Archive for 2014 Deutschland Cup

Canada 4:2 Germany


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Despite holding a two-goal advantage as the halfway mark of the contest approached, a questionable decision to change goaltenders and a string of undisciplined penalties conspired to undo the host nation as always proud Canada rallied to register a 4-2 triumph over Germany on the final day of the 2014 Deutschland Cup international tournament in Munich.

Even though the players representing nine-time Olympic gold medalist Canada at the Olymia-Eisstadion in Bavaria are certainly not the very best that the North American country actually has to offer, one still could have easily surmised that, after consecutive losses to Slovakia and Switzerland at this 2014 Deutschland Cup, national pride and professional experience would see to it that this particular team under the direction of Eisbaeren Berlin trainer Jeff Tomlinson were always going to be extremely difficult to beat on the third and final day of the competition.

Canada had much better of the play for the first eight minutes or so but found Germany netminder Dennis Endras of Adler Mannheim, the somewhat smallish shot-stopper who was named the Best Goaltender at the 2010 IIHF World Championships but has been out of favor for the past couple of seasons, to be in top notch form. Buoyed by reliable play between the pipes, the Germans skated the lead a little over thirteen minutes in when a long wrist shot from defenseman Denis Reul, the 25-year-old Adler Mannheimer who was the fifth round choice (# 130 overall) of the Boston Bruins at the 2007 National Hockey League Draft, eluded veteran Canada goaltender Chris Mason of German elite league club Augsburg Panthers, the 38-year-old with 317 games worth of NHL experience on his resume. In front of the net to provide a critical screen was Germany center Kai Hospelt of Adler Mannheim, the 29-year-old Olympic veteran who was the seventh round selection (# 216 overall) of the San Jose Sharks at the 2003 NHL Draft and has appeared at six major international tournaments (40 ga, 4 go, 16 pts) in his career.

It was the first international goal ever scored by Reul, who has represented Germany at the IIHF World Championships three times (14 ga, 0 go, 0 pts) in his career already.

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Germany goaltender Dennis Endras (44), the experienced national team veteran who has played 20 games (2.78 avg, .906 svpct) at the annual IIHF World Championships over the course of his career, smothers the puck during the game against traditional international powerhouse Canada on the final day of competition at the 2014 Deutschland Cup in Munich.
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As the first intermission neared, the Canadians found themselves with two players sitting in the penalty box and the host nation was effectively able to capitalize. Germany captain Michael Wolf of hometown EHC Red Bull Munich, the 33-year-old Olympic veteran who has skated at seven major international tournaments (45 ga, 11 go, 21 pts) during his tenure, started the movement by passing the puck to Patrick Hager of ERC Ingolstadt behind the net. Then, the 26-year-old left wing quickly stepped out in front and stuffed a backhander past the Canadian custodian Mason to give Deutschland a 2-0 lead with a little more than two and a half minutes left in the first period.

The first half of the second period was far more even than the opening session had been but the Germans certainly did need a few more fine saves from Endras, the 29-year-old who, in late December of 2012, had an excellent outing when Adler Mannheim upended Canada 2-1 at the annual Spengler Cup holiday tournament held in Davos, Switzlerand. Then, perhaps because the host had already clinched this 2014 Deutschland Cup title by winning its first two games against Switzerland and Slovakia, Germany national team trainer Pat Cortina decided to rotate his goaltenders. It was a curious move more commonly associated with a Testspiel (an exhibition contest) as compared to a tournament game.

And so, at the 29:30 mark of the contest, off the bench ice cold and with one rather short stoppage of play to get ‘ready’ came Timo Pielmeier of ERC Ingolstadt, the 25-year-old who had one rather dreadful appearance (7.50 avg, .583 svpct) for the Anaheim Ducks during the 2010/11 NHL season in three years of North American professional hockey; Pielmeier, who had performed admirably in Germany’s 2-1 victory over Slovakia the day before, was making just his fourth-ever appearance in the national team colors.

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Faced with the prospect of losing all three games at this 2014 Deutschland Cup and now having seen the backup goaltender sent out onto the ice, the prideful Canadians obviously concluded that they needed to step up their game immediately. Barely six minutes had come off the scoreboard clock since the arrival of Pielmeier when Canada sped down the right flank in the German zone on two-on-one break. Bud Holloway of Swiss Nationalliga A side SC Bern, the 26-year-old winger who was the third round pick (# 86 overall) of the Los Angeles Kings at the 2006 NHL Draft, squared the puck beautifully into the path of charging Hamburg Freezers right wing Kevin Clark, the 26-year-old out of the University of Alaska – Anchorage who currently leads the Deutsche Eishockey League with 13 goals in 16 games this season after notching 30 goals and 68 points in 51 D.E.L. games for Krefeld Pinguine last term.

With time in the second period almost expired, inexperienced Germany defenseman Florian Kettemer of EHC Red Bull Munich, the 28-year-old former Adler Mannheim blueliner who has never appeared at a major internatonal tournament, was escorted to the penalty box and the Canadians took their chance rather well immediately. Highly experienced Canada captain Steven Reinprecht of Nuremberg Ice Tigers, the aging 38-year-old former Wisconsin Badgers center who skated in 596 NHL games and won the Stanley Cup with the Colorado Avalanche in 2001 before winning a gold medal for his country at the 2003 IIHF World Championships, sent a picturesque cross-ice pass from the bottom of the right faceoff circle over to Holloway in the left faceoff circle. The former Los Angeles farmhand who has spent the past three winters with AIK Skelleftea in the Swedish elite league after totaling 28 goals and 61 points in 78 games for the Manchester Monarchs during the 2010/11 American Hockey League campaign had no trouble hitting the back of the virtually wide-open net.

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The Canadians had obviously gained momentum from its strong finish to the middle frame but, at the outset of the final period, the Germans made it clear they were not enamored with the idea of a loss in their final tournament game and remained on even footing for the first thirteen minutes or so. Germany were spending too much time in the sin bin, however, and the visit by Kettemer that gave Canada its second power play opportunity of the game proved to be costly. This because the influential Reinprecht, who was loaned to Adler Mannheim for the remainder of the season by the NHL’s Florida Panthers in January of 2011, blasted his one-time shot from between the top of the two faceoff circles past the German goaltender Pielmeier to give the Canadians their very first lead of the game at the 53:52 mark.

The Germans made an effort to get back on level terms but Mason, the experienced veteran who has been to the annual IIHF World Championships with the national team of Canada four times (11 ga) in his productive career which includes both a gold medal (2007) and a silver medal (2009) won at the annual IIHF affair. Mason had been a hard luck loser for Canada after being lifted in favor of a sixth attacker at the end of the previous day’s clash with Switzerland, it should be remembered. Brandon Buck, the 26-year-old center who to transferred to German D.E.L. club ERC Ingolstadt from Swiss second division side HC Basel this past summer, put matters to rest soon enough for Canada by scoring an empty net goal.

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November 9, 2014
Deutschland Cup
Olympia-Eisstadion … Munich, Germany
Attendance : 6,000

Canada 4 – Germany 2

13:12 … GER – Reul (Oppenheimer, Hospelt)
17:19 … GER – Hager (Wolf, Hoerdler) – ppg
35:22 … CAN – Clark (Holloway)
38:53 … CAN – Holloway (Reinprecht, Regehr) – ppg
53:51 … CAN – Reinprecht (Pettinger) – ppg
59:05 … CAN – Buck (Clark) – eng

penalty minutes : GER 14 – CAN 10

Germany : Endras (Pielmeier 29:30) – Hoerdler, Ankert ; Reul, Kettemer ; Krueger, Akdag ; Wurm, Krupp – Gogulla, Ullmann, Reimer ; Pietta, Hospelt, Oppenheimer ; Hager, Plachta, Wolf ; Noebels, Seidenberg, Kink

Canada : Mason – DuPont, Pettinger ; Raymond, Regehr ; Festerling, Roy – Aulin, Ca. Abbott, Ch. Abbott ; Hamill, Dixon, Reddox ; Holloway, Buck, Clark ; James, Reinprecht, Greentree

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Switzerland 2:1 Slovakia


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Two lighting-fast goals just fifty-one seconds apart at the start of the third period overturned the deficit and vaulted inexperienced Switzlerand to a 2-1 triumph over Slovakia and a respectable second place finish at the 2014 Deutschland Cup international tournament in Munich.

After two consecutive games against the much heavier-hitting Canadian and German squads, the Slovaks enjoyed a far less physical contest against the youthful Swiss and probably had the better of play in the first two periods, as well. With less than four and a half minutes left in the second period, Slovakia stormed to the lead when HC Kosice right wing Adam Lapsansky converted a fabulous chance coming from between the two faceoff circles after a centering pass from behind the net. For Lapsanky, who has never appeared at a major international tournament as of yet, it marked the third consecutive game at this 2014 Deutschland Cup that the 24-year-old Slovak scored one goal.

Switzerland, however, were fortified by the goaltending of Sandro Zurkirchen of HC Ambri Piotta, the 24-year-old who was making just his second-ever appearance for the national team; Zurkirchen, to review, had made 36 saves for the Swiss in the 2-1 win over Canada the day before and was a major reason why Slovakia failed on five power play opportunities on the last day of the tournament in Munich.

Switzerland fought back to tie the score barely more than four minutes into the final frame when EV Zug right wing Lino Martschini, the 21-year-old who spent two seasons playing major junior in Canada for the Peterborough Petes of the Ontario Hockey League, went on a solo skate through the Slovakia defense. Less than sixty seconds thereafter, the Swiss struck for a winner when the trio from Nationalliga A side HC Davos finished with aplomb. Samuel Walser, the 22-year-old center who had also scored Switzerland’s first goal in the 2-1 victory over Canada at this 2014 Deutschland Cup, netted yet again after taking a drop pass from Dino Wieser, the 25-year-old left wing who had defeated the Canadians by scoring into an empty net just the day before.

Highly experienced trainer Glen Hanlon, the long-time National Hockey League goaltender and former Washington Capitals head coach who is now in his first season in charge of Switzlerand’s national team, was pleased and encouraged by both the effort and progress his players demonstrated throughout the weekend tournament in Munich.

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Slovakia defenseman Tomas Bokros (3), the 25-year-old who spent last season with SK Sodertalje in the Swedish second division, and speedy Switzerland left wing Reto Suri of EV Zug, the 25-year-old Olympic veteran who has already appeared at three major international tournaments (20 ga, 6 go, 11 pts) in his career, search for the loose puck in front of the net on the final day of the 2014 Deutschland Cup competition.
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November 9, 2014
Deutschland Cup
Olympia-Eisstadion … Munich, Germany
Attendance : 4,800

Switzerland 2:1 Slovakia

35:39 … SVK – Lapsansky (T. Sykora, Cingel)
44:12 … SWITZ – Martschini (Haas, Suri)
45:03 … SWITZ – Walser (Wieser, Simion)

penalty minutes : SWITZ 10 – SVK 4

Slovakia : Konrad – Deyl, Svarny ; Valach, Janosik ; Kotvan, Kozak ; Bokros – Dravecky, Viedensky, Bakos ; Cingel, T. Sykora, Lapsansky ; Marcinko, Lusnak, Rac ; Dej, Bortnak, Vandas

Switzerland : Zurkirchen – Ramholt, Schlumpf ; Leeger, Haechler ; Kparghai, Kienzle ; Fischer – Suri, Haas, Martschini ; Wieser, Walser, Simion ; Bodenmann, Schaeppi, Baltisberger ; Scherwey, Froideveaux, Bertschy

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Germany 2:1 Slovakia


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A lightning-quick goal roughly one and a half minutes into the game and a second strike with forty seconds remaining to be played in the second period would prove to be all the offense that was required as host nation Germany ultimately held off late charging Slovakia 2-1 on the second day of the 2014 Deutschland Cup international tournament in Munich.

The Germans made a dream start when ERC Ingolstadt left wing Patrick Hager, the 26-year-old who has appeared at the annual IIHF World Championships three times (19 ga, 1 go, 2 pts) in his career, was the first to jump on a loose puck in front of the net after Slovakia goaltender Marek Ciliak, the 24-year-old from Czech elite league outfit HC Brno, left an inviting rebound. Hager beat Ciliak, who was making his senior international debut for Slovakia, low to the stick side to give Germany the 1-0 lead at the 1:39 mark of the opening period. Patrick Reimer, the 31-year-old Nuremberg Ice Tigers right wing recall to the national team for the first time in nineteen months, provided die Vorarbeit.

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Slovakia almost struck back right away in the third minute through Marek Viedensky, the 24-year-old right wing from Finnish elite league club HPK Hameenlinna who was the seventh round selection (# 189 overall) of the San Jose Sharks at the 2009 National Hockey League Draft before spending three seasons (120 ga, 15 go, 40 pts) skating with the Worcester Sharks in the American Hockey League. The Slovaks had no luck, though, as the shot from Viedensky, who scored three goals in seven games for Slovakia at the 2014 IIHF World Championships last spring, could only strike iron. Just two minutes later, though, Germany defenseman Justin Krueger from Swiss Nationlliga A side SC Bern, the 28-year-old out of Cornell University who was the seventh round choice (# 213 overall) of the Carolina Hurricanes at the 2006 NHL Draft and skated two seasons in the AHL for the Charlotte Checkers, was also denied by the goal cage.

When not being bailed out by his goal posts, Timo Pielmeier of ERC Ingolstadt, the 25-year-old netminder who was selected in third round (# 83 overall) of the 2007 NHL Draft by the San Jose Sharks but only ever did make one disastrous appearance (7.50 avg, .583 svpct) for the Anaheim Ducks at North American hockey’s highest professional level, was busy giving a good account of himself between the German pipes. Very late in the second period, the Slovaks were able to get another puck past Pielmeier, who was making just his third-ever appearance for the national team, but were again thwarted by metal. This time it was Slovakia right wing Roman Rac, the 23-year-old from Czech Extraligia side HC Olomouc, who went without good fortune.

The second Pfostenschuss from Slovakia would prove to be extremely pivotal, then. With exactly 40 seconds left to be played in the second period, Germany notched a second goal when veteran center Christoph Ullmann of Adler Mannheim sent a very hopeful puck in on net from the boards on the extreme right wing. Thanks to an inadvertent deflection from Slovakia defenseman Radek Deyl, the 25-year-old from Czech club HC Karlovy Vary, the little black disc ended up behind Ciliak to give the 31-year-old Ullmann his 20th career goal on his 146th appearance for the national team of Germany.

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Reimer, the rejuvenated right wing who scored two goals during Germany’s 3-1 win over Alpine arch-rival Switzerland on the first day of this 2014 Deutschland Cup competition, drew his second assist of the game against Slovakia on Ullmann’s strike. Almost eight minutes into the third period, the speedy veteran who totaled 33 goals and 65 points in 50 Deutsche Eishockey Liga games for Nuremberg last season almost gave Germany was would have been a 3-0 lead over the Slovaks. But Reimer’s rising backhander only rang the crossbar.

With a little less than four and a half minutes remaining in regulation, the Slovaks hauled themselves back into serious contention when a long shot from out on the left wing by Adam Lapsansky, the 24-year-old from domestic side HC Kosice who also scored a goal during Slovakia’s 4-1 triumph over Canada in the opening game of the 2014 Deutschland Cup, found its way past the somewhat screened Germany custodian Pielmeier.

Seeking to capitalize on its own momentum, Slovakia ratcheted up the pressure and forced Pielmeier, who spent most of his three seasons of North American pro hockey playing in the third-tier East Coast Hockey League before signing with German second division club EV Landshut in the summer of 2012, into making a few more good saves. The Slovaks’ attack petered out towards the end, however and veteran trainer Vladmir Vujtek‘s side never really were able to pull Ciliak in favor of a sixth attacker. “The German goaltender was very strong and the reason why we only scored one goal today,” offered Vujtek to the media after the game in Munich.

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Germany goaltender Timo Pielmeier, who made 37 appearances (3.09 avg, .906 svpct) for the Syracuse Crunch during the 2010/11 American Hockey League season but spent the bulk of the following campaign with the Elmira Jackals of the East Coast Hockey League, makes a save against Slovakia during the 2014 Deutschland Cup in Munich.
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November 8, 2014
Deutschland Cup
Olympia-Eisstadion … Munich, Germany
Attendance : 5,700

Germany 2:1 Slovakia

01:39 … GER – Hager (Reimer)
39:20 … GER – Ullmann (Reimer, Gogulla)
55:37 … SVK – Lapsansky (Vandas)

penalty minutes : GER 8 – SVK 4

Germany : Pielmeier – Hoerdler, Ankert ; Reul, Goc ; Krueger, Akdag ; Krupp, Kettemer – Gogulla, Ullmann, Reimer ; Pietta, Hospelt, Oppenheimer ; Hager, Plachta, Wolf ; Noebels, Seidenberg, Kink

Slovakia : Ciliak – Valach, Mikus ; Svarny, Deyl ; Bokros, Kozak ; Janosik, Kotvan – Dravecky, Viedensky, Bakos ; Tomanek, J. Sykora, Marcinko ; Bortnak, Lapsansky, Vandas ; Dej, Lusnak, Rac

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Switzerland 2:1 Canada


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A risky tactial decision motivated by circumstances prevailing towards the end of regulation did not produce the desired effect and enabled Switzerland to skate off with a 2-1 victory over Canada on the second day of play at the 2014 Deutschland Cup international tournament in Munich.

Switzerland had more of the possession to start and probably had more quality chances than Canada at the outset, as well. A little more than eleven minutes into the contest, the inexperienced Swiss were immediately rewarded for their hard work. A wide-angle shot from Samuel Walser, the 22-year-old center from HC Davos, negotiated its way through considerable traffic before eluding Canada goaltender Chris Mason from German club Augsburger Panthers, the 38-year-old veteran who has made 317 appearances in the National Hockey League for the Nashville Predators, St. Louis Blues, Atlanta Thrashers and Winnipeg Jets, in his lengthy career.

Canada came into the game more and more as the match moved along, in part due to several power play opportunities that came about after a spate of Swiss penalties. Capitalizing on a steady build-up of momentum, the Canadians got themselves back on level terms with roughly five and a half minutes left in the second period. Zach Hamill of Finnish elite league club HPK Hameenlinna, the 26-year-old who was the first round choice (# 8 overall) of the Boston Bruins at the 2007 NHL Draft but could only managed 20 NHL games (0 go, 4 pts) in five and a half seasons of North American pro hockey before signing for Kontinental Hockey League club Barys Astana in Kazakhstan last year, fired home a shot after receiving a drop pass.

The Canadians were enjoying far more of play as the end of regulation approached but found Switzerland goaltender Sandro Zurkirchen of HC Ambri-Piotta to be a most a difficult nut to crack; the 24-year-old was certainly impressive in turing aside 36 shots on his senior international debut.

Canada head coach Jeff Tomlinson, the second-year trainer of Deutsche Eishockey Liga club Eisbaeren Berlin, decided to go for broke with just over a minute in the game and lifted his goaltender in favor of a sixth attacker. Tomlinson calculated, correctly as it turned out, that his team would need to collect three points for a win in regulation time on this second day of the 2014 Deutschland Cup if the Canadians were to have any chance at winning the weekend tournament in Munich. Canada, of course, are scheduled to skate against host Germany on the final day of the competition.

Tomlinson’s daring gamble failed to pass dividends for Canada, however, and it took Switzerland’s Dino Wieser, the 25-year-old left wing also from HC Davos, only thirteen seconds to shoot the game-winning goal into the empty net.

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Switzerland goaltender Sandro Zurkirchen, the former EV Zug backstop who is now in his second season as the number one for HC Ambri Piotta in the elite Nationalliga A, had a successful senior international debut against nine-time Olympic gold medalist Canada at the 2014 Deutschland Cup in Munich.
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November 8, 2014
Deutschland Cup
Olympia-Eisstadion … Munich, Germany
Attendance : 4,600

Switzerland 2:1 Canada

11:12 … SWITZ – Walser (Walsky, Kparghai)
34:32 … CAN – Hamill (Aulin, Reddox)
59:12 … SWITZ – Wieser (unassisted) – eng

shots-on-goal : CAN 37 – SWITZ 24

penalty minutes: SWITZ 14 – CAN 8

Switzerland : Zurkirchen – Ramholt, Schlumpf ; Leeger, Untersander ; Kparghai, Kienzle ; Fischer, Haechler – Suri, Lemm, Martschini ; Bodenmann, Haas, Walsky ; Wieser, Walser, Simion ; Kuenzle, Schaeppi, Baltisberger

Canada : Mason – Raymond, Regehr ; Roy, Festerling ; Pettinger, DuPont ; Westcott – Dixon, Ca. Abbott, Ch. Abbott ; Holloway, Buck, Clark ; Hamill, Aulin, Reddox ; James, Reinprecht, Greentree

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Germany 3:1 Switzerland


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Two goals from a recalled veteran appearing for the national team for the first time in nineteen months and steady play between the pipes from an experienced goaltender who has been out of favor with the national team trainer the last couple of seasons lifted host Germany to a 3-1 triumph over traditional Alpine arch-rival Switzerland on the opening day of the 2014 Deutschland Cup international tournament in Munich.

Germany came out flying in the opening period and were able to generate a sustained offensive attack to completely dominate the Swiss in terms of getting shots on goal (18-7). All the pressure finally paid off for the hosts when Patrick Reimer of Nuremberg Ice Tigers, the 31-year-old right wing who was first appeared for the national team in the spring of 2005 but had not skated for Deutschland since the 2013 IIHF World Championships, shot the hosts to the lead nearly fifteen and a half minutes into the contest. Koelner Haie left winger Philipp Gogulla, the 27-year-old former Buffalo Sabres farmhand who has appeared at the annual IIHF World Championships seven times (46 ga, 4 go, 21 as) in his career, did the preparation work.

The Germans would have had an even larger lead in the first period if not for the fine work of Switzerland netminder Daniel Manzato, the 30-year-old veteran who was the fifth round choice (# 160 overall) of the Carolina Hurricanes and spent the 2008/09 season in the American Hockey League with the Albany River Rats (32 ga, 3.19 avg, .898 svpct) before returning to Europe. Former Philadelphia Flyers farmhand Marcel Noebels, the 22-year-old left wing who scored 16 goals in 95 AHL games for the Adirondack Phantoms before signing a contract with Eisbaeren Berlin this past October, and Thomas Oppenheimer, the 25-year-old Hamburg Freezers right wing who led Deutschland in scoring at the 2014 IIHF World Championships last spring, each had excellent opportunities to extend Deutschland’s advantage late in the first period but were denied by Manzato. Oppenheimer had been turned aside at point blank range by the Swiss goaltender just prior to Reimer’s opening strike, as well.

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Switzerland, who iced a very inexperienced squad stocked with numerous players who were on their international debut, equalized on the power play roughly five and a half minutes into the second period. Left wing Reto Suri of EV Zug, the 25-year-old Olympic veteran who has appeared for the Swiss at three major international tournaments (20 ga, 6 go, 11 pts) in his career, finished with aplomb after the Swiss had used a series of short passes to quickly move the puck around in the offensive zone. Linemates Romano Lemm of EHC Kloten, the 30-year-old Swiss captain and two-time Olympic veteran who has skated at nine major international events (55 ga, 8 go, 19 pts) in his career, and 21-year-old youngster Lino Martschini of EV Zug picked up the assists.

The Germans struck back less than three minutes later, though, also while skating with the man advantage as Reimer, who now counts 15 goals in 52 national team games for Deutschland in his career, made a hustling play to pounce on a loose puck in front of the net and chip the little black disc up and over the shoulder of the Swiss custodian Manzato. With Germany goaltender Dennis Endras of Adler Mannheim, the 29-year-old veteran who has appeared in 20 games (2.78 avg, .906 svpct) at the IIHF World Championships during his career, also displaying fine form on his return to the national team colors, the would be no way back for Switzerland. Oppenheimer added an empty net goal to seal the deal for Deutschland.

“The Germans played good. It was hard for us to win space. We had a lot of trouble in the faceoff circle,” stated first-year Switzerland national team trainer Glen Hanlon, the long-time National Hockey League goaltender and former head coach who was previously in charge of both Belarus (2004/05 & 2005/06, 2008/09, 2013/14) and Slovakia (2009/10 & 2010/11).

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November 7, 2014
Deutschland Cup
Olympia-Eisstadion … Munich, Germany
Attendance : 5,500

Germany 3:1 Switerland

15:23 … GER – Reimer (Gogulla, Ullmann)
25:36 … SWITZ – Suri (Martschini, Lemm) – ppg
28:22 … GER – Reimer (unassisted) – ppg
59:33 … GER – Oppenheimer (Pietta, Hoerdler) – eng

shots-on-goal : GER 36 – SWITZ 21

penalty minutes : SWITZ 10 – GER 6

Germany : Endras – Ankert, Hoerdler ; Goc, Reul ; Akdag, Krueger ; Kettemer, Krupp – Gogulla, Ullmann, Reimer ; Pietta, Hospelt, Oppenheimer ; Hager, Plachta, Wolf ; Noebels, Seidenberg, Kink

Switzerland : Manzato – Ramholt, Schlumpf ; Leeger, Untersander ; Kparghai, Kienzle ; Fischer, Haechler – Suri, Lemm, Martschini ; Bodenmann, Schaeppi, Walsky ; Scherwey, Froidevaux, Baltisberger ; Wieser, Haas, Bertschy

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Slovakia 4:1 Canada


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Solid netminding throughout the contest and a back-breaking shorthanded goal scored early in the third period helped power Slovakia to a convincing 4-1 triumph over Canada on the opening day of the 2014 Deutschland Cup international tournament at the Olympia-Eisstadion in Munich, Germany.

Defenseman Juraj Mikus of Czech club Sparta Prague, the 25-year-old who skated in the American Hockey League with the Toronto Marlies for three seasons after being selected in the fifth round selection (# 134 overall) of the 2007 National Hockey Draft League, scored a power play goal in the latter stages of the opening period to give Slovakia the lead. Rearguard Radek Deyl, the 25-year-old from Czech side HC Karlovy Vary who was a late addition to the roster for the Deutschland Cup, then doubled the Slovaks advantage late in the second period. Left wing Vladimir Dravecky of Czech outfit HC Trinec, the 29-year-old veteran who skated a season and a half in the AHL for the Manchester Monarchs and represented Slovakia at the 2010 IIHF World Championships in Germany, set up the first two goals of the game.

The Canadians looked to have hauled themselves back into contention when former Eisbaeren Berlin defenseman Micki DuPont, the 34-year-old veteran from Swiss side EHC Kloten who once skated a combined 23 NHL games for the Calgary Flames, Pittsburgh Penguins and St. Louis Blues, netted a 5-on-3 power play goal less than a minute and a half into the third period. Canada captain Steven Reinprecht of Nuremberg Ice Tigers, the 38-year-old former University of Wisconsin Badgers skipper who made 596 appearances (121 go, 336 pts) in the NHL for and won a Stanley Cup with the Colorado Avalanche back in 2001, assisted on the strike. But then the Canucks, considered by many to be the tournament favorites coming into the 2014 Deutschland Cup and still skating with the man advantage, conceded a critical goal just 28 seconds later and never really recovered.

Right wing Adam Lapsansky of HC Kosice, the inexperienced 24-year-old who has never appeared at a major international tournament in his brief career, finished off a shorthanded two-on-one break with center Patrik Lusnak, the 25-year-old who skates professionally for HC Yunost Minsk in Belarus, to give Slovakia a 3-1 lead.

With a little less than eight minutes remaining in the contest, 23-year-old right wing Roman Rac of Czech side HC Olomouc closed the door on Canada for good by scoring a goal on his international debut for Slovakia.

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Canada skipper Steven Reinprecht (# 28), the highly experienced veteran who received a gold medal at the 2003 IIHF World Championships after notching six assists in eight games, and Slovakia captain Ivan Svarny, the 30-year-old defenseman from Kontinental Hockey League club Dynamo Minsk in Belarus who has appeared at the annual IIHF World Championships three times in his career, come together in front of net during the opening round match of the 2014 Deutschland Cup international tournament being held in the southern German state of Bavaria.
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November 7, 2014
Deutschland Cup
Olympia-Eisstadion … Munich, Germany
Attendance : 3,500

Slovakia 4:1 Canada

15:20 … SVK – Mikus (Dravecky) – ppg
38:45 … SVK – Deyl (Dravecky)
41:20 … CAN – Dupont (Reinprecht) – ppg
41:48 … SVK – Lapsansky (Lusnak) – shg
52:09 … SVK – Rac (Lusnak)

Slovakia : Konrad – Valach, Mikus ; Svarny, Deyl ; Bokros, Kozak ; Janosik, Kotvan – Dravecky, Viedensky, Bakos ; Tomanek, J. Sykora, Marcinko ; Cingel, T. Sykora, Lapsansky ; Dej, Lusnak, Rac

Canada : Caron – Festerling, Roy ; Raymond, Regehr ; Fraser, Dupont ; Westcott – Dixon, Ca. Abbott, Ch. Abbott ; James, Pettinger, Reinprecht ; Buck, Clark, Holloway ; Hamill, Aulin, Reddox ; Greentree

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Injury-Hit Germany Prepares To Host 2014 Deutschland Cup


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No fewer than five of the twenty-eight players originally named to the host squad for the 2014 Deutschland Cup by Germany national team trainer Pat Cortina are now injured and will not be able to participate in any of the games at the Olympia-Eisstadion in Munich this weekend.

The loss of defenseman Constantin Braun from Eisbaeren Berlin, the sixth round selection (# 164 overall) of the Los Angeles Kings at the 2006 National Hockey League Draft, is a big blow. The 26-year-old, who has represented Germany at three major international tournaments (23 ga, 0 go, 2 pts) in his career, was off to a fine start for the already injury-riddled capital city club with eleven points (two goals) in his first thirteen Deutsche Eishockey Liga games this season. But Braun has sustained cartilage damage in his ankle joint and will be out for the considerable period of ten months.

Eisbaeren Berlin captain Andre Rankel, the 29-year-old Olympic veteran and left wing who has appeared with Germany at eight major international tournaments (40 ga, 1 go, 5 pts) in his career, as well as Hamburg Freezers right wing Jerome Flaake, the 24-year-old who was nabbed in the fifth round (# 130 overall) of the 2008 NHL Draft by the Toronto Maple Leafs and had a career year last term with 25 goals in 50 D.E.L. regular season games, are also both now unavailable on account of injury.

Germany will soldier on and, as is usually the case at the international level, goaltending and defense will be critical elements for the host nation. Adler Mannheim shot-stopper Dennis Endras, the 29-year-old who made six appearances in the American Hockey League for the Houston Aeros before transferring to Finnish elite league club IFK Helsinki in late November of 2011, is easily the most experienced of the three German netminders on the 2014 Deutschland Cup roster. Endras was Germany’s number one at the annual IIHF World Championships from 2010 until 2012 but has never really been in favor since Cortina took charge — it is relevant to point out the it was, in fact, the Adler Mannheim goaltender who was between the pipes when the favored Germans suffered that damaging overtime loss to the underdog Italians on home ice in Bietigheim-Bissingen during the qualification tournament for the 2014 Winter Olympic Games.

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Deutschland netminder Dennis Endras (44) of Adler Mannheim has appeared in 20 games (2.78 avg, .906 svpct) at the annual IIHF World Championships in his career and was named the Best Goaltender by the IIHF Directorate as well as the All-Star backstop by the accredited media at the conclusion of the 2010 IIHF tournament that was held in Germany.
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Eisbaeren Berlin blueliner Frank Hoerdler (5’11″ 180 lbs), the 29-year-old who has been on Germany’s roster for the annual IIHF World Championships seven times (39 ga, 3 go, 8 pts) in his career, will be Deutschland’s most experienced defenseman at the tournament in Munich this weekend. Justin Krueger (6’3″ 205 lbs) of Swiss side SC Bern, the 28-year-old out of Cornell University who was the seventh round choice (# 213 overall) of the Carolina Hurricanes at the 2006 NHL Draft that spent two years in the AHL with the Charlotte Checkers, has appeared for Germany at the IIHF World Championships five times (33 ga, 1 go, 2 pts) in his career. Adler Mannheim’s Dennis Reul, the 25-year-old who was the fifth round pick (# 130 overall) of the Boston Bruins at the 2007 NHL Draft, is the Germans’ biggest defenseman (6’4″ 230 lbs).

Adler Mannheim defenseman Nikolai Goc (6’0 215 lbs), the 28-year-old whose older brother, Marcel, is now in his tenth season as a regular in the National Hockey League, also has skated for Germany at the IIHF World Championships five times (31 ga, 1 go, 4 pts) while Koelner Haie blueliner Torsten Ankert (6’2″ 220 lbs), the 26-year-old who has appeared at the last two IIHF World Championships, is another German defender who brings considerable size to the table.

EHC Red Bull Munich right wing Michael Wolf, the 33-year-old Olympic veteran who has appeared for Deutschland at seven major international tournaments (45 ga, 11 go, 21 pts) in his career, has been one of the most consistent producers for traditionally low-scoring Germany in recent years. Adler Mannheim center Christoph Ullmann, the experienced 31-year-old veteran who has suited up for Germany at the IIHF World Championships eight times (51 ga, 4 go, 18 pts) in his career, is a fine two-way pivot who also exhibits good leadership skills. Neither Wolf (dropped) nor Ullmann (injured) were in uniform for Germany during the unimpressive run at 2014 IIHF World Championships in Belarus last spring.

One player rediscovering his goal-scoring touch in the domestic league this fall is Philip Gogulla of Koelner Haie, the 27-year-old left wing who was chosen in the second round (# 48 overall) of the 2005 NHL Draft by the Buffalo Sabres and spent the entire 2009/10 season skating in the AHL for the Portland Pirates (76 ga, 15 go, 35 pts). The seasoned veteran has already appeared at the annual IIHF World Championships seven times (46 ga, 4 go, 21 as) in his career but was also left out of the German squad that traveled to Minsk last spring. Gogulla, who has skated in 125 games for the national team of Germany in his career, netted only five goals in 41 D.E.L. games all of last term for Koelner Haie but already counts five goals in just 16 D.E.L. games this fall.

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Germany right wing Thomas Oppenheimer (19), the Hamburg Freezers attacker who scored 21 goals in 52 D.E.L. games during the 2013/14 season, slips the puck past Kazakhstan goaltender Vitaly Yeremeyev of Kontinental Hockey League club Barys Astana, the aging 38-year-old veteran who once made four appearances (4.53 avg, .846 svpct) for the New York Rangers during the 2000/01 National Hockey League season, to net the decisive tally in the shootout phase during the preliminary round of the 2014 IIHF World Championships in Minsk, Belarus.
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Thomas Oppenheimer of Hamburg Freezers, the 25-year-old right wing who, on his debut at a major international tournament, led Germany in scoring with both four goals and six points in seven games at the 2014 IIHF World Championships, returns to the national team squad as does Adler Mannheim center Kai Hospelt, the 29-year-old Olympic veteran who was the seventh round selection (# 216 overall) of the San Jose Sharks at the 2003 NHL Draft and has appeared at six major international tournaments (40 ga, 4 go, 16 pts) in his career. Hospelt was the second-leading scorer with five points (two goals) for the Germans in Minsk at the annual IIHF affair last season. Marcus Kink of Adler Mannheim, the 29-year-old rambunctious left wing with the rather physical style of play, has skated for Germany at the IIHF World Championships the past four years (22 ga, 4 go, 6 pts) in a row now.

Patrick Reimer of Nuremberg Ice Tigers, the 31-year-old veteran right wing who turned out for Germany at the IIHF World Championships in both 2011 and 2012 (14 ga, 5 go, 8 pts), has been recalled to the national team by Cortina; the speedy Reimer can be an explosive threat on offense but is known to be unreliable defensively.

The youngest player on Cortina’s sqaud at the 2014 Deutschland Cup is Eisbaeren Berlin newcomer Marcel Noebels, the 22-year-old winger who dissolved his contract with the National Hockey League’s Philadelphia Flyers and fled North America this past October. Noebels, who has already appeared with Germany at both the 2013 & 2014 IIHF World Championships, has two goals and three points with a + 2 defensive rating in six D.E.L. games for Eisbaeren Berlin this fall. Another hope for the future is Marek Plachta of Adler Mannheim, the 23-year-old right wing who netted one goal in six games for Germany at the 2014 IIHF World Championships in Belarus last spring.

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Cortina Must Get Germany Results


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“These are very important years for German ice hockey, so the tournament is of great importance to us,” stated host national team trainer Pat Cortina on the eve of the 2014 Deutschland Cup being held at the Olympia-Eisstadion in Munich this weekend.

What Cortina did not say is that this particular season is a very important one for the 50-year-old native of Montreal, Quebec, who was previously the national team trainer for both Italy (2000/01 to 20002/03) as well as Hungary (2003/04 to 2009/10). This because the Deutsche Eishockey Bund’s contract with Germany’s third-year national team trainer expires after the 2015 IIHF World Championships to be played in the Czech Republic this spring. And Cortina’s overall record in charge of Deutschland, to be quite frank, has not been good.

The biggest stain on Cortina’s sheet is Germany’s failure to book its place for the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia, despite hosting the final qualification tournament involving neighbors Austria, Holland and Italy on home ice in Bietigheim-Bissingen. This national disaster marked the first time since 1924 that Germany did not participate in the men’s ice hockey tournament at the Olympics. Furthermore, Cortina’s national team had a terrible showing at the 2014 IIHF World Championships in Belarus last spring — the Germans won only two of seven games while finishing seventh out of the eight teams in their preliminary round group in Minsk.

There is absolutely no question that the D.E.B. will not tolerate similar results coming out of the Czech Republic this coming spring.

Cortina’s tenure as that national team trainer of Germany started off well enough when the host nation triumphed at the annual Deutschland Cup in November of 2012. Only a few short months later, the wheels came off the hinges when Germany lost 2-1 in overtime to Italy in the Olympic qualification tournament at Bietigheim-Bissingen. The Germans could have made things right by defeating traditional arch-rival Austria in regulation on the final day of the competition, but Cortina’s troops could not win without the aid of another overtime session.

At the annual IIHF World Championships in the spring of 2013, the Germans finished fifth in the Helsinki-based preliminary round group after posting the record of two wins, one overtime win, three losses and one overtime loss. Cortina’s charges might have made the quarterfinal round with a win over the United States in their second-last contest but ended up being blanked 3-0 by the Americans. A 3-2 loss to Slovakia earlier in the tournament also proved to be rather regrettable.

At the 2014 World Championships last spring, Germany needed a shootout to overcome lowly Kazakhstan 2-1 and this proved to be a harbinger of things to come. Cortina’s team lost its last five games in Minsk on the trot after defeating Latvia 3-2. Although the Germans stayed with Switzerland (2-3) and the United States (4-5), the loss to host nation Belarus (2-5) was considerable.

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Experimental Team For Vujtek’s Slovakia


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After earning a silver medal at the 2012 IIHF World Championships in Scandinavia, the national team of Slovakia has fallen on hard times at major international events in the past two seasons and imported Czech trainer Vladimir Vujtek, the veteran head coach whose son of the same name appeared in 110 National Hockey League games for several clubs during his playing career, will be using the 2014 Deutschland Cup to be held at the Olympia-Eisstadion in Munich largely as an opportunity to evaluate the country’s younger players in preparation for future tournaments.

Vujtek has selected seven players (including a reserve goalkeeper) who were on Slovakia’s roster at the 2014 IIHF World Championships last spring. And two others listed on the preliminary 24-man roster for the 2014 Deutschland Cup have also appeared for at a major international tournament earlier in their careers. For the most part, however, this Slovakian squad is relatively young and inexperienced.

An overwhelming majority of Slovakia’s team are actually foreign-based professionals, eighteen in all with fourteen of these legionnaires plying their trade in the neighboring Czech Republic.

The starting goaltender figures to be Julius Hudacek of Swedish elite league side IK Orebro, the 26-year-old who has been on the Slovakia’s roster at annual IIHF World Championships for the past three years in a row but did not play in any games. Hudacek has made nine appearances for the senior national team of Slovakia in his career, though. The other goaltender on Vujetk’s list for the 2014 Deutschland Cup, 27-year-old Branislav Konrad of Dukla Trencin, was a reserve for Slovakia at the 2007 IIHF World Championships but did not make any appearances at that tournament.

Ivan Sarny, the 30-year-old veteran who now skates professionally in Belarus for Kontinental Hockey League side Dynamo Minsk, will be Slovakia’s most experienced defenseman at the 2014 Deutschland Cup; Sarny has made a total of 79 appearances for the senior national team and has played at three IIHF World Championships (2009, 2013 & 2014) previously.

Defenseman Marek Daloga of Czech club Sparta Prague is the 25-year-old who has skated with Slovakia at both the 2013 & 2014 IIHF World Championships while rearguards Juraj Valach of Czech side Slavia Prague and Peter Ceresnak of Czech outfit HC Vitkovice, the 21-year-old who was the sixth round pick (# 172 overall) of the New York Rangers at the 2011 NHL Draft, were also participants at the IIHF’s annual event last spring.

Defenseman Juraj Mikus of Czech club Sparta Prague was the fifth round choice (# 134 overall) of the Toronto Maple Leafs at the 2007 NHL Draft and skated three seasons in the American Hockey League for the Toronto Marlies (200 ga, 12 go, 51 pts) and 21-year-old blueliner Adam Janosik of domestic side HC Kosice was the third round selection (# 72 overall) of the Tampa Bay Lightning at the 2010 NHL Draft.

The most promising forward appears to be Marek Viedensky from Finnish elite league club HPK Hameenlinna. The 24-year-old center was taken in the seventh round (# 189 overall) of the 2009 NHL Draft by the San Jose Sharks and spent the past three seasons skating in the AHL for the Worcester Sharks (120 ga, 15 go, 40 pts). Viedensky fled North American pro hockey this past summer after scoring three goals in seven games for Slovakia at 2014 IIHF World Championships last spring.

Another former North American pro is Vladimir Dravecky of Czech side HC Trinec, the 29-year-old right wing who went pointless in six games for Slovakia at the 2010 IIHF World Championships after having skated a season and a half in the AHL for the Manchester Monarchs (111 ga, 9 go, 36 pts) previously.

The only Olympic veteran currently listed on Slovakia’s for the 2014 Deutschland Cup tournament is Tomas Marcinko, the 26-year-old from Czech outfit HC Pardubice who made one appearance at the XXII Winter Games hosted by Sochi, Russia, before going pointless in six games at the 2014 IIHF World Championships.

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Hanlon Has Untested Squad For Swiss Coaching Debut


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Well-seasoned Canadian head coach Glen Hanlon, the former goaltender with 477 National Hockey League games to his credit who is now in charge of the third different European national team program of his distinguished career, will be bringing what is, on the whole, a very inexperienced Switzerland squad to the 2014 Deutschland Cup at the Olympia-Eisstadion in Munich, Germany.

It was only two seasons ago, of course, that the improving Swiss earned a silver medal at the 2013 IIHF World Championships in Scandinavia and, in doing so, celebrated their first medal at a major international tournament in 60 years. At the annual IIHF affair last spring, Switzerland narrowly missed a quarterfinal place by only one point although neighboring arch-rival Germany was beaten 3-2 during the Group B round robin phase in Minsk, Belarus. Now, the one-time Washington Capitals bench boss Hanlon is clearly using his first tournament as the national team trainer of Switzerland to have an initial look at a wide variety untested younger players.

The defensive corps of Hanlon’s inaugural Swiss side is the most experienced of the three units with four blueliners on the roster having appeared at the 2014 IIHF World Championships in Belarus six months ago. Two of those players, Eric Blum of SC Bern and Robin Grossmann of EV Zug, were also silver medalists at the 2013 IIHF World Championships. Another one of those four rearguards, 30-year-old Tim Ramholt from EV Zug, was the second round choice (# 39 overall) of the Calgary Flames at the 2003 NHL Draft and skated in 210 American Hockey League games for the Quad City Flames, Philadelphia Phantoms and Milwaukee Admirals.

Dominik Schlumpf of HC Lugano, the 23-year-old who appeared at the 2013 Deutschland Cup before skating in all seven games for Switlzerland at the 2014 IIHF World Championships and scoring a goal against Latvia, is, perhaps, the one to watch.

Switzerland’s first choice between the pipes will probably be HC Lugano goaltender Daniel Manzato, the 30-year-old veteran who was chosen in the fifth round (# 160 overall) of the 2002 NHL Draft by the Carolina Hurricanes and made 32 appearances (3.19 avg, .898 svpct) for the Albany River Rats during the 2008/09 AHL campaign before returning to Europe. Manzato has been on the Swiss roster at the annual IIHF World Championships three times (2007, 2010, 2011) in his career but has never played a game at a major international event. Manzato was in net at last year’s Deutschland Cup when Switzerland nipped the host nation 3-2 after a shootout.

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Switzerland netminder Daniel Manzato (79) of HC Lugano is beaten by Germany right wing Frank Mauer (28) of Adler Mannheim on the backhand during the 2013 Deutschland Cup clash at the Olympia-Eisstadion in Munich.
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One-third of the fifteen forwards selected by Hanlon have never before appeared for the national team of Switzerland in so much as even a Testspiel. Furthermore, nine of the fifteen attackers are 23 years of age or younger and three others are only 25 years old. Just five of the forwards on the roster for the 2014 Deutschland Cup have ever skated with a Swiss team at a major international tournament previously.

The lone prospect in the eyes of the North American professionals is national team newcomer Christoph Bertschy of SC Bern, the 20-year-old who was the sixth round pick (# 158 overall) of the Minnesota Wild at the 2012 NHL Draft. 23-year-old center Reto Schaeppi of SC Zuerich skated in all seven games for Switzerland at the 2014 IIHF World Championships and notched a shorthanded goal versus host nation Belarus. 25-year-old center Etienne Froideveaux of HC Lausanne appeared in five games for Switzerland at the 2014 IIHF World Championships and found the back of the net against Finland.

The two holdovers from the Swiss team that claimed the silver medal at the 2013 IIHF World Championships are Simon Bodenmann, the 26-year-old Olympic veteran from EHC Kloten, and winger Reto Suri, the 25-year-old Olympic veteran from EV Zug. With five goals and eight points in ten games for Switzerland in Scandinavia, the speedy Suri was particularly dangerous during the run to the silver medal two years ago. The forward on Hanlon’s first Swiss roster with by far the most experience is two-time Olympic veteran Romano Lemm, the 30-year-old EHC Kloten right wing who has turned out with Switzerland at nine major international tournaments (55 ga, 8 go, 19 pts) in his career but none since 2011.

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Switzerland winger Reto Suri (24) of EV Zug beats Canada netminder Mike Smith (41) of the Phoenix Coyotes during the shootout phase of an amazing 2013 IIHF World Championships preliminary round contest held at the Globe Arena in Stockholm, Sweden.

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