With a determinated performance and some help from luck, Team Switzerland knocked out Team Russia at the World Junior Championships. The Swiss will face Team Canada tomorrow at the tournament's semi-finals.
This was definitely not Team Russia's best game and it showed already during the first period, in which Plyuschev's team wasn't really dangerous until the sixteenth minute, when Vladimir Tarasenko hit the post after a breakaway launched by a great pass by Maxim Chudinov.
In the second period Igor Bobkov stood up and made some good saves to rescue the result, but after eight minutes Michaël Loichat scored the go-away goal for Switzerland, surprising the crowd at the Credit Union Center in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.
Team Russia tried to react, failing to capitalize the bigger number of moments. But after a big save by Benjamin Conz on Nikita Filatov something happened for Plyuschev guys.
Maxim Kitsyn got a good puck in the offensive zone and served Tarasenko without thinking twice. The Russian Number 10 lifted the puck over Swiss goalie Benjamin Conz in style and tied it up at the 38th minute.
Just a bunch of seconds later Filatov fed nicely the rushing Kirill Petrov right in front of Conz and that was an easy chance for the Islanders prospect, who scored the go-ahead goal.
In the third period Russia relaxed and controlled the match. Just like last year's during the semifinals, team Russia allowed a key late goal: 2010 eligible Nino Niederreiter fired the puck from the blue line, the shot hit defenseman Nikita Zaitsev and went in past Igor Bobkov, sending the game to the overtime.
Russia controlled the flow of the game for most of the extra period, but there were chances for both teams and Bobkov was rather busy. Once again though team Russia lacked the concentration to finish up the plays and with only twelve seconds to the final horn another shot by Nino Niederreiter has been deflected in and that meant that Russia will have to play for a hugely disappointing fifth place on Monday, while Switzerland will try to surprise Canada too tomorrow in the WJC semi-finals.