Worlds: USA To Play For Bronze; Switzerland To Play For Gold

The United States will face Canada for the Bronze medal while Switzerland is guaranteed a medal playing in the gold medal game.

The Americans were humiliated 6-0 by the powerhouse Swedes in their semifinal game. The Swiss meanwhile, upset the Canadians 3-2 to move on in their semifinal. The finals are set with USA and Canada meeting again for bronze while Switzerland will face Sweden in the gold medal game.

First, the US game. This one was a rout, plain and simple, as Keith Kinkaid and the Americans just ran into the buzzsaw that is the Swedish team.

Viktor Arvidsson got the scoring kicked off at the 14:43 mark of the first when he beat Kinkaid off assists from Jacob de la Rose and Filip Forsberg. That made it 1-0 Sweden and they never looked back.

Kinkaid took a tripping penalty at the 17:32 mark of the first that was killed off. But the US, strangely, had more trouble on the power play. Just 3:36 into the second, former Devil Adam Larsson took a double minor for high sticking, setting up a four minute power play for the Americans. Instead, at 7:09, Magnus Paajarvi scored shorthanded from Mikael Backlund. It was now 2-0 Sweden.

And it continued. At 9:11, Johnny Gaudreau took a frustrated slashing penalty which set Sweden up on the power play. Patric Hornqvist converted on that from Backlund and John Klingberg. Now it was 3-0 Sweden.

Mattias Janmark made it 4-0 before the end of the second when he scored at 10:16 from Rickard Rakell.

With a little bit less than ten minutes left in the game, the US desperately pulled Kinkaid to try to get something going. Arvidsson ended up scoring his second of the game into an empty net. Mika Zibanejad had the lone assist.

Adrian Kempe would add insult to injury by scoring the sixth and final Swedish goal at even strength to put things away with just under three minutes left in the contest. Backlund racked up another point with the lone assist.

The US would end the game on the power play when, at 18:42, Kempe and Dylan Larkin went off for coincidental roughing minors. However, with ten seconds remaining, Backlund was called for slashing to put the US up a man, 4-on-3. Unfortunately, that was not enough and 6-0 was your final.

Kinkaid stopped 14 of 20 shots on goal while Swedish goalie Anders Nilsson was a perfect 41-for-41.

Will Butcher had a shot on goal and was a minus-2 in 20:32 of ice time spread over 27 shifts. Blake Coleman had a single shot on goal and was an even rating in 13:46 of ice time over 20 shifts. Brian Gibbons did not dress for this game.

So the US will now play for the bronze medal against rivals Canada tomorrow due to the results of the next game.

That game was Switzerland versus Canada in the other semifinal. And, as opposed to the US-Sweden game, this one was a real nailbiter.

The Swiss jumped out to the early 1-0 lead when Tristan Scherwey scored from Ramon Untersander and Dean Kukan. Canada found themselves down early, and it would take seven minutes and twenty seconds into the second frame for them to tie things. Bo Horvat got it even from Pierre-Luc Dubois and Jean-Gabriel Pageau.

However, less than a minute after Horvat tied things, some miscommunication between Canadian goalie Darcy Kuemper and Joel Edmundson led to Edmundson taking a hooking penalty behind the Canadian net. Switzerland was now on the power play and it was Gregory Hofmann who converted here. He scored from Kevin Fiala and Sven Andrighetto to give Switzerland back the lead, 2-1 at 9:40 of the second period.

And that is how things would stay until the third when Canada got into more penalty trouble. Just 3:11 into the third stanza, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins took a hooking penalty that led to a Gaetan Haas goal (assists to Andrighetto and Raphael Diaz) to put the Swiss up by two, 3-1.

Canada would make things interesting late in the third. At 13:51, Noah Rod was called for slashing, putting Canada up a man. When that was killed off, and with less than three minutes left in the game, the Canadians pulled Kuemper to make it a 6-on-5 and with 33 seconds elapsed with the extra man, Colton Parayko cut the Swiss lead to one when he scored from Connor McDavid and Brayden Schenn.

Canada would try pulling Kuemper again, but to no avail. Swiss goaltender Leonardo Genoni withstood 45 Canadian shots, making 43 saves and held on for the win. Kuemper made 14 saves on 17 Swiss shots. Genoni was amazing, keeping the Swiss in the game in the face of a flurry of Canadian offense – most of the third period, in particular, was played in the Swiss zone.

Mirco Mueller was an even plus/minus in 19:55 of ice time over 33 shifts. He was also named one of the three outstanding players for the Swiss for the tournament.

Next up, the Swiss get the undefeated Swedes in the gold medal game. They are guaranteed a medal, as they get the silver should they lose. That game will be played tomorrow. It should be a good game as the Swiss have been the story of the tournament and could give the Swedes a run for their money. We will see you tomorrow with all of the action.

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