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USA 3, Switzerland 2

by Staff Writer / New York Islanders

The forward line of Brock Nelson, Tyler Johnson and Craig Smith accounted for two third-period goals, as Team USA fought back from a 2-1 deficit to earn a 3-2 win Saturday in Minsk, Belarus. The U.S. improved to 2-0-0 in the preliminary round of the 2014 IIHF World Championships.

Smith knotted the game 1:28 into the final frame, cleaning up a rebound from Nelson and Johnson on the power play. Johnson's game winner came with under seven minutes to play and marked Team USA's first lead of the night.

Thomas Rufenacht and Simon Moser each saw goals dissalowed on offsides calls in the third period. Rufenacht's would have given the Swiss a 3-2 lead midway through the stanza and Moser's appeared to level the score at 3-3 with five minutes remaining. Each time, play continued into the USA defensive zone after an illegal entry, as the linesman's whistles were muted by the raucous crowd.

After a scoreless first period, Switzerland got on the scoreboard first when Denis Hollenstein took a clean pass from Kevin Fiala, skated down his wing and went far side on Tim Thomas.

When Peter Mueller was whistled for tripping, Switzerland threatened to open up their lead, but the Americans killed off the penalty and created an opportunity as Mueller left the box; Tim Stapleton saw Mueller exit the box and fed him a pass that sent him off to the races. Mueller beat Reto Berra through the pads with 13:45 left in the middle period. Damien Brunner scored late in the period to break the tie for Switzerland.

U.S. goaltender Tim Thomas made 25 saves to earn the win in goal.

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