Switzerland hangs on for 5-4 overtime win over Norway in back-and-forth game

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By Josh Ferguson

Romano Lemm buried the overtime winner as the Swiss narrowly escaped being upset by the Norwegians with a 5-4 win at Canada Hockey Place on Saturday.

It was a scrappy final preliminary affair between two teams desperate to take as many points away from the game as possible.

Thanks to some solid goaltending from Pal Grotnes, including a save on a Hnat Domenichelli penalty shot, Norway found themselves in a 1-1 draw with the Swiss after the first despite getting outshot 13-4 in the opening frame.

Norway took the lead 5:24 into the second on a Mads Hansen power play blast that beat Swiss keeper Jonas Hiller.

Switzerland took the lead in the middle stanza after getting two unanswered goals from Roman Wick and Raffaele Sannitz.

The Sannitz goal might be a candidate for goal-of-the-tournament after he knocked down a saucer pass, which sent the puck back up into the air before he made a nice backhanded baseball swing to knock it past Grotnes.

Every time the Swiss took the lead, though, they slipped into their defense-minded system and allowed Norway to stick around. After working the cycle brilliantly in the Swiss end, Mats Zuccarello Aasen fed a backhand pass from behind the net to Tore Vikingstad, who beat Hiller to tie the game at three apiece on his second of the game.

Norway got caught with too many men on the ice midway through the third and Severin Blindenbacher gave the Swiss the lead for the third time in the game when he buried a cross-ice pass from Wick on the ensuing power play.

However, just after making a brilliant save on Zuccarello Aasen, Hiller coughed up the puck behind his own goal to Patrick Thoresen who fed Vikingstad out front of the Swiss goal. Vikingstad made no mistake and notched his third game-tying goal of the game for the hat trick to send the game into overtime.

It looked like the evenly matched contest was going to the shootout until Sandy Jeannin walked out across the Swiss goal and threw a blind pass back out front that Lemm chipped home for the game-winner.

Hiller put on half the performance he did against the Canadians, but stopped 19 of the 23 shots he faced for the win. At the other end, Grotnes turned aside 33 of 38 shots.

With the overtime win, Switzerland (0-1-1-1) finishes the round robin with three points, while Norway (0-2-0-1) collects their first and only point of the tournament with an overtime loss.


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