Switzerland outmanoeuvred and outscored a hapless-looking Russian squad on Saturday, cruising to a 2-0 victory to sweep their Euro Hockey Challenge series and retain the International Hockey Lineal Championship.
Unlike yesterday’s victory, it was the Eisgenossen drawing first blood in the game, with Pius Suter opening the scoring 9:02 in on a nifty goal past Ilya Sorokin. Suter broke free from a scrum along the boards with teammate Denis Malgin, who fed a sweet cross-ice pass at the top of the crease to Suter to take the 1-0 lead, which would hold for the next 50:39.
The game remained a wide-open, fairly defensive affair through the first two periods, with each side clearing penalty kills (a stark difference from yesterday), and each team getting solid goaltending, from both Sorokin and Swiss netminder Jonas Hiller. While the shots were 16-16 through two, the Swiss exploded offensively in the third, barging 19 shots to Russia’s seven on Sorokin, but the CSKA Moscow goalie was rock-solid, turning away everything. It took Sorokin not even being in goal to finally score again, as Denis Hollenstein potted an empty netter with 29 seconds remaining to seal the tight victory.
With the win, Switzerland retains the International Hockey Lineal Championship, their 16th title, which they won from Russia yesterday in Fribourg in a 2-1 victory. This marks the 16th meeting in history between these two nations (including the former Soviet Union), and marks just the second win ever for Switzerland, who also return to Biel for the first time since winning the Swiss Challenge from Belarus last December. Switzerland will now take the IHLC into the final week of the Euro Hockey Challenge, playing a two-game set against Denmark on home ice for the title.
09:02 – GOAL – Suter (Malgin, Ambühl)
11:45 – PEN – Loeffel, high sticking
14:18 – PEN – Namestnikov, slashing
17:10 – PEN – Golyshev, hooking
20:58 – PEN – Romy, slashing
35:42 – PEN – Shumakov, hooking
59:41 – EN GOAL – Hollenstein (Haas)
W: Hiller (23-23)
L: Sorokin (33-34)
SHOTS ON GOAL
7+9+19 = 35
8+8+7 = 23
Goaltenders: Jonas Hiller, Niklas Schlegel. Defence: Philippe Furrer, Joël Genazzi, Fabian Heldner, Romain Loeffel, Christian Marti, Claude-Curdin Paschoud, Dave Sutter. Forwards: Cody Almond, Andres Ambühl (C), Chris Baltisberger, Damien Brunner, Gaëtan Haas, Fabrice Herzog, Denis Hollenstein, Denis Malgin, Vincent Praplan, Damien Riat, Kevin Romy, Reto Schäppi, Pius Suter.
Goaltenders: Andrei Kareyev, Ilya Sorokin. Defence: Zakhar Arzamastsev, Maxim Chudinov, Vladislav Gavrikov, Bogdan Kiselevich, Andrei Mironov (A), Mikhail Naumenkov, Igor Ozhiganov, Ivan Provorov. Forwards: Sergei Andronov (A), Anton Burdasov, Anatoli Golyshev, Roman Lyubimov, Maxim Mamin, Vladislav Namestnikov, Valeri Nichushkin, Stepan Sannikov (C), Maxim Shalunov, Sergei Shumakov, Andrei Svetlakov, Ivan Telegin.