A total of 75 penalty minutes is nothing if not indicative of the cross-border rivalry between Switzerland and France. The good news for the Swiss, though, was that 63 of those 75 minutes left them on the power play. Less-than-friendly exchanges often led to physical battles, one that even saw France’s Sacha Treille receive a five-minute major and a game ejection for elbowing Timo Helbling and drawing blood.
Hollenstein opened the scoring about 15 minutes into the first while his team had a man advantage, shooting the puck just under Cristobal Huet’s right arm. When France argued, without cause, that the goal could’ve been offside, Antoine Roussel smacked the glass and hit a camera inside the penalty box, and he too received a game misconduct. At the end of the first, Switzerland had a 15-5 shot advantage.
The second goal was a Nashville Predators highlight, with Kevin Fiala springing Roman Josi down the middle, who patiently waited for Huet to sprawl and shot into an essentially open net.
The French fought back, though, with the hope of a comeback in sight. With 8:31 remaining the third, a scrum saw the puck go loose and land right near Damien Raux, whose backhand cut the Swiss lead in half. The French fought hard, but Leonardo Genoni’s first start saw him protecting the lead by making some game-saving stops. The New Jersey Devils’ Damien Brunner also had two assists.
Switzerland’s victory raised their all-time World Championship record against France to ten wins and four losses. They will play another rivalry game against Germany on Tuesday.