Canada 4 - Switzerland 3 (OT)
PIETRANGELO SCORES IN OT AS CANADA BEATS SWISS 4-3 AT WORLD HOCKEY CHAMPIONSHIP
KOSICE, Slovakia – When the heat finally got turned up at the IIHF World Hockey Championship, it was two of Canada's coolest customers that stepped to the fore.
Alex Pietrangelo kept Canada from suffering another loss to Switzerland by scoring4:14 into overtime Tuesday while goaltender James Reimer shook off a bad early goal to stand tall during the4-3 victory.
It was exactly the type of contributions the young team needed, particularly when it started tradingchances – and goals – in the third period. Pietrangelo's overtime winner came after a blocked pass attemptended up back on his stick and he beat Leonardo Genoni with a high shot.
“He has the same puck patience characteristics as Nick Lidstrom,” said Canadian coach Ken Hitchcock. “He'scalm when he should panic, he sees a second option where most people just see 'get it out,' he has thatquality about him that's very, very unique where he does not panic when he's under challengingsituations.”
Reimer has shown similar mettle while earning the confidence of teammates and seizing the No. 1 job innet.
After having a bad angle shot from Rafael Diaz glance off his glove and in to give the Swiss a 1-0 lead,Reimer rebounded with a strong performance. He denied Matthias Bieber on two third-period breakaways – thefirst on a penalty shot and the second with the game tied 2-2.
Once the victory was sealed, he apologized to Hitchcock for the one soft shot that got behind him.
“It's one of those goals where it was no one's fault except yours,” said Reimer, who finished with 30saves.
The Swiss came exactly as billed. Comprised entirely of players from the domestic league other thanAnaheim Ducks defenceman Luca Sbisa, they played fast and physical while getting a solid performance in goalfrom Genoni.
They've become a Canadian nemesis in recent years and were on the verge of yet another upset here withsome resilient play. After Chris Stewart made it 3-2 for Canada at 16:46 of the third period, Andres Ambuhlbrought Steel Arena alive by tying it less than two minutes later.
Hitchcock's first thought when that happened'
“We've seen this movie before,” he said.
Swiss coach Sean Simpson was gracious in defeat, saying Canada “deserved to win” because his team was “inand out” of the game. He was particularly unhappy with a second period where Canada outshot the Swiss 24-7and scored twice to erase the early deficit.
“Canada's a tough team, they've got all the elements they need,” said Simpson. “It's going to be a toughjob for anybody to play against that team the rest of the tournament.”
Jordan Eberle and John Tavares also scored for Canada (3-0) while Felicien Du Bois had the other goal forSwitzerland (2-1).
The victory came with a reward. It ensured that Wednesday would be a complete day off for the Canadians,who will instead welcome many family and friends to Slovakia before practising Thursday and playing theirnext game on Friday.
The opponent won't be known until the preliminary round wraps up Wednesday night.
There are still some important elements of the game for the team to work on as the tournament continues.It allowed the Swiss too many quality scoring chances late in the game and twice blew one-goal leads in thefinal 20 minutes.
“We got nervous in the third (period) and started giving back the puck a little bit when the Swiss turnedup the forechecking pressure,” said Hitchcock.
Fortunately, there were enough calm performers to keep the game from slipping away.
Moser returned in the third period.
“I admire that kid, I couldn't believe that kid got up and played again,” said Hitchcock.
The Canadian team got unravelled at this event a year ago after losing to Switzerland at this exactportion of the tournament. Armed with a victory this time around, they appear ready to be on a much betterpath.
“That's a good test for us I think,” said Tavares. “As much as you want to be as dominant as you can inthese games, we learned a lot about ourselves.”
Notes: Pietrangelo took a team-high six shots ... With Carlo Colaiacovo playing his first game for Canada,eighth defenceman Mario Scalzo received just 3:50 of ice time ... Canada's Travis Zajac entered the game withthe tournament's best faceoff winning percentage ... Andy Murray, who coached Canada to gold at the 2007world championship, is an adviser for the Swiss team ... Canadian assistant GMs Bob Murray and Rob Blake tookin their first game after arriving in Slovakia.
|Arena||Arena Kosice||City, Country||Kosice, SVK|
|Month / Day / Year||05/03/2011||Time||10:15 AM ET|
12:29 SUI 16 Raphael Diaz (22 Victor Stancescu, 67 Romano Lemm)
11:57 CAN 14 Jordan Eberle (9 Evander Kane)
16:51 CAN 20 John Tavares
08:08 SUI 13 Félicien Du Bois
16:46 CAN 25 Chris Stewart (16 Andrew Ladd, 15 Travis Zajac)
18:38 SUI 10 Andres Ambuhl (3 Julien Vauclair)
04:14 CAN 27 Alex Pietrangelo (15 Travis Zajac)
|Shots on Goal||1||2||3||OT1||Total|
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Brad Pascall Vice-President, Hockey Operations