Swiss Stun Canada to Advance to World Championship Finals

Swiss Stun Canada to Advance to World Championship Finals

Steven Ellis19 May 2018Steven Ellis»
 

Switzerland is off the finals of the 2018 World Hockey Championships after defeating Team Canada 3-2, a team that has won two of the past three championships.

 
 
 
 

Switzerland is off the finals of the 2018 World Hockey Championships after defeating Team Canada 3-2, a team that has won two of the past three championships.

The two teams have a history of playing one-goal games, including a comeback effort by the Swiss a year ago to win in overtime in the round-robin. The Swiss, who looked to be underdogs heading into the battle, would score first, however, after Tristan Scherwey beat Darnell Nurse on a one-on-one opportunity, sending a soft wrist shot past Darcy Kuemper to make it 1-0 at 18:41 in the first.

Canada answered back seven minutes into the second period. Bo Horvat would be the man to do so after his wrist shot beat Leonardo Genoni's glove hand in a similar fashion to Scherwey, albeit at a faster speed. 

Switzerland, however, wasn't interested in allowing Canada to get an advantage. At 9:40, Gregory Hofmann would give Switzerland their lead again after tipping in Kevin Fiala's pass in front of the crease, putting the Swiss up by one for the second time on Saturday.

Genoni was the story of the game for the Swiss. The SC Bern netminder came in relief of Jonas Hiller at last year's tournament after allowing two goals early in the game, shutting out Canada as Canada came back for a 3-2 victory. Today, he was on the top of his game, making many big stops in arguably his biggest game of his career to date. 

Canada was furiously looking for any chance they could to score, but Genoni kept the puck out on every attempt. The Swiss would take a surprising 3-1 lead at 4:14 in the third period when, on Switzerland's only shot of the period, Gaëtan Haas tipped in Sven Andrighetto's shot from the high slot, giving Switzerland an advantage that put Canada in a bad decision.

But with two minutes to go in the game, Canada put themselves back by just one goal. Colton Parayko would get a shot away from the blue line, with the puck bouncing off of Genoni's blocker and in to make it 3-2 late. Canada would move the puck well in the final minutes, but the Swiss held on long enough to put themselves back in the finals, a major moment in the history of Switzerland's hockey program. 

Switzerland will meet up with Sweden in a rematch of the 2013 championship final, a game Sweden would go on to win. Switzerland had to beat Canada and Finland to get to the finals, a tough task given the strength of those two nations. The game will take place at 20:15 local time, shortly after the conclusion of Canada vs USA in the bronze medal game earlier in the afternoon.

Follow me on Twitter, @StevenEllisNHL.

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