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World Championship

US, Russia Drop Final Game Of Qualifiers

USA falls 5-3 to Switzerland and Russia loses 3-2 in shootout to Finland.

Monday, 05.9.2011 / 2:24 PM ET / World Championship
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US, Russia Drop Final Game Of Qualifiers
KOSICE – Switzerland finally got a little offence going, scoring a team high for the tournament five goals and defeating the USA 5-3 on the final day of Qualifying Round play at the 2011 IIHF World Championship. The game was of little implication in the sense that the USA was already qualified for, and Switzerland eliminated from, quarter-final play.
 
The USA finishes play in Group F in fourth place with seven points (two wins, one overtime loss, two losses). They will face the Czech Republic in the quarters. Switzerland finishes the group in fifth place with six points (one win, one overtime win, one overtime loss, two losses) and ninth overall.

Full credit to Switzerland in this one – the team had nothing to play for, except to soothe a little of the sting of heading home after the Qualification Round. The sting would feel particularly nasty, considering that they finished in fifth place at last year’s tournament.
 
"We wanted to play a good game for our fans," said team captain Mathias Seger, "so we tried our best to get three points. If we had beaten Norway we would have been in the quarter-finals; so that was our goal. As a team, we don't score enough goals and we took too many penalties."
 
The USA battled in the third period to make it a tight finish. James van Riemsdyk, playing in his first game of the tournament, pulled the USA to within one, making it 4-3, with 1:43 remaining. He bolted in on the left side of the slot and quickly fired the puck past Swiss goalie Tobias Stephan.
 
The Americans pulled their goalie and Ryan Gardner scored into the empty net with 17 seconds left to lock up the win for Switzerland.

Forward Jack Skille finished with two shots on goal, a two-minute minor for high sticking and a plus-1 on 10:13 of ice time (11 shifts) while defenseman Clay Wilson had an assist - registering the first helper on Craig Smith's first period goal - and a shot and plus-1 in 11:19 of ice time (11 shifts).

FULL STORY

BRATISLAVA – In a battle for quarter-finals seeding, Finland rallied from an early 2-0 deficit to earn a 3-2 shootout victory over Russia on Monday at Orange Arena.

Jarkko Immonen and Mikko Koivu scored on Russia's Alexander Barulin in the shootout, while Finnish goalie Teemu Lassila stymied Ilya Kovalchuk and Alexei Morozov. Lassila replaced starter Petri Vehanen early in the game after the Russians jumped out to a 2-0 lead.

"Penalty shots seem to be good for us in the tournament," said Finnish coach Jukka Jalonen. "Russia is a good team, but we tried hard and came back."

In regulation time, Nikolai Kulyomin and Ilya Nikulin scored for Russia. Mikko Koivu and Janne Niskala scored for Finland.

The result leaves Finland in second place in Group E before the last evening game, while the Russians remain fourth, and will face the winner of Canada-Sweden in the quarter-finals.

Interestingly, Russian coach Vyacheslav Bykov did not pull his goalie for an extra attacker in the late stages of regulation. Only a three-point win could have moved Russia up in the standings, while a regulation loss would make no difference.

"We couldn’t stay in the Finnish zone, so we couldn’t pull the goalkeeper," Bykov said.

Russian superstar Alexander Ovechkin was held off the scoresheet for the second straight game.

"We have to play better than this in the quarter-final, because we'll face an even better team than today," said Kovalchuk. "We have to play our best hockey if we want to get through."

Defenseman Dmitry Kulikov picked up his second point of the turnament, setting up Kulyomin's goal 4:26 into the game. He also registered a boarding penalty in the third and had a shot and a plus-one on 10:40 of ice time (16 shifts).

FULL STORY

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - NYR 82 53 22 7 252 192 113
2 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 221 189 110
3 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 262 211 108
4 x - WSH 82 45 26 11 242 203 101
5 x - NYI 82 47 28 7 252 230 101
6 x - DET 82 43 25 14 235 221 100
7 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 238 215 99
8 x - PIT 82 43 27 12 221 210 98
9 BOS 82 41 27 14 213 211 96
10 FLA 82 38 29 15 206 223 91
11 CBJ 82 42 35 5 236 250 89
12 PHI 82 33 31 18 215 234 84
13 NJD 82 32 36 14 181 216 78
14 CAR 82 30 41 11 188 226 71
15 TOR 82 30 44 8 211 262 68
16 BUF 82 23 51 8 161 274 54

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Huberdeau 79 15 39 10 54
J. Jokinen 81 8 36 -2 44
N. Bjugstad 72 24 19 -7 43
A. Ekblad 81 12 27 12 39
B. Boyes 78 14 24 11 38
A. Barkov 71 16 20 -4 36
J. Hayes 72 19 16 -4 35
B. Campbell 82 3 24 4 27
B. Pirri 49 22 2 6 24
D. Bolland 53 6 17 4 23
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
R. Luongo 28 19 12 .921 2.35
A. Montoya 6 7 2 .892 3.01
 
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