Team Switzerland rebounded nicely from their 5-4 emotional shootout loss yesterday to the Czechs. They had Belarus today and won 5-2 at the Royal Arena in Copenhagen, Denmark.
The Swiss grabbed a lead just 1:37 into the game when Joel Vermin scored from Nino Niederreiter and Ramon Untersander. This was the first of two for Vermin and got the Swiss off on the right foot.
Belarus would take control of the game, however briefly, a few minutes later. It began at 5:54 of the first when Geoff Platt scored from Charles Linglet and Roman Dyukov. Then, at the 10:46 mark, Belarus captain Alexander Pavlovich scored from Yevgeni Korvyrshin and Alexander Materukhin. That made it 2-1 Belarus.
But that lead was not to last. Switzerland would tie things before the end of the first period. Sven Andrighetto scored off an assist to Timo Meier. That knotted things at two before the first intermission.
The Swiss were in a good position headed into the second and were set to explode with three unanswered.
Switzerland retook the lead with 15 seconds remaining in the second period, after just killing off a Niederreiter slashing penalty three seconds before, when Vermin notched his second from Meier and Rapahel Diaz. That made it 3-2 Switzerland going into the third frame.
Just 2:29 into the third, Enzo Corvi scored with an assist to Diaz to make it 4-2. The Swiss wrapped up the scoring on the power play at 6:44. Belarus’ Pavlovich had taken a double minor for high sticking and Meier scored on the ensuing four minute man advantage with assists to Andrighetto and Gregory Hofmann to make it 5-2.
And that was the final. The Swiss outshot Belarus 45-24 with Reto Berra stopping 22 shots. Belarus’ Mikhail Karnaukhov had to make a huge 40 saves, but it was not enough. One of the reasons for the big shot disparity was that Belarus simply took too many penalties. They doubled up the Swiss with 16 penalty minutes to Switzerland’s eight.
As for Mirco Mueller, he had three shots on goal and was a plus-3 in 19:23 of ice time over 39 shifts.
Things get a little tougher for the Swiss team now. They currently stand in third place in Group A with nine points in four games with a 14-9 goal differential. They are behind their next two opponents, Russia and Sweden. Next up, they take on Russia on May 12. The Russians have yet to concede a goal in this tournament, having a 20-0 goal differential. That will be a tough test for the Swiss but a challenge they will undoubtedly welcome.
In the meantime, we will have the US versus Latvia for you here tomorrow.
Some other Devils news to get to as well. The Devils yesterday placed defenseman Yaroslav Dyblenko on unconditional waivers for the purpose of buying out his contract. He will return to the KHL for next season.