It was a tough game, and Swiss goalie Benjamin Conz played out of his mind, but the defending champion United States defeated Switzerland 2-1 to win their group at the World Junior Championships. The US will get a bye to the semifinals where they will meet the winner of Switzerland and Canada, who lost in a shootout to Sweden earlier in the day to finish 2nd in their group.
Switzerland actually got on the board first, but the US responded when a Swiss player checked Boston College defenseman Patrick Wey from behind and received 2+10. That penalty seemed to energize the Americans, and Boston College’s Chris Krieder took a feed from BU’s Charlie Coyle and made it 1-1. Then midway through the second Mitch Callahan scored on a wraparound after nice plays by Brock Nelson and Jerry D’Amigo to keep the play alive. The Coyle-Kreider-Palmieri line was the best all night for the Americans, but Nelson and D’Amigo, who were paired with both Callahan and Michigan’s Chris Brown, weren’t too far behind.
Jack Campbell had another good game in net, and really settled down after allowing the first goal. The Swiss crashed the net several times, and on one instance Campbell made a sprawling glove save where he snatched the puck out of the air despite having a lot of traffic in his crease. He also made a nice play where he kept the puck out of the net despite it trickling in the crease. It had to go to review but the refs waived it off.
Canada faces Switzerland Sunday at 3 Eastern, and the winner faces the US the following night at 7:30 Eastern.