Shootout win gives Swiss rematch with US
Don’t be fooled by Switzerland’s struggle against Belarus. The Swiss are ready for another shot at the top-ranked Americans.
Switzerland had a tighter-than-expected game yesterday, a 3-2 shootout victory that sent the country into the men’s Olympic hockey quarterfinals.
Goalie Jonas Hiller of the Anaheim Ducks stopped Sergei Kostitsyn in the third round of the shootout for Switzerland. Hiller made the winning save after the puck slid off the stick of the Montreal Canadiens forward. Hiller allowed only one goal after letting a bad one go through in the opening minute.
“I tried to stay on my feet as long as possible,’’ Hiller said, referring to the final shot. “I thought he was going to deke me. I was able to close the corner down, and he ran out of time, ran out of space. It was a great feeling - sure better feeling at the end of the game than how I started it.’’
Thomas Deruns and Romano Lemm scored shootout goals for Switzerland, which will take on the Americans today at 3 p.m. (Channel 7). The US beat the Swiss, 3-1, in the opener last week.
“We’re coming at an all-NHL team for the third time. We feel comfortable,’’ Swiss coach Ralph Krueger said. “We were too timid in the first half of that game. We gave them too much space.
“It’s more about being less timid and getting into their faces. I see them as the most physical-playing team in the tournament. We need to bring a perfect team game to have a chance.’’
Julien Sprunger and former NHL forward Hnat Domenichelli scored power-play goals for Switzerland, which earned the No. 8 seed after forcing Canada into a shootout and beating Norway in a preliminary game.
Andrei Mezin made 40 saves, but couldn’t complete Belarus’s upset bid. Dmitri Meleshko scored the team’s only goal in the tiebreaker.
Aleksei Kalyuzhny gave Belarus the lead 59 seconds into the game, and Konstantin Zakharov tied it, 2-2, in the second period to back Mezin. Mezin was solid in his second game, following a 34-save effort in a 4-2 loss to Sweden. He stopped five shots in the 10-minute overtime.
Switzerland took its first lead 7:07 into the second on Domenichelli’s first goal of the Games. Defenseman Mark Streit’s shot hit traffic in front, and the puck caromed to Domenichelli. His first drive was stopped by the left post and Mezin, but he quickly popped in the rebound.
Zakharov followed a rebound of Aleksei Ugarov’s shot and knocked it into the open side vacated by Hiller to tie it with a power-play goal with 4:18 left in the second.
Czech Republic 3, Latvia 2 - The Bruins’ David Krejci struck at 5:10 of overtime to lift the Czechs into tonight’s quarterfinals against Finland.
The Czechs played much of the game without Jaromir Jagr, who has an upper-body injury. It was his first game back since getting flattened by Russia’s Alex Ovechkin on Sunday.
The Czech Republic took a 2-0 lead midway through the first period after goals from Tomas Rolinek and Tomas Fleischmann. But Mikelis Redlihs and Martins Cipulis eliminated that cushion, scoring on consecutive shots in a 4:17-span late in the third.
Tomas Vokoun made 24 saves for the Czechs. Latvia’s Edgars Masalskis stopped 47 shots.