May 19th, 2019 – Switzerland vs Russia – Time: 20:15
Switzerland is coming off the great performance delivered against Sweden. It’s true that the Swiss suffered their first defeat at the 2019 Worlds… but the guys made us proud! They faced Sweden head-on and sold their lives dearly.
Tonight, another difficult test is scheduled against the Russians. Let’s get to know more about them.
Russia… the “Sbornaja”… It’s a team that may seem “arrogant” at times but the roster is mouth-watering when it comes to talent. On paper in fact, Russia are always among the favourites to play for the medals. This year in Slovakia, also considering that all the players play in the NHL or KHL, is no exception.
It’s difficult to spot weaknesses in the team coached by Ilya Voroboyov. Perhaps, the most dangerous opponent for Russia is Russia itself.
THE “RUSSIANS” FORM
5 games, 5 wins. 26 goals scored, 3 goals against. The numbers speak for themselves, Russia is a steamroller and is in great shape. Even though, the Russians last game against Latvia (despite the 3-1 win) made clear that also the Sbornaja isn’t unbeatable. Then again, the Russians have an impressive talent and are rock solid in defense (as it is evidenced by the 3 shutouts earned in 5 games, including one against Czech Republic). But Switzerland has its cards to play…
THE LAST HEAD TO HEAD SWITZERLAND vs RUSSIA AT THE WORLDS
Switzerland and Russia faced each other also last year in Denmark. The Russians earned a 4-3 win.
After a goalless first period, the Russians took the lead with Kirill Kaprizov during the early stages of the central period. Shortly after that, Ramon Untersander equalized for the Swiss… but always during the second third, Russia took a 2-goals lead thanks to Yevgeni Dadonov and Nikita Nesterov. During the last 10 minutes of the last period then, firstly Sven Andrighetto gave Switzerland some hope… but the Russians almost immediately restored their 2-goals lead with Mikhail Grigorenko. Finally, Gaëtan Haas scored a third goal for Switzerland, but it was too late.
PLAYERS WITH A LINK TO OUR NATIONAL LEAGUE
There are no players among the current Russians’ roster who played, play or will play in the next future in our National League. Since when the KHL saw the light there are not so many Russians who have played in Switzerland, after all.
And to say, there were so many Russians who gifted us with emotions in the past. How to forget about the great duo “Bykov – Khomutov”, and again… Valeri Kamensky, Pavel Torgayev, Oleg Petrov, Igor Fedulov… and we can continue.
Currently though, as we said, there are no players of the Sbronaja who plays, played or will play in the next future in Switzerland.
RUSSIA’S FULL ROSTER
You can see the full roster of Russia at the following link!
Ilya Vorobyov has been the head coach of Russia since the 2018 World Ice Hockey Championship while previously he was the assistant coach for two years. He always coached in the KHL. Firstly he was the coach of Metallurg Magnitogorsk (where he won a title) and this last season he was the head coach of SKA St. Petersburg.
Switzerland’s last win against Russia at the Worlds
Life is hard for Switzerland when it’s time to facing Russia at the Worlds… the last win goes back to 6’955 days ago, and more precisely it dates back to May 3rd, 2000. On that day in St. Petersburg, the Swiss earned a 3-2 win thanks to the goals scored by Patrick Sutter, Flavien Conne and Thomas Ziegler. Instead, Yashin and Kozlov scored for the Russians.
Switzerland’s last win against Russia
Overall, friendlies included, Switzerland lost the last 6 games against Russia. Our guys earned the last win against the Russians on April 22nd, 2017, when the two teams faced each other for a friendly in Bienne… On that day, Piust Suter and Denis Hollenstein earned us a 2-0 win.
OUR OPINION ON THE GAME SWITZERLAND vs RUSSIA
Keep your head up guys, just like last night! Obviously tonight’s game is gonna be very difficult… but nothing is impossible for Switzerland. Unfortunately though, the biggest difference between our National Teams and the “other big guns” is that we pay a high price for almost each single mistake, while “the others” can afford few distractions here and then.
It’s gonna be crucial to bring in the same determination as in the game against Sweden. And try, as far as possible, to stay focused and disciplined all over the arc of the 60 minutes of play. Even if only in order to close the gap when it comes to physical play. That’s not an easy task but not an impossible one either.
We’re sure about one thing though. Regardless of the final score, we believe that Switzerland will be able to make us proud again tonight!