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Team Switzerland looking to surprise at upcoming Ivan Hlinka

By on August 5, 2014 in Ivan Hlinka Memorial with 0 Comments

By Radoslav Vavřina, Lead Writer, The Czech List

Most of you have noticed that Swiss hockey has been getting better year after year lately and the junior national teams are no exception. At the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament, however, Switzerland has been unlucky looking to score big and hasn’t won a medal in the entire history of the traditional event. Last year they came pretty close, but got denied by tie-breaking rules that sent them to fifth-place game with Finland.

The landlocked nation would lose in that game after shootout and now has a lot to prove. This time, they are placed into the Slovak group that takes place in Piešťany, where they will square off with the hosting country and, just like last year, Canada and Sweden. They even managed to beat “Tre Kronor” a year ago and their game with Canada was great, yet losing effort following shootout.

Let’s take a brief look at the roster that the Swiss will be bringing to Western Slovakia. The starter in net is supposed to be Joren Van Pottelberghe, hailing from Zug but currently based in Sweden where he played for the Under-18 team of Linköping last season. His backup is most likely Tim Guggisberg from ZSC Lions junior teams.

The defensive corps ahead of the two netminders will be led by Roger Karrer, an up-and-coming 2015 draft prospect who played at the event last year as well. Eight months later, he also played at the Under-18 World Juniors where he collected five points in five games. Alongside him, current Ivan Hlinka roster members Robin Frick from Kloten and Yanik Burren from Bern played at the event as well.

Karrer had a mediocre tournament last year and was overshadowed by Jonas Siegenthaler, a top prospect for the next draft who will, however, miss the Ivan Hlinka as he’s getting ready for the new season with ZSC Lions. So is Denis Malgin, forward of Russian descent, who will be another missing piece in the Swiss hopeful puzzle.

With Malgin out of the picture, the height of the attack will lie on shoulders of others. The team has already played three games this summer and a trio of forwards managed to collect four points each. Florian Haberstich from Langnau was the top goal scorer, Auguste Impose from Geneva had most assist and Damien Riat, last year a Notre Dame Argo, now a Malmö Redhawk, who played in Břeclav a year ago.

Riat should be the heart and soul of the team with the experience he’s got and they sure will need that as they open on Monday, August 11 at 2 PM CET against Team Canada. Tuesday will see them face the hosts from Slovakia and on Wednesday, group stage will conclude as they meet Sweden.

Full Roster

Goaltenders

Joren Van Pottelberghe (Linköping)

Tim Guggisberg (ZSC Lions)

Defensemen

Roger Karrer (ZSC Lions)

Robin Frick (Kloten)

Yanik Burren (Bern)

Christian Pinana (Ambrí-Piotta)

Misha Moor (Ambrí-Piotta)

Ron Fischer (Zug)

Serge Weber (Kloten)

Forwards

Damien Riat (Malmö)

Fabian Haberstich (Langnau)

Auguste Impose (Géneve-Servette)

Makai Holdener (Malmö)

Dominik Diem (ZSC Lions)

Timo Haussener (Rapperswil)

Fabio Hollenstein (SC Bern)

Michael Lanz (Kloten)

Nathan Marchon (Fribourg-Gottéron)

Dominik Schmid (Zug)

Calvin Thürkauf (Zug)

Lee Roberts (Lausanne)

Marco Miranda (ZSC Lions)

Photo: Eva Solaříková

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