QUEBEC CITY – In this battle of two nations with red-and-white flags, it was Denmark that wound up waving the white flag as Switzerland triumphed 7-2 at the Colisée on Sunday afternoon.
Against Denmark, Switzerland looked like a “Big Seven” nation. They thoroughly dominated, physically, positionally, and skating-wise, and outshot the Danes 54-20.
The Swiss, who are bound for the quarter-finals, now have nine points, while Denmark remains pointless in Group E of the Qualifying Round.
Paul DiPietro led the Swiss attack with a goal and two assists, while Thierry Paterlini and Phillipe Furrer added a goal and a helper apiece. Andres Ambuhl, Sandy Jeannin, Marc Reichert and Beat Forster also scored. Thomas Deruns and Goran Bezina both picked up a pair of assists.
“We came out strong, and got an early lead, and played the same way we're going to play tomorrow [against Russia]: try to shut them down and play hard,” said DiPietro. “We had a little letdown in the third period, but it was a pretty good team effort.”
Morten Madsen and Kim Staal replied for Denmark.
Ambuhl opened the scoring for Switzerland at 2:10 when he split the Danish defence and put a forehand deke past netminder Patrick Galbraith. Less than two minutes later, Julien Vauclair’s slick cross-crease feed was converted by Jeannin for a 2-0 lead.
Even when Denmark got back-to-back power plays in the second half of the period, they weren’t strong on the puck, and the Swiss created several potentially dangerous shorthanded rushes.
“The way we’ve lost against the Swedes and the Swiss is disappointing,” said Danish captain Jesper Damgaard. “We can’t fall apart when the other team gets an early lead. We have to stick to the system. This is not good enough.”
In the second period, the Swiss poured it on like the Reichenbach Falls. Just 50 seconds in, Reichert coolly snapped a shot from the left faceoff dot over Galbraith’s right shoulder to make it 3-0. Galbraith got a little satisfaction when he stopped Patrik Bartschi on a penalty shot under a minute later.
The Danes thought they’d gotten on the board shortly before the midway mark when defenceman Daniel Nielsen charged to the net and put the puck in off his skate. The play was video-reviewed, and referees Daniel Piechaczek and Chris Savage decided to nullify the goal.
At 31:01, the Swiss put the game out of reach at 4-0 when DiPietro deftly set up Paterlini on a 2-on-1 break, giving Galbraith no chance as he slid across.
At 33:21, DiPietro cruised into the slot, took a Paterlini pass, and snapped it past Galbraith’s blocker side to make it 5-0.
Philippe Furrer’s blueline blast early in the third period put Switzerland up by six. Denmark’s Morten Madsen then managed to bank in a shot off Bezina’s leg to spoil Martin Gerber’s shutout bid.
Bezina’s difficulties were compounded when he yanked down Peter Regin on a breakaway, resulting in a penalty shot. Kim Staal was chosen to take it, and he made no mistake, speeding in on goal and lofting a high backhand past Gerber at 45:26 to make it 6-2.
Beat Forster made it 7-2 at 46:20 when he picked up his own rebound along the goal line to Galbraith’s left and knifed it past the netminder.
Galbraith was chosen as the Danish Player of the Game, while DiPietro got the glory for Switzerland.
“We didn’t deliver the way we should have,” said Galbraith. “We have to bounce back tomorrow and give it all we’ve got in the last game.”
Switzerland faces a tougher test to close out the Qualifying Round on Monday, taking on unbeaten Russia. Denmark will play for pride and placement versus Belarus later that day.