Swiss dream of beating Canada ... someday

KIRK PENTON -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 11:03 AM ET

Everyone should have dreams.

Switzerland's women's hockey team has a dream, but that's all it is right now -- and will continue to be for the foreseeable future.

"Every hockey player has a dream, and our dream is to beat Canada," Swiss forward Kathrin Lehmann said yesterday in the bowels of MTS Centre.

Switzerland is the first victim -- er, opponent -- for Canada at the World Women's Hockey Championship. The sides meet at MTS Centre tonight at 7:30 in the first preliminary round game for both countries.

The Swiss are ranked No. 7 in the world, but it's a distant seventh from top-ranked Canada. For example, Canada's under-22 squad beat the Swiss national team 11-0 at the Air Canada Cup in Germany on Jan. 6.

"We hope we can make one, two, three shots on the net -- or more," Swiss head coach Rene Kammerer said. "So we'll try for that."

Switzerland competed in the first six world championships but missed three of the next four after falling to the B pool, or Division 1.

They did, however, qualify for their first Olympics last year in Italy, so things are looking up. And they're ready to fight.

"We don't want to be the small guy who stays behind and says to Canada, 'Hey, slash us.' No, that's not the way," Kammerer said. "We stand up for ourselves. We are proud to be Swiss, and we are here, and we show that."

Lehmann, 27, will be appearing in her fourth world championship, so she knows what kind of reception her team is going to get tonight.

"That's a kick, if you go out and you know everybody's against you," she said. "It fires up in you strengths that you didn't know you had.

"... We want to be part of a great hockey night, and we don't want to hide. Maybe we run into a hammer, maybe we can score, too. We have nothing to lose, so we will challenge Canada as much as we can."


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