- Game recap by Ian McLaren
Forward Simon Moser broke a scoreless deadlock with just under eight seconds to play, giving Swtizerland a victory in the tournament opener. Moser was attempting to pass the puck to Nino Niederreiter, but the puck bounced off Latvian defenseman Georgijs Pujacs and into the net.
Latvia was attempting to earn its first victory in the men’s Olympic hockey tournament since a 4-2 decision over Austria back in 2002, and they almost pushed the game to overtime on the strength of 38 saves by Edgars Masalskis.
The Swiss managed to squeak out the win based on their trademark defensive play and great goaltending from Jonas Hiller, who made a big save off the stick of Zemgus Girgensons in the third to preserve a 0-0 draw at the time. He finished the game with 21 saves for the shutout.
In order to continue to succeed at the tournament, Switzerland will need a bigger offensive contribution from Moser and his two NHL counterparts up front (Niederreiter and Damien Brunner) a trio that managed ten shots between against Latvia.
Switzerland’s next game is Friday against Sweden, while Latvia is set to face off against the Czech Republic earlier that day.