Switzerland jumped to an early lead and never gave it up, defeating Sweden on enemy ice 4-2 to end Sweden’s latest hot streak and capture the International Hockey Lineal Championship.
Needing just 61 seconds into the game to open the scoring, on a Damien Brunner penalty shot no less, the Swiss capitalized on a slow offensive output from Tre Kronor, combined with sharp play in net from Reto Berra, to carry a 1-0 lead into the second. The Eisgenossen doubled the lead early in the second on a solo Julien Sprunger effort, a lead which was halved in the closing minutes of the second by Daniel Fernholm to put things at 2-1 after twenty minutes.
But while it seemed that a goalie change for Sweden, replacing Jhonas Enroth with Christopher Nihlstorp in the third, would change Sweden’s fortunes, as an early Fredrik Pettersson goal would tie things up at 2-2, it was for naught, as the Swiss retook the lead just three minutes after on a Daniel Rubin goal and never let go. Even with a late Alessandro Chiesa putting the Swiss at 6-on-4 (with Nihlstorp pulled) for the final 1:39 of the game, Patrick von Gunten still managed an empty net goal to seal the victory at 4-2.
With the win, Switzerland captures its 14th International Hockey Lineal Championship, their first since last year’s Euro Hockey Challenge, ending Sweden’s latest reign at six games. This marks the first IHLC meeting between the Swiss and the Swedes in over two years, the last being a 3-2 exhibition win that captured Switzerland their 9th title. These two lock horns again tomorrow, with the chance to carry the IHLC to the World Championships on the line.
01:01 – PEN SHOT GOAL – Brunner
12:28 – PEN – Bezina, hooking
18:08 – PEN – Brunner, hooking
19:49 – PEN – Pettersson, high sticking
25:01 – GOAL – Sprunger
27:57 – PEN – Lundqvist, tripping
31:51 – PEN – von Gunten, tripping
33:42 – PEN – Danielsson, hooking
37:45 – GOAL – Fernholm (Harju)
39:13 – PEN – Rubin, hooking
46:22 – GOAL – Pettersson (Harju)
47:05 – PEN – Ahnelöv, cross checking
49:39 – GOAL – Rubin (Hollenstein, Trachsler)
58:21 – PEN – Chiesa, cross checking
59:44 – EN SH GOAL – von Gunten
W: Berra (30-32)
L: Enroth (20-22), Nihlstorp (7-8)
SHOTS ON GOAL
8+14+9 = 31
7+12+13 = 32
Goaltenders: Reto Berra, Leonardo Genoni. Defence: Goran Bezina (C), Alessandro Chiesa, Félicien Du Bois, Robin Grossman, Dean Kukan, Romain Loeffel, Gregory Sciaroni, Patrick von Gunten. Forwards: Matthias Bieber, Damien Brunner, Denis Hollenstein, Michael Liniger, Simon Moser, Nino Niederreiter, Benjamin Plüss, Kevin Romy (A), Daniel Rubin, Julien Sprunger (A), Morris Trachsler, Roman Wick.
Goaltenders: Jhonas Enroth, Christopher Nihlstorp. Defence: Jonas Ahnelöv, Jonas Brodin, Daniel Fernholm, Jonas Frögren, Mattias Karlsson, Staffan Kronwall (C), Tobias Viklund. Forwards: Jonas Andersson, Nicklas Danielsson, Jesper Fasth, Johan Harju, Simon Hjalmarsson, Joel Lundqvist (A), Niklas Olausson, Linus Omark, Niklas Persson (A), Fredrik Pettersson, Robert Rosén, Patrik Zackrisson.