The win gives the Swiss a date Saturday in Copenhagen in one semi-finals, the winner playing for gold on Sunday night. Finland goes home, losing to the Swiss for the first time since 1972 (10 wins).
"We started playing our game in the second period," said defenceman Roman Josi. "We scored a couple of quick goals and that put us in the right mindset. We are going to enjoy the win tonight and go back to Copenhagen and prepare for our game. It will be another big challenge for us going against the Canadians."
Finland played a rare penalty-free game while the Swiss successfully killed off three of the four minors it incurred.
"We knew that Finland had two really skilled lines," offered Raphael Diaz. "They are skilled and fast players and top starts in the NHL. Of course, you have to be aware of those guys because they create a lot of offence. We tried to shut them down, but in the first period they had a lot of good chances. Leonardo was good in the net, making some great saves in the right moment. A big win for Switzerland!"
Finland got exactly the start it was looking for. After a feeling-out process of a few minutes, Suomi got the opening goal at 7:01 thanks to two heads-up plays. Defenceman Markus Nutivaara sensed his team had good possession of the puck in the corner, so he came down off the point to the slot.
At the same time, Miika Koivisto, who had the puck in the corner, saw Nutivaara make the move and fired a perfect pass to him. Nutivaara drilled a quick shot past Leonardo Genoni, and the Finns were on their way.
But they weren’t. In truth, the Swiss had several good shifts of puck possession, and Enzo Corvi misfired on a couple of good chances. In the second, the Finns were the second-best team—by a long shot.
The Swiss tied the game at 9:13. Harri Sateri made a great pad save on a sleek deke from in tight by Kevin Fiala, but Corvi was there to smack the rebound in to make it a 1-1 game.
And then, to put the icing on the cake, they made it 3-1 just 36 seconds later. This time it was Simon Moser who beat his man in a one-on-one puck battle at centre ice. He came down the right side and blasted a low shot that Sateri kicked out, but Gregory Hoffman was there to wire it into the open side for an impressive and commanding 3-1 lead through 40 minutes.
Clearly the Swiss ability to capitalize on their chances and their superb team play inside their blue line rattled the Finns. Try as they might, they could generate little in the way of pressure in the first half of the third, and Switzerland had a sensational chance to go up 4-1.
Timo Meier collected a loose puck well inside his blue line and had only Sateri to look at, but his rink long breakaway resulted only in a shot the goalie turned aside. And then Michael Fora took a high-sticking double minor, giving Suomi a great chance to get back into the game.
They got one back very quickly thanks to some nice quick passing in front, Mikko Rantanen finishing it off from the top of the crease to cut the lead in half, but they couldn't connect again on the second half of that power play.
They pressed mor eand more as the period went on, but Switzerland was resilient. Their reward now is c ahcne to get into the gold-medal game, although one large hurdle remains.
"It is really exciting for Swiss hockey," enthused Meier. "We are not happy yet and definitely not satisfied. We want to keep going. This is a great group here, and when we play as a team we can do well. It will be fun challenge against Canada. They are a skilled team with a roster of NHL players. For us, it is a great chance to show what we can do. Preparation starts now and we will be ready for Saturday."