VICTORIA — Switzerland is brimming with confidence at the world junior hockey championship after defeating top-ranked Sweden 2-0 Wednesday in a quarterfinal upset.
Swiss netminder Luca Hollenstein shut out the Swedes, who peppered the goalie with 41 shots throughout the game.
"To us it's very big," said Swiss forward Luca Wyss, who scored the second goal of the game. "Everyone around talked that Sweden is going to beat us. We as a team had in our heads we can play against Sweden."
Swiss goals from Yannick Bruschweiler and Wyss advanced Switzerland to the tournament semifinals in Vancouver.
Wyss, who scored at 13:59 of the second period, put the puck between Swedish goalie Samuel Ersson's legs during a goal-mouth scramble.
"I had a shot before from the slot and I went to the goal and the puck came out and I just put it on the net and it ended up in the net," he said.
The best previous result for the Swiss in the tournament was a bronze medal in 1998.
Switzerland's coach Christian Wohlwend said his team needs to play the way it competed against Sweden every game.
"The confidence is huge," he said. "The team belief is huge. We're just riding on the wave now."
Hollenstein made several key saves throughout the game, including stopping forward Filip Sveningsson on a breakaway. Sweden outshot the Swiss 41-35.
The Swiss players mobbed their goalie at the end of the game.
Sweden's coach Tomas Monten said the Swiss were able to take away his team's puck moving offence.
"It's hockey," he said. "They played a really good game. We lost our tempo with the puck."
Monten said his team was stricken with a bad flu during the tournament that kept many of his players in bed between games. Sweden did not dress five players due to sickness on the team's New Year's Eve game against Kazakhstan.
"I don't want to take anything from the Swiss," said Monten. "They were great. As I said in the locker room now, 'step up and take it. This is the way it is.' "
The Swiss opened the scoring on a wrist shot by Bruschweiler from deep in the slot that beat Sweden's netminder Samuel Ersson on the glove side.
Shots on goal in the first period were almost even — Sweden with 13 and Switzerland with 12 shots — but the Swiss had several point-blank scoring opportunities.
Bruschweiler, who lost his stick during a second period Swedish power play, managed to block two shots while sprawled on the ice.
Wyss scored Switzerland's second goal at 13:59 of the second period, putting the puck between Ersson's legs during a goal-mouth scramble. The Swiss were out-shooting Sweden 26-22 at the end of the second period.
Sweden entered the quarterfinals undefeated with wins over Finland, United States, Slovakia and Kazakhstan. The Swedes, last year's silver medallists, boast a record of 47 straight victories in round-robin play.
The Swiss beat Denmark in round-robin play, but suffered losses to Canada, Russia and an overtime defeat to the Czech Republic.