Everything that could have gone bad for Switzerland did against the Americans on Wednesday, losing 10-1 to get sent back to the relegation round.
The first ten minutes were an absolute disaster for the Swiss. After holding Canada to a 3-2 shootout yesterday, Switzerland allowed three goals to three big American shooters in what looked like a depleted effort for the team in red and white. First, a terrible bounce off of a Zach Werenski shot found its way off of Noah Rod and on to the stick of Christian Dvorak, who just tipped the puck in for the 1-0 goal, and a weird one in that.
Then, a full minute later, Auston Matthews would also take advantage of a bad bounce before batting it in the air and past the goal line for a 2-0 lead. It wasn’t the Swiss’ fault at that point, as they were just victims of two bad bounces early on. Unfortunately, a third goal from Brandon Carlo at the point at the half-way point didn’t exactly help them, putting what appeared to be an unbeatable lead on the board early.
To make things even worse, two weak goals by the Americans would end Joren van Pottelberghe’s night early. First, a floater from Werenski fooled the Swiss goaltender from far out, making it 4-0. Then, three minutes later, Matthew Tkachuk also found the back of the net with a long shot, signalling the end of van Pottelberghe’s night after allowing five goals on just ten shots. It was a tough end for the Detroit Red Wings prospect, who was named the player of the game against Canada on Tuesday night in a tight match-up against the other team in red.
With the Swiss completely out of the game, the Americans continued to roll through easily. On just the second shot on new goalie Ludovic Waeber, Nick Schmaltz jammed in the puck at the right leg to make it 6-0 Americans heading into the first intermission.
The second period saw the Swiss finally get a goal, even if it came a little too late. After a great effort by 2017 NHL Draft prospect Nico Hischier behind the net, San Jose Sharks first rounder Timo Meier picked up the pass in front and beat Alex Nedeljkovic to end his shutout. Unfortunately, a goal by Tkachuk a minute later helped the Americans get their six-goal lead back, all thanks to some tremendous board work by future first overall pick Matthews.
As you can guess, more time on the clock meant more time for goals. Matthews, of course, was involved, turning a one-timer from Schmaltz into USA’s eighth goal after 28 minutes of play. A minute later, Colin White made it 9-1 off of a 2-on-1 overtime, adding his name to the goal column in a game where it looked like everyone would. Ryan Donato would also score a goal, putting the Americans into the double digits for the first time in the tournament since 1987. As expected, the Americans managed to hold on to their nine-goal lead, finishing off the game with a 10-1 victory to easily manhandle the Swiss.
With the win, the Americans can clinch second in the group with a win against Denmark. For Switzerland, the team will play in a best-of-three relegation series with Belarus, marking the second year in a row for the Swiss. The series will begin on January 2nd before doing it all again the next day, with a third game possible if needed on January 5th.
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