Russia off to semifinals after shootout victory
Russia had to dig-deep -- needing a power play goal with less than two minutes to play in regulation -- to fend off a pesky Swiss squad, before ultimately prevailing 4-3 in a shootout that lifts the host nation into the semi finals.
With an early power play opportunity, Alexander Khokhlachyov got the Russians on the board first with a bit of a soft effort, as he fired a shot from the face-off circle that managed to squeeze between the glove and pad of Melvin Nyffeler.
Christoph Bertschy -- who had a glorious chance prior to the Khokhlachyov goal -- pulled the Swiss level with a short-handed tally when Nikita Nesterov was trying to drop the puck for Nail Yakupov as they broke out of their own zone, but left the puck sitting in the slot for Bertschy to wire a slap shot over the glove of Andrei Vasilevski.
Russia would re-claim the lead nearing the midway point of the second period just after killing off a five-on-three power play for Switzerland, when Mikhail Grigorenko wheeled from behind the Swiss goal, collected the puck in the slot and fired a backhand shot to the top corner.
However the Russians would exhibit more sloppy play in their own zone, allowing Martin Ness to skate freely to the front of the net and after Samuel Guerra's shot near the boards was stopped, he was right there to slide the rebound five-hole on Vasilevski and tie the game, 2-2.
Before the end of the second frame Russia had a pair of great chances to go back in front, but Nyffeler made a huge diving stop to get his paddle down on Anton Slepyshev's wrap-around attempt, while Grigorenko rang a shot off the post.
Not to be out-done, Switzerland had a close call of their own, as Sven Andrighetto hit a post as well, with the puck bouncing all the way across the mouth of the goal.
A pair of late penalties gave Switzerland a five-on-three power play to close the second frame and to start the third period, but they were killed off.