International Ice Hockey Federation

Swiss survive to 2019

Swiss survive to 2019

Kohler hat trick, France relegated

Published 15.08.2018 10:50 GMT+5 | Author Lucas Aykroyd
Swiss survive to 2019
MAGNITOGORSK, RUSSIA - APRIL 28: Switzerland's Gian-Marco Wetter #28 celebrates with Simon Wuest #26, Kyen Sopa #25 and Janis Moser #8 after scoring a first period goal against France during relegation round action at the 2018 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 World Championship. (Photo by Steve Kingsman/HHOF-IIHF Images)
Switzerland defeated France 6-0 on Saturday to sweep its relegation series in two straight games. The Swiss will return for the 2019 U18 Worlds in Sweden.

Newly promoted France was outscored 41-6 in Chelyabinsk and Magnitogorsk in its U18 debut. On balance, this is still a positive learning experience as Les Bleus head back to Division IA.

Swiss starter Luca Hollenstein recorded a 19-save shutout. France's Valentin Duquette had 34 saves.

On Switzerland’s second power play of the game, Gian-Marco Wetter opened the scoring at 14:08 with his first goal of the tournament, set up by Julian Mettler. It took just 1:24 for Gilian Kohler to stretch the lead to 2-0.

Barandun and Hollenstein assisted on Keijo Weibel’s back-breaking 3-0 marker at 1:47 of the second period. It is rarely a good sign when the opposing goalie gets on the scoresheet.

Kohler got his hat trick with goals at 7:38 of the second and 2:46 of the third. The Kootenay Ice forward's star turn pushed this into blowout territory at the Arena Metallurg. Kohler assisted on Luca de Nisco’s 6-0 goal with 10 minutes left. He finished as the team's goals leader (5) and tied Mettler for the most points (7).

Switzerland’s ninth-place finish matches its worst-ever placement (2003, 2005). Previously, the Swiss had made the quarter-finals every year since 2007. Regardless, it’s a relief to be returning to the top U18 division for the twelfth consecutive year.

The 2019 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 World Championship will take place in Ornskoldsvik and Umea, Sweden.


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