TRURO, N.S. – An empty net goal with just under two minutes remaining lifted Russia to a 3-2 victory over Switzerland at the World Junior A Challenge hockey tournament on Tuesday.
The win allowed Russia (2-0) to secure first place in Group A and earn a spot in a semifinal game on Thursday.
Switzerland went into the contest needing a regulation win to avoid a third-place finish in Group A.
With the game tied 2-2, the Swiss pulled goaltender Luca Jan Hollenstein in favour of an extra attacker with two minutes remaining. However, Russia’s Alexander Romanov scored into the empty net just seconds after Hollenstein made it to the Swiss bench.
Ivan Morozov of Russia opened the scoring with a short-handed goal at 16:49 of the first period. Nikita Okhotyuk made it 2-0 before the end of the first with a power-play marker at the 19-minute mark.
Switzerland’s Kyen Sopa scored the lone goal of he second period at 14:31 on a power play.
In the third, Andreas Dopfner got the Swiss on even terms with a goal near the eight-minute mark.
Russian goaltender Amir Miftakhof made 20 saves, while Hollenstein faced 24 shots.
Attendance was 855.
The Czech Republic earned a semifinal berth on Monday after winning Group B with a 2-0 record.
On Tuesday evening Canada West faced off against the United States (result not available at press time). It was announced earlier in the day that game was a sellout.
Quarterfinal games will be played today at the RECC at 3:30 and 7:30 p.m. The matchups weren’t known at press time.