The Germans finish second and will play the third-ranked team from the group in Tampere.
For the Swiss, their first-place finish is the result of an undeated record, their best preliminary round showing since 2013 when they went to the gold-medal game. And for Germany, this is their best showing since the current format was established in 2012.
"I remember it, of course," Berra said of Switzerland's run nine years ago. "En route to the silver medal, we also won all our group stage games. We won all the games till the final. You feel off the ice, as a team, how we are together. We have fun going to eat. We enjoy these weeks here together, and you can tell it on the ice as well."
The Swiss won the shootout by virtue of goals from Nico Hischier and Damien Riat with their first two shots, after which goalie Reto Berra closed the door and stopped all four German shooters.
"I think we did a good job today, especially in the first period and the third period," said German blueliner Korbinian Holzer. "We played an even game with them. We came back after they scored early. They are a really good team. They've showed it so far in this tournament. I think we matched their intensity, and we battled and we got some good scoring chances in the second period. You could see they were pushing hard, using their speed, using their skill, giving us some problems. But I think we stayed with it and came back in the third. We had a really good push there and scored the tying goal. At the end of the day, we got a point."
Denis Malgin had a goal and an assist in the game and now leads the tournament with 12 points, one better than Roman Cervenka of Czechia.
"I guess we're going to look at them [USA] tomorrow, and then we'll see what we have to do," said Andres Ambuhl, one of the goalscroers. "But overall, I think we've got to play to our style, our game and our strengths. Then, everything is possible."
"It was a good breakout overall," Ambuhl offered. "Then Corvi made a nice pass to me. I tried to shoot it, and somehow it found the net."
Mid-period, though, the Germans got the first power play of the game, and four seconds later it was 1-1. Lukas Reichel won the offensive zone faceoff and Kai Wissmann stepped into a shot that blew by Reto Berra.
Less than four minutes later, it was Germany that took the lead. Moritz Seider took a quick snap shot from the point that eluded bodies in front at 15:30. He was credited with the goal, but the keen eye of the official scorer saw that in fact the puck went between the legs of teammate Stefan Loibl and skimmed ever so slightly off his thigh on the way in. Seider’s contribution was reduced to an assist, and Loibl was credited with his first goal of the tournament.
The Swiss came out and dominated the second, though. They were in control from the opening faceoff until they tied the game at 1:26, unending pressure finally causing the Germans to surrender a good scoring chance to Pius Suter, who was celebrating his 26th birthday today. He got the puck in the slot and wristed a shot past Grubauer to make it 2-2. The rest of the period was back and forth, but Berra wasn’t tested very often.
The Swiss got a power play late in the period and nearly went ahead on a Timo Meier shot, but the puck hit the post and stayed out. Seconds later, though, Malgin ripped a one-timer over Grubauer’s glove at 18:31, giving the Swiss a 3-2 lead. It was Malgin’s fifth goal and 12th point of the tournament, both tops.
The Swiss were playing a masterful third period for the first seven minutes, denying Germany easy exit from their end and controlling the puck all over the ice. And then, in a moment, things changed. Kai Wissmann hit Matthias Plachta with a pass in centre. Plachta split the defenders, and as he was falling to the ice managed to roof the puck over Berra at 7:57. It was as nice a goal as has been scored so far in the tournament and set up a dramatic finish.
The Swiss had one final chance before OT when Hischier drove down the right wing with speed and fed Fabrice Herzog with a perfect pass. How Herzog missed the wide-open net is anyone's guess, but that sent the game to a fourth period of three-on-three, which yielded lots of possession and caution and only three total shots.
And now the teams head to the playoffs, Switzerland knowing their opponent, the Germans having to wait til the end of the night. "I think it showed today that we can play with one of the best teams in the tournament, and that gives us confidence going into the quarter-finals," added Holzer. "Obviously, I don't know who we're going to play, but it's going to take hard work again, a lot of commitment and passion by everybody like we've had so far. We're gonna battle and have our best game and give 110 percent. And then we'll see what happens."