Switzerland managed to survive a terrible mistake in the final minute of the game to end any chance the Latvians had to move on thanks to a 3-2 victory.
The Latvians chose the absolute worst time for them to just fall asleep at the wheel. With multiple defensemen bothering with the guy who had control of the puck and ignoring Damien Brunner in front, the New Jersey Devils forward put the Swiss on the board early with an easy tip in in front of the net. Minutes after, Domink Schlumpf, who has one of the coolest names in the entire tournament, sat all alone in the slot and beat Kristers Gudlevskis to make it 2-0 Swiss. Simon Moser almost made it 3-0 Switzerland with five minutes to go, but his shot somehow stayed out after bouncing off the inside part of the post. In a game where a win was a must, the Latvians were surely off to a poor start in the first.
The Swiss would score again less then half a minute into the second. Vancouver Canucks defenseman Yannick Weber gave his team the 3-0 after a shot from the point made it through the Latvian defense and past Gudlevskis for the marker. A minute later, however, Koba Jass beat Reto Berra’s five-hole in front, similar to how Mikhail Grabovski did on Monday against the Latvians. With eight minutes remaining in the period, Latvia would accumulate multiple decent scoring chances, including a breakaway opportunity Mārtiņš Cipulis that Reto Berra stopped with the pad.
With the Latvians in desperate need of a goal late in the period, Cipulis skated past four opposing players but couldn’t beat Berra over the glove with the flick shot. The Latvians would manage to score late in the period with the net pulled…or would they? Well, yes, they did, as it was determined that Zemgus Girgensons’s stick was below the cross bar on the redirect and deemed legal, but it would take them five minutes to decide that. On the very next play, a two man breakaway by the Swiss on the empty net resulted in one of the biggest hockey blunders you’ll ever see in your lifetime. Somehow, after some crazy wizardry right in front of the Latvian net, the puck managed to hit the post and stay out, ranking up with Patrik Stefan’s fail back in 2007 as one of the strangest scoring attempt fails of all time.
Regardless, the Swiss would manage to hold on in the final minute, taking the 3-2 victory over the Latvians and eliminating their foes in the process. With Latvia’s loss, Finland has now secured a spot in the quarter-finals and will face Canada on Thursday.
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