The United States pulled off a stunning victory in its quarterfinal game this morning against Russia as the Americans posted eight goals – the most the U.S. has ever scored against Russia – in an 8-3 drubbing of the 2014 Winter Olympics host. That total is also the most goals the Russians (and the Soviets) have ever allowed in a World Championship game.
Craig Smith recorded five assists in the contest, including three helpers in a four-goal third period, for the Americans. Smith becomes the eighth player in World Championship history to record five assists in a game. Thursday morning’s game was a rebound for the Madison, Wis., native after he was held scoreless and posted 14 penalty minutes in the American’s loss to Slovakia on Tuesday. Smith now has 12 points (3g-9a) in eight games as Team USA heads to Stockholm to take on Roman Josi and the Swiss in the semifinals. Forward Bobby Butler was a healthy scratch for Thursday’s game as the Americans received NHL help from St. Louis’ T.J. Oshie and Montreal rookie Alex Galchenyuk.
As for the Swiss, they secured their semifinals spot after defeating the Czech Republic on Thursday morning. Josi tallied the game-winning, power-play goal midway through the second period, giving the Bern native three points (2g-1a) in his last two outings. Josi has posted eight points (3g-5a) in eight games and is the highest scoring blueliner in the tournament. The top-ranked Swiss have yet to be defeated in this year’s World Championship.
The puck drops on the United States vs. Switzerland on Saturday at 12 p.m. CT.