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Streit, Switzerland happy in underdog role

Tuesday, 02.23.2010 / 6:25 PM / All-Access Vancouver

By Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

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Streit, Switzerland happy in underdog role
Switzerland captain Mark Streit is glad his team survived as the favorite against Belarus Tuesday, but he's welcoming a return to the underdog role vs. the U.S.
VANCOUVER -- Mark Streit thinks Switzerland is better-suited for the underdog role. So after surviving as the favorites against Belarus in a 3-2 shootout victory, Switzerland will be back in their element in the quarterfinals Wednesday against the U.S.

Streit, who played 30:32 on Tuesday and is averaging more than 26 minutes of ice time in the tournament, believes his team can build off its 3-1 loss to the U.S. in the opener last week. Streit and goalie Jonas Hiller are the only Swiss players in the NHL, but now the other 20 players know what to expect.

The Swiss captain discussed that and more with NHL.com moments after he came off the ice Tuesday.

NHL.com --
How do these close games you have played -- and you guys have played four of them -- prepare the team going into the game against Team USA?

Streit -- Playing Belarus in that game, we were maybe not the big favorite, but maybe we were and I thought we played really well in the first two periods (but) we couldn't score. We should have put that game away after 30 minutes and they hung in there and it was 2-2. The last period it can go either way. If they score the third goal it's going to be a tough one for us. We hung in there, played well defensively and unfortunately we had to go all the way today, but that's what it took. We are obviously happy.

NHL.com -- The roles are reversed now when you play the Americans. They're the big favorites now, so do you like that?

Olympic Gear Streit -- I think it's a little bit easier for Switzerland to be in the underdog role. That fits our game better. We want to play well defensively, play really compact in the neutral zone, and if we have the chance to forecheck we obviously want to put the pressure on those guys. But you know what? It's a tough opponent. We're really excited.

NHL.com --
You have played them already, so while that helps them, doesn't that also help you guys considering all the players on your team that aren't in the NHL now know what to expect?

Streit --
I know, yeah. You know, we know what to expect now. We played them once. The first game everybody was a little nervous and didn't really know what is going on out there, but at the end we didn't play that bad. We gave up three goals and we scored one. Obviously with Ryan Miller they have really good goaltending and they have momentum after that big win against Canada. But we're going to give it our all, try our best and see if we can make a surprise out of it.

Contact Dan Rosen at drosen@nhl.com