FeaturedWorld Junior Championship

Swiss skate to easy win over Latvia

Latvia opened up the scoring first with a power-play goal only 2:45 into the game. Arturs Kuzmenkovs fed Nikolajs Jelisejevs a precise pass for a one-timer while on the powerplay, however the Swiss kept to their  patient game and waited for their chances to amount.

The Swiss would tie the game at 14:14 during a 4-0n-4 stint. Christoph Bertschy skated down the left wing and took a shot that was stopped by Elvis Merzlikins, but  Bertschy eagerly got to his own rebound and scooped the puck into the net.

Late in the first period the Swiss would pull ahead with a very nice passing play. Richard spotted Künzle  at the top of the crease and Künzle’s quick shot beat Merzlikins at 18:27. The goal was scored at even strength but came just as Edgars Siksna came out of the penalty box and was not yet back in the play.

Lukas Balmelli would make it 3-1 for Switzerland early in the second which at the time seemed that might be enough, but Latvia proved more resilient than the score might have suggested. Arturs Sevcenko would help draw the Latvians to within one again when he scored on a partial breakaway.

Then roughly midway through the period the Swiss changed the fate of the game when they put up a short-handed goal. Richard made a great deke to come out of the corner with the puck, and he spotted Sven Andrighetto, who roofed a quick backhand over the glove of Merzlinkins. This put the Swiss up 4-2 at a time when the Latvians had a great opportunity to tie the game on their powerplay.

SwissLatviaG1
UFA, RUSSIA – DECEMBER 27: Switzerland’s Sven Andrighetto #22 celebrates after scoring a goal against team Latvia during preliminary round action at the 2013 IIHF Ice Hockey U20 World Championship.
(Photo by Richard Wolowicz/HHOF-IIHF Images)

Sandro Zangger would score a beauty of a goal to put the game away. He bolted down the middle of the ice and cut quickly to the outside, leaving defenceman Edmunds Augstkalns sprawled on the ice. Zangger then made a nifty move and tucked the puck in to make it 5-2.

Ivars Punnenovs came in to relief Merzlikins to start the third period. He surrendered another power-play goal froma Richard to Künzle combination in front. Alessio Bertaggia closed out the scoring with a late goal on a clean breakaway.

With the win, the Swiss improve to 4-0-0 against Latvia in all-time meetings between the two U20 nations.

The Swiss also pick up their first win in the 2013 WJC as Latvia has now dropped 2 consecutive games in back to back days.

Igor Burdetskiy

Igor Burdetskiy

Founder, Editor-in-Chief, & CEO at Hooked on Hockey Magazine
I grew up playing Ball and Roller Hockey day and night somewhat religiously throughout elementary and middle school. The two don't compare though when I lace up the skates and hit the ice. I live and breathe hockey beyond the perspective of "it's just a game" and I will gladly talk hockey for hours with anyone. Hockey is more than just a lifestyle, it's a culture of passionate people who make memories every time the puck is dropped. Hockey has not only helped me get through some of the hardest times in life but has created some of the best memories to date. Want to talk hockey with me? Shoot me an email: iburdetskiy@hookedonhockey.com and let's talk some hockey!
Igor Burdetskiy
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