will need to change if they want to advance.
With the win, Sweden clinched Pool C.
Switzerland next plays Saturday at 12 EST. vs. the Czech Republic (NBCSN).
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