Tenacious Swiss upset top-ranked Sweden in quarter-finals
Swiss netminder Luca Hollenstein stops 41 shots for the shutout
Switzerland is brimming with confidence at the world junior hockey championship after defeating top-ranked Sweden 2-0 Wednesday in a quarter-final upset.
Swiss netminder Luca Hollenstein shut out the Swedes, who peppered the goalie with 41 shots throughout the game.
"To us it's very big," said Swiss forward Luca Wyss, who scored the second goal of the game. "Everyone around talked that Sweden is going to beat us. We as a team had in our heads we can play against Sweden."
Swiss goals from Yannick Bruschweiler and Wyss advanced Switzerland to the tournament semifinals in Vancouver.
WATCH | Swiss upset top-ranked Sweden:
Wyss, who scored at 13:59 of the second period, put the puck between Swedish goalie Samuel Ersson's legs during a goal-mouth scramble.
"I had a shot before from the slot and I went to the goal and the puck came out and I just put it on the net and it ended up in the net," he said.
The best previous result for the Swiss in the tournament was a bronze medal in 1998.
Switzerland's coach Christian Wohlwend said his team needs to play the way it competed against Sweden every game.
"The confidence is huge," he said. "The team belief is huge. We're just riding on the wave now."
Hollenstein made several key saves throughout the game, including stopping forward Filip Sveningsson on a breakaway. Sweden outshot the Swiss 41-35.
The Swiss players mobbed their goalie at the end of the game.
Sweden's coach Tomas Monten said the Swiss were able to take away his team's puck moving offence.
"It's hockey," he said. "They played a really good game. We lost our tempo with the puck."
U.S. gets past Czech Republic
Josh Norris had the eventual winner early in the second period as the United States held off a stubborn Czech Republic for a 3-1 win on Wednesday to advance to the semifinals of the world junior hockey tournament.
Noah Cates opened scoring for the Americans in the first period and Alexander Chmelevski added an empty-net goal in the final minute of play.
Watch U.S. cruise into semis:
Despite being outshot 41-19, the Czechs kept the game close, with Martin Kaut's power-play goal coming midway through the third period.
Czech goalie Lukas Dostal made numerous third-period saves to keep his team in the game, turning back the Americans from point-blank range.
The game saw the return to the U.S. lineup for Jack Hughes, who missed three consecutive round-robin games with an undisclosed injury.
Hughes made an immediate impact early in the first period, controlling the puck in the Czech zone and setting up two U.S. scoring opportunities. Hughes received an assist on the only goal of the first period by forward Noah Cates.
Norris was sent in alone on a breakaway at 6:10 in the second period and put the puck between Dostal's legs.
Chmelevski scored an empty-net goal for the U.S. at 19:21 of the third period.
Russians crush Slovakia
Klim Kostin scored twice to lead Russia past Slovakia 8-3 on Wednesday in their quarterfinal matchup at the world junior hockey championship.
Russia (5-0-0-0) has not lost a game in the tournament and is now off to the semifinals, where they'll face the United States on Friday.
Grigori Denisenko put up a goal and a pair of assists in the victory. His teammates Alexander Alexeyev, Stepan Starkov, Nikita Shashkov, Kirill Slepets and Ilya Morozov also scored.
WATCH | Russians dismantle Slovakia:
Martin Fehervary, Milos Roman and Michal Ivan responded for Slovakia (1-0-0-4), who outshot the Russians 35 to 30.
Pyotr Kochetkov made 32 saves for Russia. The undrafted netminder has allowed only three goals in the tournament so far.
The Slovaks switched out goalie Samuel Hlavaj in the first period after he allowed three goals on the first six shots of the game.
He was replaced by Juraj Sklenar, who stopped 19-of-24.
Denisenko opened the scoring 5:36 into the first and Russia dominated for the rest of the period, adding three more goals before the first intermission.
The Russians kept Slovakia off the board for two full periods before Fehervary scored a short-handed goal 3:35 into the third frame.
It was the first goal of the tournament for the Washington Capitals prospect.
Roman clawed out another for Slovakia with just 1:02 to go in the game and Ivan added one more with just nine seconds left.
The Slovaks only win at this year's world juniors was a 11-2 drubbing of Kazakhstan in the round-robin.
It's the second year in a row that Slovakia has been ousted from the competition in the quarterfinals. Eventual silver medallists Sweden beat them 3-2 last year.
Russia was also booted from contention in the quarterfinals last year when they were beat 4-2 by the U.S.
All four teams still in this year's tournament will get a rest day Thursday before the semifinals kick off in Vancouver on Friday.