BERN, Switzerland - Switzerland delighted its home fans with a 4-3 overtime victory over the U.S. Men's National Team in the final qualification-round game for both teams here Monday at the 73rd annual International Ice Hockey Federation Men's World Championship.
It was bittersweet for the hosts, however, as they needed to beat Team USA in regulation to advance to the quarterfinal round. The U.S. began the evening knowing they had earned the right to advance to the quarterfinals regardless of the outcome of the game.
"We got into some early penalty trouble and that cost us," said Ron Wilson, head coach of Team USA. "Switzerland is a good team and it was a fun environment tonight. We'll look forward to a good practice tomorrow and then be ready to go on Wednesday against Finland."
Switzerland scored the only goal of the opening period and it came at 9:42 with the Swiss enjoying a five-on-three power play. Andres Ambuhl put home a rebound from the side of the goal after a failed U.S. clearing attempt. The U.S. was outshot 10-6 in the period.
Team USA used a pair of power-play goals from defenseman Ron Hainsey (Bolton, Conn./Atlanta Thrashers/University of Massachusetts Lowell) to spark a three-goal second period and take a one-goal lead into the dressing room after two periods. Hainsey tied the game at 5:57 when he beat Martin Gerber on the short side on a shot along the ice from the right point. Switzerland re-gained the lead at 11:03 on Romano Lemm's goal from the slot on a nice feed from behind the net by Sandy Jeannin. The Swiss nearly took a two-goal lead when Thomas Ziegler's shot rang off the post. On the ensuing rush up the ice, Team USA tied the game as Christopher Higgins (Smithtown, N.Y./Montreal Canadiens/Yale University) put one through the legs of Gerber from the left faceoff dot at 15:08. The U.S. scored its seventh five-on-three power-play goal of the World Championship with :12 left in the period to take the lead as Hainsey blasted one into the back of the net from the center point.
Martin Pluss scored from the side of the left circle at 9:42 of the third period to even the game. Switzerland needed to win the game in regulation to advance to the quarterfinals, so it pulled Gerber with just more than a minute to play and the score tied. Jason Blake (Moorhead, Minn./Toronto Maple Leafs/University of North Dakota) fired a long-range shot from his own side of center ice that hit the post with a minute to play and the U.S. also scored into an empty net later in the period but was offside on the play.
The game went to overtime and Roman Wick scored :13 in on a shot from the side of the circle.
Robert Esche (Utica, N.Y.) made 21 saves in the loss, while Gerber had 21 stops in the victory.
NOTES: Team USA has advanced to the quarterfinals of the IIHF World Championship for the fifth straight year .. Team USA will practice tomorrow (May 5) at 11 a.m. local time ... The IIHF Men's World Championship includes 16 nations, initially divided into four, four-team pools. In the preliminary round, each team plays the other three teams in its pool. The top three teams in each pool advance to the qualification round. The qualification round consists of two groups of six teams each. A team advancing to the qualification round plays three additional games against the teams it has not yet faced that are part of its new pool. The top four teams in each of the two pools from the qualification round qualification round advance to the single-elimination quarterfinal round, with the winners playing in the semifinals. The two semifinal winners play for the gold medal while the losers play for the bronze medal ... Universal Sports will provide both live streaming and television coverage of all quarterfinal, semifinal and medal games of the 2009 IIHF Men's World Championship ... Click here for the Team USA roster ... Click here to download the Team USA media guide ... The 2009 U.S. Men’s National Team is under the direction of Brian Burke, general manager; David Poile, associate general manager; and Jim Johannson, assistant executive director for hockey operations at USA Hockey. The U.S. Men's National Advisory Group, which includes Burke, Paul Holmgren (Philadelphia), Johannson, Dean Lombardi (L.A. Kings), Ray Shero (Pittsburgh) and Don Waddell (Atlanta), is charged with leading the selection of players for the U.S. Men's National Team. Tony Rossi, vice president of USA Hockey and its international council chair, oversees all aspects of international competition for USA Hockey … Ron Wilson, head coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs, is the head coach of the 2009 U.S. Men’s National Team and the 2010 U.S. Olympic Men's Ice Hockey Team. Scott Gordon, head coach of the New York Islanders, and Joe Sacco, head coach of the Lake Erie Monsters of the American Hockey League, are the assistant coaches for the 2009 U.S. Men's National Team.
GAME SUMMARY Scoring By Period USA 0 - 3 - 0 - 0 - 3 SUI 1 - 1 - 1 - 1 - 4
First Period - Scoring: 1, SUI, Ambuhl (Blindenbacher, Streit), 9:42 (5x3 pp). Penalties: USA, Backes (boarding), 7:15; USA, Backes (game misconduct), 7:15; USA, Brown (roughing), 7:47; SUI, Bezina (interference), 18:36; SUI, Du Bois (hooking), 18:39; USA, O'Sullivan (interference), 19:49.
Second Period - Scoring: 2, USA, Hainsey (Pavelski), 5:57 (pp); 3, SUI, Lemm (Jeannin), 11:03; 4, USA, Higgins (Ballard), 15:08; 5, USA, Hainsey (O'Sullivan), 19:48 (5x3 pp). Penalties: SUI, Paterlini (interference), 4:59; SUI, Weber (delay of game), 7:00; USA, Okposo (roughing), 11:43; SUI, Streit (roughing), 11:43; SUI, Ambuhl (slashing), 18:21; Jeannin (tripping), 19:24.
Third Period - Scoring: 6, SUI, Pluss (Du Bois), 9:42. Penalties: USA, Bogosian (tripping), 5:41.