Canada vs. Switzerland
In my opinion, of the two 7:15 AM games that took place today, this was the one that was more fun to watch. It was an absolute nailbiter for the Canadians, who were less than a second away from allowing Switzerland to pull off an upset on them, and send them home from the tournament much earlier than expected.
It was an alright game for Canucks defenceman Troy Stecher, who has a good tournament up to this point. He has moved the puck well and played solid defence. The only blunder for Stecher today, however, came after he pulled off an Alex Edler-esque move, where he made an attempt to make a kick save and a beauty while playing on Alain Vigneault’s penalty kill.
So close, yet so far. After that opening goal, Coquitlam native Dante Fabbro took a shot from the point that was tipped by Vegas captain Mark Stone, who played an integral role in this game — but more on that later.
After that tying goal, Nico Hischier, who has been an absolute force for Switzerland at this year’s tournament, scored his fourth goal on a power play. Through the first two periods of play, the Swiss power play was two for two. The real nailbiting started in the third period when Canada was tasked with trying to make a comeback.
Canada waited until the very last second to score the tying goal — literally. Damon Severson, with time dwindling on the clock, tried desperately to get a shot through from the point and send his team into overtime.
The shot got through, but the Swiss goaltender got a major chunk of it. As if time was moving at half speed, the puck trickled behind him as the final seconds dwindled down on the clock. After review, it was determined that the puck crossed the line with four tenths of a second to spare. This baby needed overtime.
Overtime in the World Championships uses the 3-on-3 format, which as we know, leads to some pretty exciting hockey. The only difference is, the IIHF format plays ten minutes of it, as opposed to the five minute overtime frame played in the NHL. This leads to some tired bodies, and to be honest with you, Switzerland had Canada on their heels for most of the overtime period.
That was, until Mark Stone streaked to the net and received a pass from Pierre-Luc Dubois, which he tapped in past the Swiss goaltender, who, like Stone, was awarded the player of the game award for his team. Canada advances to the Semifinals of the tournament, as Switzerland goes home.