Czech Republic 0
Simon Bodenmann’s first-period goal was all the offence Team Switzerland needed, while Jonas Hiller made 26 saves for the shutout as the Swiss defeated the Czech Republic 1-0 in a Group C game at the Sochi Olympics.
With Sweden defeating Latvia, Switzerland finishes second in Group C despite only scoring twice in their three round robin games.
However, the Swiss are among the tournament’s best defensive teams from top to bottom, so they don’t need to be an offensive machine to be competitive.
The game’s only goal came late in the first period. Switzerland’s Kevin Romy outworked Czech defenceman Ladislav Smid in a puck battle behind the net, getting the puck loose. A quick touch from Denis Hollenstein sent the puck out to Bodenmann in the slot. Bodenmann got the shot off quickly, beating Ondrej Pavelec high on the glove side.
While the Czechs had their chances, Hiller made the saves he needed to make for his second consecutive Olympic shutout, having been in goal for Switzerland’s 1-0 thriller over Latvia on Wednesday.
The Czech team’s best chance came late in the third, as the puck came to Plekanec at a faceoff dot to Hiller’s left. Plekanec one-timed the puck on net, but as he has been throughout the Olympics, Hiller was in the right place at the right time to stop him.
Switzerland was also very efficient shorthanded, successfully killing all four Czech power plays to run their penalty killing record to 11-of-11.
The round robin portion of the tournament concludes tomorrow with Austria (0-0-0-2) playing Norway (0-0-0-2) at 3 a.m. EST, Russia (1-0-1-0) plays Slovakia (0-0-0-2) and Slovenia (1-0-0-1) plays the United States (1-1-0-0) at 7:30 a.m. EST, while Canada (2-0-0-0) and Finland (2-0-0-0) will play for top spot in Group B at noon EST.