The win takes Switzerland to the gold-medal game for the second time since 2013, and tomorrow's game will be a re-match of that finals five years again against Sweden.
"I love playing Sweden," said Swiss forward Kevin Fiala. "I moved there when I was 16, so it’s going to be a really big game for me. But I’m just going to focus on my game and try to win."
"We are the big underdogs," suggested Reto Schaeppi. "They have such a great team. I know we have a chance if we play a really good game and we get good goaltending and all the special teams. Then we have a chance. But otherwise, we are the big underdogs."
Although the result is an upset, it isn't completely surprising given that teams have each won three games in their last six meetings dating back to 2010.
"Two big wins against top hockey countries in the last two days gives us an amazing feeling," added Simon Moser. "You could say we were underdogs, but in the end we’ve come out on top. Our guys worked really hard for this, but we cannot get comfortable because tomorrow is another day. We have to focus once again on a team that we faced earlier in the tournament and make the necessary improvements in order to get a different result."
"I think Switzerland played an unbelievable game," said Canadian defenceman Aaron Ekblad. "From the drop of the puck they came at us hard in every facet of the game and they played a better game than us. They got the better of us today. Their goalie stood on his head, I think we dominated a lot of that game."
Canada will now play the United States in a North American bronze-medal game in the afternoon.
"Give Switzerland all the credit in the world, but there is no way we should have lost that game today," said Marc-Edouard Vlasic. "Their goalie pulled that game out of his hat and they won. Take nothing away from Switzerland, but that is not a game we should have lost. Tomorrow is another day and another game. We have to come out and play hard against the Americans. We would prefer to be in the gold medal game but here we are."
Shots on goal favoured Canada by a whopping 45-17 margin, but the Swiss defence was not only amazing, it played its most disciplined game of the tournament, incurring only one minor penalty all game, and that late in the third when Canada was too far behind to rally.
"It was a fantastic game for us," enthused Nino Niederreiter. "We did a lot of good things right. We got some lucky bounces, and the game definitely went our way. Canada’s a great team, and they played some terrific hockey. But our goalie was phenomenal; he was the best player on the ice. It’s thanks to him we won the game."
Indeed, Canada scored at 17:53 on a long, wobbly shot by Colton Parayko to make it 3-2, and although the rest of the game was played mostly in the Swiss end, they managed to hold on for the win.
Although Canada outshot the Swiss 9-5 in the opening period, scoring chances were even thanks to several bade breakdowns in their own end by the Canadians. Timo Meier had the first great chance in the game, but he fired the puck over the net wide.
Soon after, Tristan Scherwey had a clear chance in front but drilled it into the gut of Kuemper.
But the Swiss finally connected near the end of the period when Scherwey made some space between himself and Darnell Nurse, beating Kuemper with a shot that should have been stopped. That goal, at 18:41 was the only one of the opening 20 minutes.
Canada tied the game at 7:20 of the second on a goal virtually identical to Scherwey’s. This time it was Bo Horvat who took an outlet pass and got a step on Ramon Untersander. Horvat wired a shot over the glove of Genoni to the far side to make it 1-1.
Moments later, Kuemper made an atrocious play behind his goal, handing the puck to a Swiss player and forcing Joel Edmundson to take a hooking penalty. Late on the power play, Kuemper then badly overplayed Kevin Fiala with the puck to the side of the net, and Fiala simply passed in front where Gregory Hoffman had a tap in into a wide open net, restoring the Swiss lead.
At the other end, Genoni made his best save on a well executed three-on-two by Canada, but Anthony Beauviller’s one-timer was stopped by the Swiss goalie.
The Swiss opened a two-goal lead with a third-period power play early on. This time a quick shot by Sven Andrighetto was tipped ever so slightly by Gaetan Haas, beating Kuemper on the short side when it seemed there was no room for a puck to squeeze by.
And then came fierce Canadian pressure, to no avail.
"I think we just didn’t have much left in our tank toward the end," said Mirco Muller. "Guys were trying everything, I think, just to stop the puck from going on net. In the last minute, the last couple of plays, guys were diving all over the place. Sometimes that’s hard on bad ice, if you have to score a goal and there are bodies all over the place. We think we deserved it a bit that way."
"We know Sweden from playing them before. but this is a new game, a different game," suggested Sven Andrighetto. "Everything comes down to one final game where anything can happen. We’ve shown what we can do to be in this position. We beat Finland and now Canada. Our focus is on playing our game, staying within ourselves, and seeing what happens in a winner-take-all game tomorrow."