ZURICH – The gold medal game of the 2013 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship set a TV attendance record in Switzerland for this year.
The TV ratings were only published on Wednesday due to a legal dispute, but the release was nevertheless good news for the hockey community.
1,151 million people watched the Switzerland-Sweden gold medal game on SRF, which covers the German-speaking area of the country. The game had a bigger audience than any other program in the country, and it had a market share of 51.4 per cent of the TV audience.
With 5.26 million people living in the area, it means that 22 per cent of the population was watching the ice hockey game.
The number was twice as big as the most watched football game of this year as the first-leg UEFA Europa League semi-final match between FC Basel and Chelsea F.C. attracted an audience of 578,000 people.
The World Championship gold medal game also had high ratings in Sweden where reportedly three million people watched the game, or 31 per cent of the population.
U20 coaching staff named
On the same day the Swiss Ice Hockey Federation announced its coaching staff for the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship in Malmö, Sweden.
Sean Simpson, head coach of the men’s national team, will be the man in charge of the U20 national team for the second year in a row but this time in the position of consultant.
He will be supported by two coaches, Colin Muller and Gerd Zenhäusern. Muller will return in this position he already held at the last World Juniors in Ufa, Russia, and with the men’s national team.
For Zenhäusern it will be the first stint at the international stage. A long-time player in the Swiss league, the 41-year-old led Lausanne HC to the top Swiss league in April and will be the assistant coach with EHC Biel in the upcoming season.
Pauli Jaks was named goaltending coach after having worked with younger national selections in the past seven years including two U18 World Championships.
Manuele Celio returns as head coach of the U18 national team. The 2014 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 World Championship in Lappeenranta and Imatra, Finland, will be his fourth after 2010, 2011 and 2013. He will be assisted by Markus Studer and Luca Cereda.
The Swiss will go to Sochi with the same coaching staff for the women’s national team. René Kammerer was confirmed as head coach, Daniel Meier returns as assistant coach.
The U18 women’s national team will again be coached by Georgios Mourouzidis.