Canada avoided catastrophe in their World Championship preliminary tilt against Switzerland, avoiding blowing an early lead with a Alex Pietrangelo overtime winner to defeat the Swiss 4-3, winning the International Hockey Lineal Championship in the process.
The Swiss struck first blood at the 12:29 mark of the first period, with a bad angle shot from a swooping Raphael Díaz, along the goal line close to the side boards, fooled Canadian goalie James Reimer and lifted top corner, to take the 1-0 lead. Despite being outshot by Team Canada 14-9 in the first, the Eisgenossen held the lead going into the second. Canada finally retaliated midway through the second, with Jordan Eberle banging in a loose rebound in front of Swiss netminder Leonardo Genoni, while using teammate Matt Duchene as a screen, to even the game up at 1-1. Canada took the lead into the second intermission, after Swiss forward Morris Trachsler, trying to clear the puck away from streaking Canadian forward John Tavares, accidentally rifled the puck over Genoni and into his own net, giving Canada the 2-1 lead.
But the Swiss were able to recover in the third, both from the embarrassing own goal and a missed Matthias Bieber penalty shot early in the third, when Félicien du Bois took advantage of an Ivo Rüthemann screen to beat Reimer on a wrist shot from the point. Canada would retake the lead with 3:14 remaining, on a great solo effort from Chris Stewart to pound in a loose rebound through a crowd and in, but the Swiss were able to equalize just under two minutes later, with Andres Ambühl rifling a wrister over Reimer with just 82 seconds left in regulation. Canada, however, would ensure overtime ended quickly, with Pietrangelo recovering from a Luca Sbisa screen on a wrister attempt to knock in his own rebound past Genoni for the overtime win.
With the victory, Canada captures its 56th International Hockey Lineal Championship title from Switzerland, whose IHLC streak coming into this matchup was at three games. This is Canada’s first reign since the Vancouver 2010 Olympics, where they won the title from Slovakia in the Semifinals, en route to a spectacular Gold Medal over the United States. Canada and Switzerland last faced off over the IHLC at the 2010 World Championships in Mannheim, where the Swiss ended the aforementioned Vancouver reign with a 4-1 victory. The new IHLC champs now next face their rivals in the United States in group play for the title.
05:12 – PEN – Methot, high sticking
08:04 – PEN – Sbisa, slashing
12:29 – GOAL – Díaz (Stancescu, Lemm)
15:07 – PEN – Bezina, cross checking
23:54 – PEN – Lemm, tripping
31:57 – GOAL – Eberle (Kane)
34:59 – PEN – du Bois, interference
34:59 – PEN – Neal, high sticking
36:51 – GOAL – Tavares
44:29 – PEN SHOT – Bieber missed
48:08 – GOAL – du Bois (Sbisa, Gardner)
48:38 – PEN – Lötscher, hooking
56:46 – GOAL – Stewart (Zajac)
58:38 – GOAL – Ambühl (Vauclair)
64:14 – GOAL – Pietrangelo (Zajac)
W: Reimer (30-33)
L: Genoni (57-61)
SHOTS ON GOAL
14+24+20+3 = 61
9+7+15+2 = 33
Goaltenders: Devan Dubnyk, James Reimer. Defence: Brent Burns, Carlo Colaiacovo, Marc-André Gragnani, Marc Methot, Dion Phaneuf (A), Alex Pietrangelo, Mario Scalzo, Luke Schenn. Forwards: Cal Clutterbuck, Matt Duchene, Jordan Eberle, Evander Kane, Andrew Ladd (A), Rick Nash (C), James Neal, Jeff Skinner, Jason Spezza, Chris Stewart, John Tavares, Travis Zajac.
Goaltenders: Leonardo Genoni, Tobias Stephan. Defence: Goran Bezina (A), Raphael Díaz, Félicien du Bois, Philippe Furrer, Beat Gerber, Luca Sbisa, Julien Vauclair. Forwards: Andres Ambühl, Matthias Bieber, Ryan Gardner, Romano Lemm, Kevin Lötscher, Thibaut Monnet, Simon Moser, Martin Plüss (A), Ivo Rüthemann (C), Julien Sprunger, Victor Stancescu, Morris Trachsler.