Switzerland finished off the final World Championship game of the day with a 3-1 victory over France on Sunday.
A day after a disappointing loss to Germany, the French got off to a poor start against the Swiss. With five minutes to go, Sacha Treille ran into a Swiss player with his elbow, and whether fans were happy about the call or not, the 6’5 French player would earn a game misconduct on the play.
20 seconds after Treille was tossed, the Swiss grabbed the 1-0 lead. With the red and white on the five minute power-play, Dennis Hollenstein scored a weird one after grabbing the puck in the air from Damien Brunner and scored while falling down, a shot that confused Cristobal Huet on the way towards the net.
France wasn’t pleased. Antoine Roussel made it known that he wasn’t happy about the play and voiced his displeasure to the ref following the Hollenstein goal, but they weren’t so impressed with his language. Rousel would first go sit in the box, but after verbally abusing the refs, they decided to let him take the rest of the night off.
A minute into the second, the Swiss were able to take a 2-0 lead. With the game finally back to 5-on-5 action, Roman Josi picked up the puck in front of the French net and showed great patience as he crossed in front of the crease and fired it over a sprawling Huet, giving the Swiss the important two goal advantage early on.
Leonardo Genoni didn’t have a very busy first half of the game, seeing just six shots in the first 30 minutes of play. At the other end of the ice, Huet made 20 saves during that time, having to stop a resilient Swiss attack while the French struggled to do anything offensively. Huet’s biggest save came on Dino Wieser near the end of the second after the former Montreal Canadiens star came made a tough stop with the pad after Wieser deked past multiple French players to get a shot on net.
With 11 minutes to go, France finally was able to record their second goal of the tournament. Valentin Claireaux, the 13th forward for the French, picked up the loose puck in the neutral zone and skated all the way towards the Genoni in the Swiss net. He took a big shot, but the HC Davos goaltender made a big stop with the pad. Genoni sent the puck into a small scramble in front of the net, and after a short battle, Damien Raux would come in and knock the puck in for the 2-1 goal. Raux couldn’t help spark the comeback for the French, however, as an empty net breakaway goal by Reto Suri sealed the deal at the end.
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