Mark Stone scored his second goal of the game 5:07 into overtime to give Canada a 3-2 win over Switzerland and a place in the semi-finals. He took a beautiful feed during the sudden death 3-on-3 from Pierre-Luc Dubois going to the net, and got his stick on the puck to slide it into the empty side.
The game went to overtime under the most dramatic of circumstances. The Swiss led the entire third period, 2-1, but with time winding down and Matt Murray on the bench, Damon Severson’s point shot squeezed under the blocker arm of Leonardo Genoni and rolled over the goal line with 0.4 seconds remaining.
A video review confirmed the goal, forcing the 10-minute overtime. Both teams played tentatively, a combination of sprint cycling and chess. And then in a flash, Dubois made a rush, Stone bolted to the goal, and the game was over.
Genoni was the star of the game, facing 42 shots compared to 24 at the other end, keeping the Swiss ahead or in contention much of the game.
“I thought we controlled most of the 5-on-5 play,” Stone said, “but they scored two goals on the power play. In this tournament, power play and penalty kill are so important, but we stuck with it. We used all the time on the clock to tie the game, and I thought we controlled the entire 3-on-3. We didn’t give up the puck and ultimately we got the goal.”
“I saw the puck go in and that’s all I could tell you, really,” Severson said. “I didn’t know how much time was left. I knew that it was going to be close to the end of the period, but it ended up being the tying goal with 0.4 left so that was awesome.”
Both Swiss goals in regulation came on the power play, the second from Nico Hischier with just 3.8 seconds left in the second period. It looked to be the winning score until Severson’s incredible tying goal.
“It was definitely very tough to play overtime [after that late goal],” Swiss forward Nino Niederreiter admitted. “The momentum is obviously on their side, so you have to find a way to get it right back. It’s tough to lose that way, but at the end of the day we had a chance to get it out and we didn’t. We sacrificed, we blocked shots, but it just wasn’t enough.”
The Swiss came out and showed Canada plenty of speed and finesse in the offensive end, twirling and whirling with the puck on a string and confounding the Canadian defence.
They also had the first great scoring chance when Nino Niederreiter went in alone on Murray and made a little deke that almost fooled the goalie. The puck squirted under him, but defenceman Darnell Nurse cleared the puck off the line.
Canada created several good scoring chances of its own, but misfired or couldn’t finish around Genoni’s goal.
Switzerland got the only power play of the period, late, and it proved fruitful. Jared McCann protested his interference call, but while he was in the box, Sven Andrighetto fired a long screen shot that beat Murray cleanly at 18:06.
Canada started the second strong, but it was the Swiss that finished strong. The Canadians tied the game at 5:45 when a Dante Fabbro point shot was nicely redirected in front by Stone.
Although Canada continued to carry the play, the Swiss played with tremendous poise in their own end and never retreated into panic mode. But still, the Canadians lacked finish around the goal, and it cost them.
Jonathan Marchessault had a bad end to the period. First, he coughed up the puck at the Swiss blue line, allowing a two-on-one the other way, Christoph Bertschy nearly tucked the puck behind Murray but again Canada cleared the puck from the crease.
On his next shift, Marchessault took a penalty, and as time wound down Mathieu Joseph had a chance to ice the puck in centre ice but instead tried to make an extra move and rush the puck. He gave it up, and Hischier wound up snapping home a rebound to the back side off the ensuing rush. The goal came with just 3.8 seconds left in the period and gave the Swiss some momentum.
They played a little too defensively in the third, but Genoni was a rock. Canada’s never-give-up philosophy, though, brought them from the brink yet again, and now they’ll play on the weekend while the Swiss go home.
“We had a really good first period, other than the first couple shifts. [Switzerland’s] goaltender played extremely well, and they got that goal at the end of the second period that gave them a 2-1 lead, which was a little unfortunate. It’s a 60-minute game and in the third period we played our best hockey. We threw everything we could at the net and it took 19 minutes and 59 seconds to get the tying goal, but we worked hard and at the end of the day, I think we were the better team today.”
– Head coach Alain Vigneault (Quebec City, Que./Philadelphia, NHL) on his team’s come-from-behind win
“It’s one of those things that you can’t really make it up, and we were very fortunate to get that late goal. It was a 2-1 hockey game the entire third period, and [the Swiss] goalie was playing great. We got a lot of chances but we just couldn’t seem to sneak one by him. With under a second left I just took a shot and it ended up bouncing in. To score a goal like on a big stage like this is definitely very exciting.”
– Severson on his game-tying goal with 0.4 seconds left
“In these elimination games, you need to have guys step up. [Damon Severson] stepped up for us to get the game tied, and then Dubois makes a ridiculous play [in overtime] to get it finished for us. [The overtime winner] was a pretty big goal, it sends us to the semifinals, but I didn’t really have to do much. I just put my stick on the ice, went to the net and Dubois makes that winning goal happen.”
– Stone discusses his overtime winner and Severson’s tying goal