Avalanche goalie Reto Berra made 22 saves Wednesday to help his Switzerland team snap a three-game losing streak at the 2014 IIHF World Championship in Belarus with a 3-2 win against Germany at Minsk Arena.
Berra started in goal for the Swiss for the third time in the Championship and improved to 2-1 with a scoreless final 21:08 after Thomas Oppenheimer pulled Germany within a goal late in the second period with one of his two scores in the game.
A close-range, near-tying shot from Germany’s Alexander Barta rang off the crossbar in the final minute of regulation, and Switzerland avoided a four-game winless start in the group-play, round-robin format.
"We had a great chance for a fourth goal, then they came straight back down the ice and hit the bar," Switzerland’s Roman Josi (Predators) told the IIHF website after notching two assists in a game-high 25:16 on the ice.
“Everything went so fast. I saw [Barta] in front of the goal and thought, 'Please don't score.' Luckily he put it on the crossbar."
The Swiss (1-3-0, three points) finished second in last year’s Championship in Sweden and will play again on Friday against Finland. Switzerland ended Wednesday tied with the Finns (1-2-0, three) and ahead of Kazakhstan (0-1-3, one) in the Group B standings.
The top four teams in each pool will advance to the Championship quarterfinals.
Host Belarus (2-1-0, six) maintains that fourth-place position in Group B and also has a victory notched against Switzerland.
"When we play our game and put Germany under pressure we are faster and more skilled than they are," Switzerland winger Kevin Romy told the IIHF website after he scored the eventual game winner, a goal 16:27 into the second period.
"This was a better effort by our side and a return to the things that we've done well in the past."
Berra, who started the year with Calgary before joining the Avs on this year’s trade-deadline day, lowered his Championship goals-against average to 3.04 and saw his save percentage rise to .894 in just less than 178 minutes on the ice (177.45).