Switzerland beats Canada to stay perfect at World Hockey Championship
RIGA, Latvia — Andres Ambuhl scored the game-winning goal as Switzerland defeated Canada 3-2 on Saturday to stay perfect at the men's world hockey championship.
Nico Hischier and Dario Simion also scored for Switzerland, which has five regulation wins in as many games and leads Group B.
Captain Tyler Toffoli and Michael Carcone scored the goals for Canada in the loss.
“I think our nerves got to us a little bit and we were not as aggressive as we would have liked," said Canada head coach Andre Tourigny. "We need to make sure we keep a focus on our defensive play because that will be a big difference the rest of the tournament.
"We have to give credit to the Swiss, they worked extremely hard, and it was a hard-fought game.”
Leonardo Genoni made 27 saves in the Swiss net, while Samuel Montembeault turned away 23 of 26 shots for the Canadians.
Canada suffered its first defeat of the tournament and fell to third in Group B, behind Switzerland and Czechia, with 11 points (three regulation wins, one overtime win and a loss).
Toffoli opened the scoring on the power play with a wrist shot from the top of the left circle at 9:58 of the second period.
It was Toffoli's first goal of the tournament.
“I feel like I have had a million chances in this tournament ... It feels good to get my first one, and I will try to use this as a stepping stone," Toffoli said after the game. "Hopefully I can continue to create opportunities for myself and give myself good looks at the net, and I hope the puck keeps going in for me.”
The power play came after Swiss captain Nino Niederreiter took a roughing penalty for jostling with Joe Veleno in front of Canada's net.
Moments earlier, Veleno appeared to use his skate to stomp on Niederreiter's leg while battling for the puck along the boards. Veleno was not penalized for his actions.
Switzerland responded with goals from Hischier and Simion to take the lead before the end of the second frame.
Ambuhl increased the Swiss lead 12:08 into the third period by burying a pass from Niederreiter at the side of Canada's net.
Carcone scored for Canada four minutes later, deflecting a point shot from Brad Hunt to make it a one-goal game, but the Canadians weren't able to find the equalizer.
“We wanted to slow (the Swiss) down and get pucks behind them, but they did a good job of playing their game today," said Carcone. "This loss hurts, but we will regroup and come back stronger next game."
"I think a game like this will help in the long run."
The Canadians wrap up group play with games Monday against Norway and Tuesday against Czechia before the knockout stage begins Thursday.
Switzerland plays Sunday against Czechia and Tuesday versus Latvia.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 20, 2023.