At the latest after 39-year-old Andres Ambühl’s first goal of the tournament to make it 3-1, Arena Riga turned into a red-and-white festival hut with eight minutes remaining. After the 3:2, there were still three and a half minutes of anxiety. Switzerland have won their 14th consecutive World Cup group match and are on course to top the group like last year. After five games, she has a maximum of 15 points and is in the start of the quarterfinals.
8,000 Swiss supporters
The previously enticing play in a finally atmospheric arena with around 8,000 boisterous Swiss fans really picked up speed in the middle of the game – with a blatant lack of Canadian sportsmanship as the trigger. Joe Veleno kicked Nino Niederreiter in the lower leg with his runner during the gang fight. The Swiss captain took revenge and was the only one to go to the penalty box.
On the power play, Canada’s captain Tyler Toffoli took the lead on third down. Still, the Swiss’ reaction was convincing. Just four minutes behind, Nico Hischier, the New Jersey Devils star who was flown in earlier this week, showed tremendous class. The Oberwallais bypassed two opponents like slalom ace Ramon Zenhousen and equalized for the Swiss. Exactly three minutes from the end of the third, Dario Simion gave Patrick Fischer’s team a deserved lead.
Guardian Genoni Strong
The Swiss clearly dominated the first period (16:6 shots), but got nothing to count. In the midsection, however, it took a few good saves from goalkeeper Leonardo Genoni to stay in the game.
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