Russia is traditionally one of the strongest teams at the IIHF World Championships each year and this year has been no exception. With a lot of KHL talent at their disposal, they are a force to be reckoned with. They did not even concede a goal until an overtime loss to the Czech Republic the other day.
It is on that note that the Swiss came into their game with Russia and hung in there, only falling 4-3 and battling back each time they got knocked down.
After a scoreless first period, Kirill Kaprizov broke the seal on the game when he scored 2:22 into the second. He got assists from the ageless wonder Pavel Datsyuk and Nikita Gusev. Switzerland was down 1-0, but there was still plenty of time remaining.
It would take less than five minutes for them to get that one back. Alexei Bereglazov was called for hooking at the 5:22 mark of the second and the Swiss power play responded, scoring 1:33 into the time with the extra attacker to tie it at one. Ramon Untersander had that one from Dean Kukan and Enzo Corvi.
But the Russians kept coming. One minute and twelve seconds after the Swiss tying goal, Yevgeni Dadonov scored from Artyom Anisimov to put Russia back up 2-1.
Then the penalty trouble started for Switzerland. First, Tristan Scherwey was called for roughing at 19:09. The Swiss then took a too many men on the ice bench minor at 19:36, putting the Russians up 5-on-3. With three seconds left in the second period, the Russian power play made it 3-1. Nikita Nesterov scored from Gusev and Datsyuk.
But the Swiss would not stay down. 11:52 into the final frame, Sven Andrighetto potted one to cut the Russian lead to one again at 3-2. He got assists from Timo Meier and Joel Vermin.
The Russians would answer back about four minutes later at 16:07 when Mikhail Grigorenko scored from Anisimov and Vladislav Gavrikov. Switzerland’s back was now against the wall, but they would get some help. Russia took a too many men penalty at the 16:48 mark and, with the faceoff in the Russian end, the Swiss pulled goaltender Reto Berra for a 6-on-4 man advantage. It would pay off too when Gaetan Haas buried one for the Swiss from Andrighetto and Nino Niederreiter. That made it 4-3 with just under two minutes remaining, as the goal was scored at 18:12.
The Swiss pulled Berra one more time at 18:28, but were able to do no more. 4-3 was your final. Shots were pretty even as Berra stopped 19 of 23 shots against. Russian goalie Vasili Koshechkin stopped 24 of 27 Swiss shots on goal.
Mirco Mueller’s stat line saw him with a shot on goal and a minus-1 plus/minus rating over 19:33 of ice time played out over 31 shifts.
The Swiss currently stand in fourth place in Group A with nine points (two regulation wins, an overtime win, an overtime loss and a regulation loss). Their goal differential stands at 17-13. Next up, they have Sweden tomorrow, another tough challenge. We will have that for you here as well as the US-Norway game that is also taking place tomorrow.