It took an overtime goal from captain Mark Streit to bring a testy Swiss team to a 3-2 victory over Germany on Sunday afternoon at the World Ice Hockey Championship.This content was published on April 26, 2009 - 18:47
The win, seventh-ranked Switzerland's second in as many games at the tournament, did not come easy but the result set off a sea of red and white flags in the country's capital.
It also brings Switzerland one step closer to securing a quarterfinal berth. They have already made the qualifying round.
"For me, it was the best game between Switzerland and Germany in the 12 years that I have experienced them," said Swiss coach Ralph Krueger. "It was a great hockey game, and there was great aggression in a positive sense. Everybody played hard."
Germany, ranked tenth, opened with strong play and found early success on a power play when Christoph Ullmann beat Swiss goalie Martin Gerber 6:26 into the first period.
Switzerland, which skated to a shaky 1-0 victory over France in their tournament opener on Friday, tied the game just over two minutes later when Roman Wick beat German netminder Dimitri Pätzold in front of a crowded goal.
Switzerland, playing before a capacity crowd of 11,423, kept applying pressure throughout the first period but was matched chance-for-chance by Germany, which finished the first period with eight shots on goal. Switzerland had seven.
The second period saw strong play from Switzerland but with every chance, Germany looked as though they would get themselves out of trouble in front of a raucous crowd in the Swiss capital.
The period ended with no goals for either side.
"We had a fast rythem early in the game and put a lot of pucks in their end of the ice but did not always take advantage of our speed," said Swiss forward Kevin Romy.
Switzerland goes ahead
The good fortune did not last for Germany. At 3:35 into the second period, facing a delayed penalty, Germany tried to clear the puck, only to see Switzerland's Mathias Seger move in and blast a slapshot from just in front of the blue line past Pätzold.
The goal set off a massive roar in the bleachers.
Less than ten minutes later, Ottawa Senators defenseman Christoph Schubert got even, driving hard toward the Swiss net and beating Martin Gerber for a short-handed goal. Kai Hospelt and Patrick Hager assisted.
Tension built up in the third period, with both sides exchanging words and plenty of physical play. The statistics suggested that Switzerland dominated the period, finishing the last third with 14 shots on goal versus Germany's four.
But at the 53:03 mark, Swiss defenseman Roman Josi was called for delaying the game and joined teammate Andres Ambühl in the penalty box, providing Germany with a two-man advantage and an opportunity to upset the home team.
Switzerland successfully killed off the deficit, bringing the game into overtime.
German Michael Bakos was called for holding Switzerland's Severin Blindenbacher in the German zone less than one minute into overtime, a penalty which proved fatal for his team, which lost their first game on Friday against Russia 5-0.
Some 37 seconds later, New York Islanders defenseman Mark Streit drove a goal past German goalie Patzold to take the game for the home team.
"It was a very exciting, emotional, and hard-fought game," said German coach Uwe Krupp. "My team played even with the Swiss team in the first two periods. We had our chances but didn't capitalise. At the end, the score reflects how the game was played."
Switzerland finished the game with seven penalties compared with Germany's six.
Germany have not beat Switzerland since 2002.
Switzerland next play Russia in Bern on Tuesday to finish off the preliminary round of in Group B. Germany face France.
swissinfo, Justin Häne at the PostFinance Arena in Bern
Slovakia vs Belarus
In Zurich, Belarus needed a shootout goal to defeat Slovakia 2-1 on Sunday afternoon.
Both sides played a relatively clean game, with Andrei Stas of Belarus scoring at 33:17.
Marcel Hossa of Slovakia tied the game with less than three minutes in the third period.
A five-minute overtime failed to put either team ahead.
Oleg Antonenko of Belarus finished things off with a penalty shot, handing his team its first win of the tournament.
Slovakia play Canada on Monday evening and Belarus face Hungary.
26 Gerber, Martin
66 Rueger, Ronnie
5 Blindenbacher, Severin
7 Streit, Mark
13 Du Bois, Felicien
31 Seger, Mathias
54 Furrer, Philippe
57 Belzina, Goran
90 Josi, Roman
10 Ambühl, Andres
14 Wick, Roman
18 Deruns, Thomas
23 Paterlini, Thierry
28 Plüss, Martin
32 Rüthemann, Ivo
35 Jeannin, Sandy
38 Ziegler, Thomas
39 Sannitz, Raffaelle
51 Gardner, Ryan
67 Lemm, Romano
86 Sprunger, Julien
88 Romy, Kevin
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