A day removed from crushing Slovakia to capture the International Hockey Lineal Championship, Belarus was squashed themselves, dropping a 6-1 decision to Switzerland on their home turf in the final of the 2016 Swiss Challenge, losing the International Hockey Lineal Championship in the process.
Similar to Belarus’ victory a day earlier, it was a goal from captain Vladimir Denisov that kept the Bisons in the game early, although his tally was an equalizer to Gregory Sciaroni’s opening marker at 4:57 of the first. However, Denisov’s tying goal would only hold up for 56 seconds, as Denis Hollenstein broke the stalemate on a feed from Vincent Praplan. Patrick Geering would suddenly put the Eisgenossen ahead 3-1 after twenty minutes, pumping 18 shots on Mikhail Karnaukhov, compared to just seven on Swiss keeper Jonas Hiller.
Fabrice Herzog would notch the second period’s only goal, striking late on a power play with Danila Karaban in the sin bin for slashing. However, Gaëtan Haas quickly evaporated any third period momentum for Karnaukhov and the Bisons, scoring just 20 seconds into the third period to put the score at 5-1. Eric Blum would add a late power play goal with just 86 seconds remaining to put the final score at 6-1, giving Hiller the easy victory with 24 saves, while Karnaukhov was shelled with 42 shots, stopping just 36 in the loss.
With the victory, Switzerland captures their 16th International Hockey Lineal Championship, and first since their remarkable twelve game win streak leading to a silver medal at the 2013 World Championships. This marked the fourth meeting between the Swiss and Belarus (who just won the IHLC a day earlier from Slovakia), and first since the aforementioned 2013 Worlds, where Switzerland capped the Preliminary Round with a 4-1 win. These two will incidentally meet again in the next IHLC matchup, opening the 2017 Slovakia Cup in Nitra on February 10.
01:56 – PEN – Parfeyevets, tripping
04:57 – GOAL – Sciaroni (Froidevaux)
10:29 – GOAL – Denisov
11:25 – GOAL – Hollenstein (Praplan)
13:52 – PEN – Graborenko, interference
18:55 – GOAL – Geering (Baltisberger)
21:10 – PEN – Almond, hooking
34:25 – PEN – Karaban, slashing
36:11 – PP GOAL – Herzog (Bodenmann, Helbling)
40:20 – GOAL – Haas (Hollenstein, Díaz)
41:09 – PEN – Boyarchuk, hooking
45:27 – PEN – Hollenstein, hooking
49:30 – PEN – Razvadovski, hooking
57:10 – PEN – Dostanko, roughing double minor
57:10 – PEN – Herzog, roughing
58:34 – PP GOAL – Blum (Bodenmann)
W: Hiller (24-25)
L: Karnaukhov (36-42)
SHOTS ON GOAL
18+13+11 = 42
7+12+6 = 25
Goaltenders: Leonardo Genoni, Jonas Hiller. Defence: Eric Blum, Raphael Díaz (C), Philippe Furrer, Patrick Geering, Timo Helbling, Christian Marti, Ramon Untersander. Forwards: Cody Almond, Chris Baltisberger, Matthias Bieber, Simon Bodenmann, Etienne Froidevaux, Gaëtan Haas, Fabrice Herzog, Denis Hollenstein (A), Simon Moser, Vincent Praplan, Gregory Sciaroni, Reto Suri, Morris Trachsler (A).
Goaltenders: Mikhail Karnaukhov, Vitali Trus. Defence: Vladimir Denisov (C), Roman Dostanko, Roman Graborenko, Yegor Ivanov, Pavel Kazakevich, Nikita Mitskevich. Forwards: Dmitri Ambrozheichik, Pavel Boyarchuk, Artyom Demkov, Artur Gavrus, Danila Karaban, Alexander Kitarov (A), Alexander Kogalev, Stanislav Lopachuk, Maxim Parfeyevets, Pavel Razvadovski (A), Mikhail Stefanovich, Viktor Turkin, Artyom Volkov.