France Stuns Swiss to Grab Second Victory

France Stuns Swiss to Grab Second Victory

Steven Ellis09 May 2017Steven Ellis»

France has taken their second upset win of the 2017 World Hockey Championships with a 4-3 shootout victory over Switzerland on Tuesday.


France has taken their second upset win of the 2017 World Hockey Championships with a 4-3 shootout victory over Switzerland on Tuesday.

Fresh off a big win against Finland over the weekend, France was looking to take their momentum and score early against the Swiss. They did just that, but it was a strange one at that. At 2:53, while playing shorthanded, Yohann Auvitu took a shot from the right faceoff circle that bounced off of goaltender Leonardo Genoni. In what can only be described as terrible luck, the puck bounced off of defenceman Romain Loeffel and off the right post, bouncing past Genoni and in for the 1-0 goal.

Switzerland would trail after 20 minutes of play, but two quick goals right off the bat in the second changed the full complexion of the game. At 1:22, Denis Hollenstein skated behind the net before making a quick pivot. He then proceeded to send the puck out to Vincent Praprlan, who sent a quick snap shot past Cristobal Huet's glove hand and in to make it 1-1.

On the very next shift, Praprlan scored again in a similar fashion. This time, Hollenstein was in front of the net when he passed to his Swiss teammate, who immediately released the shot on net to make it 2-1.

The lead would hold on until 43:02 when the Swiss scored on the power play. Stephane Da Costa, who was questionable before the game due to a wrist injury, took a hard wrist shot after receiving a pass from Auvitu and got it past Genoni for the goal. Da Costa was in pain after the goal, skating to the bench clutching his wrist before icing it when he sat down.

The game got chippy, with both teams hacking and slashing away. Andreas Ambuhl knew all about this with six minutes to go, but unlike in other cases, he actually scored on the play. The longtime Swiss star managed to break past two French defenders in the offensive zone, skating on net all alone. Ambuhl was slashed by two French players just as he took the shot, but it got the job done as he gave the Swiss the 3-2 lead.

The Swiss hoped that would stick, but at 15:41, the French tied it again. Anthony Rech scored on a nicely placed wrist shot just seconds after Laurent Meunier won the faceoff, tying the game up at three apiece to force the action to get even more intense.

Nobody could win the game after 65 minutes, so the contest went to shootout. Da Costa was the only player to score in the shootout, beating Genoni with a quick deke below the right pad to score, giving France the 4-3 win in the shootout.

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