IIHF Worlds: Day 6 Round-Up
Switzerland keep their perfect record (Photo: Andre Ringuette / HHOF-IIHF IMAGES)

Switzerland 4-1 Norway

Switzerland are coming into their fourth match top of Group B after straightforward wins over Italy, Latvia, and Austria. The Swiss have earned nine points and a score of 16-1, but they haven’t faced any of the teams projected to be in the quarterfinals. They start this match without their No. 1 goaltender Reto Berra in the lineup.

Norway have been struggling in the 2019 IIHF World Championships so far with zero points after three matches and a 5-21 score. Losses to Russia, Czech Republic, and Sweden leave them in the seventh position, ahead of Italy just on goal difference. The bright side for Norway is that they will have played four of the strongest teams in their group, so they will have more of a chance of picking up points and establishing a solid safe position in Group B.

The first five minutes were mostly dominated by Switzerland without many shots or chances, but after five and a half minutes, Christoph Bertschy’s centering pass found Andres Ambuhl, who faked out the Norway goaltender Henrik Holm and scored with a backhand shot. Norway were the more active team since the goal, chasing an equalizer. They outshot Switzerland 12-7 after 15 minutes.

Switzerland got a second in the first minute of the second period, Nico Hischier acting as if he was going to skate behind Holm’s goal, forcing the Norway goaltender to move to his other post, then stopping and tucking in the puck underneath Holm’s skate. Switzerland dominated the rest of the period, not letting Norway get any chances that would let them get back into the game.

The Swiss went 3-0 up after Lino Martschini turned over the puck in the neutral zone, created a 2-on-1 before squaring the puck to Gregory Hoffman who tapped it in. Andres Ambuhl got a fourth for Switzerland before Tobias Lindstrom got Norway on the board, making the final score 4-1.

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Russia 10-0 Italy

Russia are second in Group B on goal difference after three wins over Norway, Austria, and Czech Republic, and are highly likely to continue their perfect record against Italy.

Italy were promoted last season and are favorites to go back down, so far living up to that position. After three matches, Italy are bottom of Group B with a score of 0-20, yet to score in these championships.

Russia took the lead with their first shot. After a face-off, Nikita Zaitsev skated in to an empty space, received a pass from Nikita Gusev and he scored. Dinar Khaffizulin got a second for Russia after seven and a half minutes, leaving his defensive place to skate into the slot and scored.

Italy almost got their first goal of the tournament in the 12th minute after they got a 2-on-1, but they were denied by the right pad of Andrei Vasilevskiy. Russia got a third from Evgeny Kuznetsov after the Washington Capitals center received a pass from Barbanov on the edge of the crease after Barbanov was about to skate behind the net. Alexander Ovechkin scored the fourth Russian goal with his signature one-timer slapshot after a Evgeny Kuznetsov pass.

Russia thought they got a fifth through a Mikhail Sergachev slapshot goal, but the goal was ruled out due to a Russian player’s position inside the Italian crease. They actually got a fifth just 18 seconds into the second period through Evgeny Kuznetsov, leading to Italy pulling their goalie Andreas Bernard, letting Marco de Filippo Roia take the rest of the match.

De Filippo Roia was beaten less than six minutes after he came into the goal, Ilya Kovalchuk scoring Russia’s sixth goal. Evgeni Dadonov and Mikhail Grigorenko added two more before the period was over.

The third period was relatively calm, just a pair of goals from Nikita Kucherov and Evgeni Dadonov. Russia won 10-0, the first double-digit score of the 2019 IIHF World Championships

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USA 6-3 Great Britain

Team USA have had a mixed tournament so far, starting with a loss to Slovakia, then beating France and earning an overtime win over Finland after a Dylan Larkin winner.

Great Britain are unsurprisingly bottom of Group A after three matches, the only team yet to get a point in that group. They did start their campaign with a tight 3-1 loss to Germany, but then got blown out by Canada and Denmark in their next two matches.

It was a slow opening ten minutes from Team USA, who were expected to blow their former overlords out of the water. James Van Riemsdyk opened the scoring after 12 minutes, but Mike Hammond shocked the world when he tied the game up just three minutes later.

Great Britain held onto the 1-1 draw until the 29th minute, once the Team USA onslaught began. Clayton Keller broke the tie in the 30th minute, with Chris Kreider and Alex DeBrincat making it 4-1 in the next ten minutes. Brett Perlini got a second goal for Great Britain just six seconds before the end of the second period, keeping his team in the game.

Patrick Kane and Derek Ryan added two more goals in the final period before Ben Davies got a third for Great Britain, making the final score 6-3.

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Germany 3-2 Slovakia

Germany came into this match with plenty of confidence, winning all three of their matches over France, Denmark, and Great Britain, getting nine points.

Slovakia have had to play all of their most difficult in the beginning, starting with a win over Team USA, but then suffering two tight losses against Finland and Canada, earning three points over three matches.

Germany broke the tie after 23 minutes, Marc Michaelis scoring Germany’s opening goal. However, Slovakia took advantage of a long 5-on-3 penalty, first Andrej Sekera tying the game up and then Libor Hudacek sending Slovakia into the lead in the 30th minute.

Slovakia held on until the 58th minute, when Markus Eisenschmid tied the game up with a one-timer slapshot once Germany pulled their goalie. The match seemed to be destined to go into overtime after that goal, but Germany created a two-on-two situation, and Leon Draisaitl scored through Erik Cernak and beat Marek Ciliak stickside, getting Germany the win and likely ensuring the quarterfinal berth for his nation with 27 seconds to go.