Canada 5 - Switzerland 1
MOSCOW – Andy Murray was not about to rest on any laurels, his or his team's.
An hour after Canada beat Switzerland 5-1 in the quarter-finals Thursday to advance to the medal round at the World Hockey Championship, Murray went to work preparing for Canada's semifinal match on Saturday against Sweden.
"They are a good team and they've been preparing all year for this tournament," said Murray, Team Canada's affable head coach, about the Swedes. "You don't see as many NHL names on the Swedish roster as you used to. This team has been together for a long time and they are a worthy opponent.
"I am heading to the video room. We'll start preparations."
Matthew Lombardi scored twice in the victory over the Swiss and now has five goals in his last two games at the 16-team world tournament and he leads Canada in goals with six. Jamal Mayers, Rick Nash and Shea Weber also scored for Canada.
Canada beat Sweden in the championship game of the 2003 and 2004 world championships but lost 5-4 in the semifinals last year in Latvia. The Swedes won the '06 world title and Canada wound up in fourth place.
In beating the Swiss, the Canadians avenged a 2-0 loss to them at the 2006 Winter Olympic Games in Torino, Italy.
Murray had high praise for Lombardi, saying, "he used his speed very effectively."
"He is a real smart player," added Murray.
The Swiss had a difficult time handling Canada's size and speed and the score could have easily been in double figures had it not been for the stellar effort of goalie Jonas Hiller.
"It was a big game for us," said Murray. "It was a game in which we had to focus on the end result. We were getting lots of shots but they were not going in. But we did not lose our focus on the end result. It was good to see that happen."
Lombardi benefited from a Swiss giveaway to open the scoring at 15:22 of the first period. Lombardi was alone when a Swiss defenceman tried to clear the puck but he mistakenly sent it to Lombardi and he scored on a backhand.
The Canadians pulled ahead 2-0 in the second when Mayers scored at 9:05 while on the power play.
The Swiss got it back quickly when Paul DiPietro, who has a knack of scoring against Canada, beat goalie Dwayne Roloson with a long slapshot. DiPietro score Switzerland's two goals in their upset victory at the 2006 Winter Olympics.
But Nash chased any hopes of a Swiss rally late in the second period when he banged home a loose puck in the crease while Canada enjoyed a 5-on-3 manpower advantage. Lombardi, at 6:03, and Weber scored in the third period to seal Canada's seventh straight win.
Canada now has a career record of 22-0-2 against Switzerland at this tournament.
Murray knows his players have more to give, that they have yet to play their best hockey.
"We have gotten better and we have a tough game on Saturday," he said.