Hosts in hockey hiccup – Sweden stumbles

ice hockey ii littleAt the IIHF World Ice Hockey Champions, Sweden was left red-faced, going down 3-2 to an unfancied Switzerland in the opening games last weekend. It was a disappointing start for the hosts in front of a home crowd.

Simon Bodermann was the bogey-man for Sweden, scoring twice for the Swiss. A third from Ryan Gardner found an empty net in the third quarter to seal it for a country not noted for its greatness on the ice.

Scores were level in the second period after Matthias Bieber and Nino Niederreiter scored for Sweden, but poor defence left goal keeper Martin Gerber to make 29 saves.

The championship in 2013 is being co-hosted by Stockholm and Helsinki between 3 and 19 May. Sweden is in Group A and will have to contend with the Canadians and the Czechs if it is to reach the semi-finals.

In other games, Finland beat Germany 4-3, but fellow Scandinavians Denmark went down 2-3 to the much fancied Canadians.

Sweden is presently ranked fourth in the IIHF world rankings on 3,255 points, just ahead of Canada, while the Czech Republic, Finland and Russia are ahead of them, respectively.

Russia is the reigning champion, after dominating the finals in 2012 against a surprising silver medalist, Slovakia.