For the Swiss, it’s mission accomplished. Their win ensures they will play in the quarter-finals starting on 2nd January.
"It’s a big win," Kurashev said. “It was one of the most important games for us. I’m very happy. Everybody expected us to win, and we did it. We’re now in the quarter-finals and hope we will continue like that and look to the future."
Luca Hollenstein stopped 21 Danish shots to earn the shutout.
Through three games, they have lost 14-0, 4-0, and 4-0. They are 0-13 on the power play.
No team has ever gone through the preliminary round without scoring since the U20 went to the current format in 1996. Five times a team has scored only one, most recently by Germany in 2005.
"They scored on their chances," said Danish forward Phillip Schultz. "We had some chances of our own early but we just couldn't score, and at the end of the game we hit the crossbar on an empty net. If we want to compete with the best teams, we need to score. It's hard to win games if you can't score."
To make matters worse, they played well today but Swiss goalie Luca Hollenstein was rock solid in goal. Up front, Philipp Kurashev scored three goals and now has six points, bringing his tournament total to five and six, respectively, one better than Canada’s Maxime Comtois for the lead in both categories.
"We've booked our ticket to the quarter-final, but we still have a big game tomorrow against Russia," noted defenceman Simon le Coultre. "That's what we have to focus on right now."
"Our goal was the quarter-finals, but it wasn't easy," Swiss coach Christian Wohlwend said. "Out of these first three games, this was our worst. We made a lot of turnovers. We always have trouble beating them. It's not often we have more talent than the other team. Normally we are a little bit behind the top teams, but in the first two games we were very good and got one point and today not so good and got three points. In the end, we're happy."
His best chance came short-handed when he had a breakaway but couldn’t beat the goalie with a deke.
As it was, Kurashev opened the scoring with the man advantage at 8:51 thanks to some good luck. A Swiss shot went off a stick in front and the puck landed on Kurashev’s stick. He had an open net and didn’t miss.
He made it 2-0 with only 51.2 seconds left in the period. This time he got into the slot and took a great pass from Nando Eggenberger along the boards, wiring a screen shot past a helpless Mads Soegaard.
Soegaard was at his best early in the second, robbing Kurashev and Yannick Bruschweiler in quick succession to keep the score close.
But the Swiss increased their lead at 13:29 when Simon le Coultre snuck in off the point, took a pass from Justin Sigrist, and fired a shot between Soegaard’s legs.
How bad was it for Denmark? Late in the period they had a power play, and Jakob Wittendorf had a wide open net. His shot hit a stick in front and wobbled to the goal, hitting the crossbar weakly and staying out.
Kurashev netted his third at 1:38 of the final period, and it seemed inevitable he'd score as soon as he got the puck at centre ice. He weaved over the blue line, cut across the ice, and outwaited Soegaard before sliding the puck into the open net. Truly, a goalscorer's goal.
"He was outstanding for us today," enthused Wohlwend. "He makes a difference for our offence. He takes leadership. Exceptional players make exceptional plays. He was a big reason we won the game."
The enthusiastic crowd of 10,279 spent most of the third period cheering on the Danes, trying to get them a goal, but to no avail. They have one more chance, against the Czechs, to break this crazy curse.