Shaky U.S. team falls to the Swiss 5-3 at Worlds

The opening minutes of this game were definitely not forth telling of how this game would end. The U.S. controlled the pace of the game and had numerous attempts at the Swiss net causing the Swiss to scramble in their end. With most of the play taking place in the Swiss zone, American forward Craig Smith capitalized on a beautiful centering pass from the left boards by Clay Wilson to put the U.S. up 1-0. However, Switzerland was not going to go out without a fight and they seemed to change the tide with a pesky forecheck and bounced back to score two quick goals to take a 2-1 lead over USA. Ty Conklin was in the net for USA and was coming off a great two game stretch that earned him starting goaltender duties, however, this game would end up being not one of his best.

With the Swiss leading 2-1 at the start of the second period, they didn’t waste any time to go up by another goal scoring just over a minute into the period. Switzerland’s forwards did a good job in making it difficult for the U.S. defensemen to make a clean first pass and often caught Conklin in bad position when he would come out to play the puck behind the net. American forward Ryan Shannon (voted U.S. Player of the Game) was able to get one back when he took a feed from the 2011 Hobey Baker winner, Andy Miele, and broke in alone on the Swiss goaltender beating him with a nice backhand-forehand move while slamming on the brakes. This didn’t seem to daunt the Swiss much, as they jumped on a loose puck less than 4 minutes later after a turnover in the U.S. zone beating Conklin for a 4th goal on only their 16th shot of the game. The American goaltending carousel went back to Al Montoya, as he came in for relief of Conklin midway through the game.

Much of the third period continued the trend and the Swiss continued to hold on to a 4-2 lead over a superior U.S. team. The Americans were getting their chances and Montoya kept them in it, but time was running out, as was hope for coming back. James van Riemsdyk, in his first game at the Worlds after being a late addition to the U.S. roster, buried a perfectly set-up goal by Cam Fowler cutting the Swiss lead to 4-3. However, that last push seemed to be a little late for the Americans and could not make up for the sub-par goaltending and defensive zone mistakes earlier. Switzerland would go on to add a late empty net goal and the score would end in a 5-3 loss for Team USA.

With this loss, USA is now set to play the undefeated Czech Republic in the quarter-finals on Wednesday, May 11th.

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