A pair of Gaëtan Haas goals and a shutout performance by Jonas Hiller put the International Hockey Lineal Championship back in the hands of Switzerland, dispatching Denmark 2-0 to complete the Euro Hockey Challenge.
Hiller and the Eisgenossen in front of him, in a reversal of their performance two days ago in La Chaux-de-Fonds, put on a defensive masterpiece in Basel, holding Denmark to a scoreless first period, despite being outshot 11-3 on the frame and taking three penalties. Haas notched his first of two goals midway through the second, ending Sebastian Dahm’s shutout bid, and killed off two more penalties, being outshot again, this time 11-6.
The Lions were forced to up their defences in the third after some penalty trouble, but even a late penalty to defender Dominik Schlumpf with less than five minutes remaining did not result in an equalizer getting past Hiller. Switzerland finally outshot the Danes on the period, 12-11, and managed to hold on for the tight victory, with Haas’ second goal on an empty cage providing the win. Hiller, destined to be the starter for Switzerland when the World Championships begin next week, stopped all 33 shots faced.
With the win, Switzerland recaptures the International Hockey Lineal Championship, their 18th title, and first since winning the title from Russia one week earlier in the third leg of the Euro Hockey Challenge. This marks the fourth all-time IHLC meeting between these two, and improves Switzerland’s record to 3-1, their first meeting since a 5-4 upset win by Denmark two days ago. The win now ensures that the IHLC will remain in Group B in Paris for the upcoming World Championships, as the only remaining game before the tournament features two teams from this group, an exhibition tilt between the Swiss and Canada in Geneva on May 2.
10:41 – PEN – Díaz, tripping
17:00 – PEN – Hollenstein, tripping
19:36 – PEN – team, too many players
32:57 – GOAL – Haas (Furrer)
33:40 – PEN – Ambühl, tripping
35:46 – PEN – Brunner, delay of game
42:17 – PEN – Russell, cross checking
52:45 – PEN – Ehlers, holding
55:40 – PEN – Schlumpf, high sticking
59:52 – EN GOAL – Haas (Schäppi)
W: Hiller (33-33)
L: Dahm (19-20)
SHOTS ON GOAL
3+6+12 = 21
11+11+11 = 33
Goaltenders: Jonas Hiller, Niklas Schlegel. Defence: Raphael Díaz (C), Philippe Furrer, Dean Kukan, Christian Marti, Claude-Curdin Paschoud, Dominik Schlumpf, Dave Sutter, Ramon Untersander. Forwards: Andres Ambühl, Simon Bodenmann, Damien Brunner, Gaëtan Haas, Fabrice Herzog, Denis Hollenstein, Vincent Praplan, Tanner Richard, Kevin Romy, Thomas Rüfenacht, Reto Schäppi, Reto Suri.
Goaltenders: Sebastian Dahm, Simon Nielsen. Defence: Phillip Bruggisser, Jesper Jensen, Nicolas B. Jensen, Emil Kristensen, Matias Lassen, Markus Lauridsen, Oliver Lauridsen, Nicolai Meyer. Forwards: Mathias Bau Hansen, Mads Christensen, Nikolaj Ehlers, Morten Green (C), Nichlas Hardt, Julian Jacobsen, Steffen Klarskov Nielsen, Morten Madsen, Nicolai Meyer, Morten Poulsen, Peter Regin, Patrick Russell, Frederik Storm.