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Swiss and Russia all even after one period

by Mike G. Morreale

Switzerland continues to surprise at the 2013 World Junior Championship in Ufa, Russia.

Minnesota Wild prospect Christoph Bertschy scored a shorthanded goal midway through the first period on Wednesday to give the Swiss a 1-1 tie with favored Russia in the quarterfinals of medal round competition at Ufa Arena.

Russia opened a 1-0 lead 6:07 into the first when Alexander Khokhlachyov connected for a power-play goal. The Swiss just missed scoring shorthanded at the start of the Russian power-play when lightning-quick Bertschy stole a pass and just missed tucking home a shot into the right-hand corner on Andrei Vailevskiy at the 4:59 mark.

Bertschy made no mistake, however, on his second shorthanded chance at the 10:05 mark of the first when he stole an ill-advised drop pass from Nikita Nesterov in the Russian end and beat Vasilevskiy to square the contest.

The winner of the game will face defending gold-medalist Sweden in the semifinals of the medal round on Thursday at 8 a.m. ET (NHLN-US).

Switzerland actually finished pool play fourth in scoring with 16 goals, including three from Mike Kunzle. The Swiss only won once in the preliminary round, a 7-2 opening-game victory against Latvia, but picked up single points in shootout losses to Sweden and Finland and an overtime loss to the Czech Republic. Those points were the difference between them and Finland for the last medal-round spot in Group A.

Follow Mike Morreale on Twitter at: @mike_morreale

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