Another day, another set of IIHF World Hockey Championship results.
In non-Devils-related games, the Czech Republic defeated Sweden 4-2 and Finland dropped Italy 3-0.
The earlier games saw a Group A matchup between Switzerland and Slovakia at the Olympic Sports Centre. The Swiss won that one, 8-1.
Nico Hischier finished the game with a shot on net in 20:09 of total ice time. Jonas Siegenthaler was back in the lineup and finished with two penalty minutes and two shots on goal in 17:03 of total ice.
For Slovakia, Marian Studenic had two shots on net in 14:28.
Slovakia got off to a nasty start when Kristian Pospisil got nabbed for a five-minute major for charging and also received a game misconduct. All of that occurred 6:53 into the game, so they were without him for the long haul. He played just 48 seconds.
It took three minutes, but at 9:47, the Swiss started to warm up. Raphael Diaz scored from Gregory Hofmann and Sven Andrighetto to make it 1-0.
Penalty woes continued for Slovakia when Adrian Holesinsky took a slashing call with less than a minute to go in the first period.
With almost about a full minute of power play time at the beginning of the second, the Swiss wasted no time.
Twenty-five seconds into the new frame, Andrighetto scored from Diaz and Hofmann to make it 2-0 Switzerland.
Following matching minors to Milos Kelemen for interference and Andrighetto for embellishment at 1:37 and some 4-on-4 hockey, the Swiss would score again at 5:17. Romain Loeffel scored from Tristan Scherwey and Christoph Bertschy to make it 3-0.
More penalties when Slovakia’s Daniel Gachulinec was called for a high stick at 10:12, then Timo Meier of Switzerland took a holding penalty at 10:19 and Ramon Untersander (Switzerland) took a slashing call at 11:55. Believe it or not, all of that was killed off.
The Swiss struck again at 16:11 when Hofmann scored from Enzo Corvi and Loeffel to make it 4-0.
Gachulinec took a tripping call with three seconds to go in the second and, with a faceoff deep in the Slovak zone, the Swiss pulled goalie Reto Berra for the extra attacker. Nothing came of that, but in the third (38 seconds in) Timo Meier scored a power play goal to make it 5-0 Swiss. Santeri Alatalo and Philipp Kurashev had the assists.
Four minutes later at 4:34, Kurashev scored his own goal to make it 6-0 from Untersander and Andres Ambuhl.
Less than a minute later at 5:12, the Slovaks got on the board when Michal Kristof scored from Peter Cehlarik. The Slovaks had beaten Berra but were far from back into things.
More shenanigans mid-third when Slovakia’s Mislav Rosandic was called for interference, Siegenthaler got a cross-checking penalty and Rosandic also received a five-minute major plus a game misconduct for spitting. All of this occurred at 11:44 and resulted in the Swiss going on a power play.
Hofmann would oblige as he scored 1:06 later from Ambuhl and Andrighetto. Less than two minutes after that, at 14:03, Loeffel scored from Janis Moser and Christoph Bertschy to give us our final of 8-1.
The Swiss had won a wild one that we are bound to see repercussions (including some suspensions, possibly) from.
Now on to the USA-Latvia game, Group B action at Arena Riga.
Matt Tennyson had a goal for a point and three shots on net in 21:09 of total ice time. Matt Hellickson played 14:21 of ice time.
Tennyson’s goal was the first of the game, coming 1:06 in off assists from Trevor Moore and Conor Garland. Just like that, the Americans had the 1-0 lead.
But penalty troubles reared their ugly head in this game too. At 3:58, Moore took a high-sticking penalty and at 4:05, Eric Robinson took a holding call. This put the Americans two men down and Latvia would capitalize.
At 5:00, with 58 seconds to go on the first penalty to Moore, Miks Indrasis scored from Lauris Darzins to tie the game at one.
The Robinson penalty would expire without event. At 6:52, Uvis Balinskis took a high-sticking penalty for Latvia, putting the Americans on the power play. They would kill that off and it would stay tied at one.
At 14:46, former Devil Brian Boyle would score to make it 2-1 USA. He got helpers from Kevin Labanc and Justin Abdelkader.
But before the first period was out, the Latvians would tie things up again when Renars Krastenbergs scored at 16:45. Oskars Batna and Ralfs Freibergs had the assists.
The rest of the scoring would take place in the second period. More penalties saw Ryan Donato of the USA get called for a hold 5:58 into the second and Janis Jaks take a kneeing penalty a little less than two minutes later.
At 11:45, Moore scored from Garland and Jason Robertson to make it 3-2 US.
That was quickly followed, at 13:32, by a Matty Beniers goal (assists to Sasha Chmelevski and Boyle) to give us our 4-2 final.
The third period saw more penalties and Latvia pull goalie Matiss KIvlenieks with just over three minutes to go. But the United States held on and got the win.
With that, the USA moved into third place in Group B with nine points, three wins, one loss and a plus-eight goal differential.
In Group A, the Swiss move into second with nine points, three wins, one loss and a plus-four goal differential.
Slovakia falls to third with nine points, three wins, one loss and a minus-two goal differential.
Tomorrow, Sweden will face Great Britain, Canada will face Kazakhstan, Denmark will face Belarus and Latvia will face Norway.