Duel of very high table at the beginning of the afternoon in Riga. The Canadians, undefeated despite a victory on penalties, receive the Swiss, also undefeated and who conceded only two goals, against the Slovaks. The two teams are therefore fighting for one of the first places in the group with the aim of inheriting a favorable draw for the quarter-finals.
This summit match starts at a steady pace. From the first seconds of play, Andrea Glauser catches Fantilli (01’00). The Canadians’ power play struggled to establish itself and the Swiss supporters, who had come in large numbers to Riga, waved to accompany the efforts of their defensive unit. The Nati is in difficulty on these first minutes and undergoes the attacks proposed by the teammates of Tyler Toffoli. The whites have all the trouble in the world to get out of their zone in possession of the puck (05’30). Like many teams in the tournament, they find the solution by using the boards but Jonas Siegenthaler, served by Damien Riat, stumbles on Montembeault (05’53). While the Canadians seem to be off to a weak start, the television break comes to interrupt the game.
Nino Niederreiter’s teammates then find colors. Kévin Fiala alerts Montembeault but the Montreal goalkeeper wins (07’18). Back on the ice, the Canadian front line created opportunities but came up against the defensive application of its afternoon opponents. Enzo Corvi escapes but cannot find the right position to shoot. A bad change of Canadian line and Gaëtan Haas can try his luck in the enclave, Adam Fantilli pushes back (11’56). Jacob Middleton is caught by the patrol for hanging Fiala and the Swiss have their first numerical superiority (12’14). The Swiss power play is essential but Montembeault keeps his team in the game. Niederreiter gets the rebound left by the CH goalkeeper but sees his stick clearly held back by Canadian defender Joseph and is brought to the ground. Despite the broca of some 4,000 Swiss spectators present in the stands, the referees did not raise their arms (13’42).
The game is now concentrated in the neutral zone without the two teams deciding. Marti tries his luck, Montembeault deviates from the end of the shield. MacKenzie Weegar receives an unwhistled high stick in the mouth from Malgin (17’25). Corvi combines with Niederreiter who can transmit to Ambühl in the enclave but once again, the Canadian goalkeeper wins (17’43). The Swiss finished the third better and the attempts multiplied on the cage of the red and black. Tyler Myers is chased for a charge with the stick five seconds from the break (19’55).
The Swiss offensive unit is struggling to settle on the return from the locker room. The momentum changes sides and now the Canadians, struggling over the first twenty minutes of play, have a highlight. Leonardo Genoni is called upon but reigns supreme. The line changes are to the advantage of the offensive and the Canadian pressing is more pressing, hampering the offensive transition. Jonas Siegenthaler takes advantage of an excursion in the offensive zone to put the puck in the cage but his attempt flees the frame (25’42). The Swiss are gradually taking control but leaving the Canadians the opportunity to take advantage of clumsiness. Nino Niederretier was expelled for harshness after hitting Joe Veleno who had kicked – not seen by the referees – in the ankle of the captain of the Nati (28’48). The Canadian power play is struggling to settle but captain Tyler Toffoli finds the solution on Genoni with a long shot hidden by Dylan Crouse (1-0 at 29’58).
This goal completely changed the face of this game. It is now the Canadians who set their pace and lead the debates. The long-lasting efforts of the Nation are however rewarded. Kévin Fiala carries the puck from the defensive zone, reverses on Fora along the boards, the latter loses control but Hischier inherits the puck, fixes and slips into the enclave to equalize (1-1 at 33’24, picture below).
Fabrice Herzog appears against Montembeault but his high backhand fails on the goalkeeper (34’10). The goal revived the Swiss who took control of the game. The second white line, carried by Niederreiter, plays the game but comes up against a Samuel Montembeault on good days. Christian Marti tries his luck from a distance, Montembeault wins again but Dario Simion, like a surface fox, prowls and gives the advantage to the Nati (1-2 at 37’00). In the space of four minutes, the Swiss overturned this match, quite logically. McBain tries to react and knocks twice on the door but Genoni remains vigilant (37’30).
The third period starts at a pace worthy of knockout matches. The Swiss take the time to build and lay the game. For their part, the Canadians, who are running after the score, try to apply enough pressure to force the Nati to make inaccuracies, without leaving too much space. behind the defense. After four minutes at this pace, the Swiss manage to win in the offensive zone and confiscate the puck. The Canadians take advantage of small mistakes by their opponents to be dangerous but do not find the frame. Jack McBain is sent off for an incorrect charge (47’46). In difficulty with their power play, the Swiss did not find the solution but continued to run out the clock.
The Swiss continue to dominate the debates and take advantage of a very bad change of Canadian line. Nino Niederreiter fixes Montembeault before going around the cage and serving Andres Ambühl who scores in two stages (1-3 at 52’08). This goal makes Tyler Toffoli’s teammates react, trying to occupy the offensive zone, without success. Nico Hischier presses and recovers the puck before shooting by passing the puck between his legs then behind his back but his attempt fails. The puck slipped to the other side of the ice and Michael Carcone reduced the mark on deflection (2-3 at 56’22). This match is restarted when the Swiss seemed in full control. Krebs was left alone in the enclave as the clock ticked down but Genoni won from the end of the shoulder (57’53). Samuel Montembeault deserts his net as the Swiss concede a disallowed clearance. Team Canada uses its dead time and organizes its supernumerary game (59’10). Samuel Blais’ teammates threw their last strength into battle but the siren put an end to this game.
The Swiss therefore take a serious option for the first place in group B. For their part, the Canadians will therefore have to beat the Czech Republic to gain second place.
Elected men of the match: Tyler Toffoli (Canada) and Dario Simion (Switzerland).
Canada – Switzerland 2-3 (0-0, 1-2, 1-1)
Saturday May 20, 2023 at Arena Riga. 8234 spectators.
Referees: Tobias Björk (SWE) and Mads Frandsen (DAN) assisted by Onni Hautamäki (FIN) and Jiří Ondráček (TCH).
Penalties: Canada 6′ (4′, 0′, 2′); Switzerland 4′ (2′, 2′, 0′).
Shooting: Canada 29 (6, 15, 0); Switzerland 26 (16, 6, 4)
1-0 at 28’58: Toffoli assisted by Laughton and Quinn (num. sup.)
1-1 at 33’24: Hischier assisted by Fora and Fiala
1-2 at 37’00: Simion assisted by Marti and Haas
1-3 at 52’08: Ambühl assisted by Niederreiter and Corvi
2-3 at 56’22: Carcone assisted by Hunt and Neighbors
Milan Lucic (A, -2) – Joe Veleno (-2) – Samuel Blais (-2)
Lawson Crouse (-1) – Scott Laughton (A, -1) – Jack Quinn (-1)
Jake Neighbors (+1) – Jack McBain (2′, +1) – Michael Carcone (+1)
Adam Fantilli – Cody Glass – Tyler Toffoli (C)
Jacob Middleton (2′, -2) – MacKenzie Weegar (-1)
Brad Hunt (+1) – Ethan Bear
Pierre-Olivier Joseph (-1) – Tyler Myers (2′, -1)
Samuel Montembeault [sorti à 58’08].
Substitute: Devon Levi (G). Reservist: Joel Hofer (G).
Kevin Fiala – Nico Hischier (A) – Denis Malgin (+1)
Nino Niederreiter (C, 2′) – Enzo Corvi (+1) – Andres Ambühl (+1)
Marco Miranda – Gaëtan Haas (A) – Dario Simon
Fabrice Herzog (+1) – Tanner Richard (+1) – Christoph Bertschy (+1)
Damien Riat [3 présences]
Jonas Siegenthaler (+1) – Dean Kukan (-1)
Janis Moser – Andrea Glauser (2′, +1)
Christian Marti – Romain Loeffel (+1)
Michael Fora (+2)
Substitute: Joren van Pottelberghe (G). Reservists: Robert Mayer (L), Tobias Geisser (D), Sven Senteler (A). Substitute on injury: Calvin Thürkauf (shoulder).