First Posted: 5/18/2013
STOCKHOLM (AP) — Reto Berra made 29 saves, and Nino Niederreiter, Julian Walker and Reto Suri scored to help Switzerland beat the United States 3-0 on Saturday in the world hockey semifinals.
Switzerland, 9-0 in the tournament, will face Sweden in the final Sunday. Sweden beat Finland 3-0.
The last time Switzerland won a world championship medal was in 1953, when it took bronze.
“It’s something historic for Swiss hockey and Switzerland itself. To get this far in the world tournament is pretty special for the whole country right now,” Switzerland coach Sean Simpson said.
Simpson, a Canadian, credited the surprising success of Switzerland’s team, which features only two NHL players, to investments made in youth hockey a generation ago.
“They spent money and got good coaches there with their youth program,” he said. “I think for a country to make progress like Switzerland has over the past 20 years .. .it has to start somewhere, and it starts in the youth.”
Dallas Stars forward Loui Eriksson scored Sweden’s first two goals on power plays, with both assisted by Vancouver Canucks twins Henrik and Daniel Sedin. Henrik Sedin had a goal and two assists.
The Sedin twins joined the team after the Canucks were swept by the San Jose Sharks in the first round of the NHL playoffs, and have six points each in three games
“This is one of the biggest things I’ve experienced, playing a worlds at home,” Henrik Sedin said. “I think the whole line works well, Daniel and Loui are doing a huge job. … We could create a bit more 5-on-5 considering the amount of time we spent in their zone, but I think it was good.”
Switzerland beat Sweden 3-2 in the teams’ first game of the tournament.