A stingy Swiss team frustrated high-powered Sweden, but the Swedish veterans managed to get the only goal they needed in the last 10 minutes for the win.
Sport: Men’s hockey
Event: Sweden vs. Switzerland
Score: Sweden 1, Switzerland 0
What happened: For two periods, nothing. Switzerland rotated goalies, benching L.A. Kings goalie Jonas Hiller despite an opening 1-0 shutout over Latvia. Reto Berra, who just made the move to the NHL with Calgary this season, proved to be difficult to solve as well.
Sweden, which just lost captain Henrik Zetterberg to a back injury, took a while to get going. Switzerland, which still has more than half its roster in its domestic league rather than the NHL, outshot the Swedes 13-5 in the first period. Switzerland turned that around in the second with 17 shots to Switzerland’s seven.
The breakthrough came on a nice counterattack and a bad rebound. Defenseman Erik Karlsson, leading Sweden in ice time to that point, swung out wide and put a shot on net. Berra made the save but let it slide to his right, where five-time Olympian Daniel Alfredsson quickly swooped in to tap it into an empty net with 7:21 left.
Did we mention Sweden has Henrik Lundqvist in net? And Sweden kept the pressure off him late, pinning Switzerland in its own end and making it difficult to pull Berra. The goalie finally reached the bench with less than a minute left, and Sweden again came up with possession for several vital seconds. Switzerland found an opening on the right wing for one last shot with 10 seconds left, but Lundqvist had it covered.