TORONTO, CANADA - JANUARY 3: Switzerland's Jason Fuchs #12 and Timo Meier #28 celebrate after a first period goal against Germany during relegation round action at the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship. (Photo by Andre Ringuette/HHOF-IIHF Images)
Relegation loss sends Germany to Division I
Switzerland scored twice in the third period to salt away a 5-2 win and win the relegation round against Germany. The Germans are now sent down to Division I.
The Swiss, meanwhile, have booked the final spot for Helsinki 2016. Joining the nine teams from this year will be Belarus, promoted last month.
"We did the job against Germany, so it feels good," said forward Noah Rod. "We needed this win for the next generation of players, and we did it."
"The difference between the quarter-finals and the relegation round was one goal," coach John Fust noted. "The overtime shootout loss to Denmark. This tournament was invaluable experience. We had the youngest team. We've a core of [players born in] 96s and 97s. It's the best we have for such a small nation, but it's going to benefit us next year and the year after that."
Pius Suter had two goals for the victors while four teammates had two points.
"We played our best game today, but that's too late," said a teary-eyed German captain, Dominik Kahun. "We didn't play well in the group stage, and that's why we're here now. The worst is that we have a great group of guys. We came together three weeks ago, and we had so much fun. Everybody was excited about playing. It's just the saddest thing."
The Germans took advantage of a sluggish start by the Swiss, opening the scoring at 13:58 on the power play. Just nine seconds before Edson Harlacher’s holding penalty expired, Marc Michaelis made a clever little pass from behind the goal to Parker Tuomie in front. He made no mistake, snapping a shot over the glove of Gauthier Descloux.
Although the goal was key to a good start for Germany, it only ignited the Swiss who realized how close they were to qualifying for Helsinki 2016. Jason Fuchs got a rebound from in close and tied the score at 15:10.
Just 67 seconds later, the Swiss took the lead. Rod drove down the right wing and cut hard to the goal. Although his shot was stopped by Kevin Reich, Denis Malgin was right there to poke the rebound into the open side of the goal. Malgin led his team in scoring with six points, all assists, but this was his first goal of the tournament.
Teams exchanged goals in an entertaining second period. The Swiss took a 3-1 lead at 11:12 after a remarkable stretch of pressure during which the play stayed in the German end for about three minutes. In the end, Suter beat Reich from in close.
Although the Swiss controlled play, it was a late power play that allowed the Germans to get back into the game. Frederik Tiffels came around the Swiss goal and waited patiently, finding Andreas Eder in the slot. His shot to the stick side of Descloux found the back of the net, making it a one-goal game after 40 minutes.
The Swiss scored two late goals in a tense third. Suter took advantage of a German gaffe on a shot to pot the fourth goal into a virtually empty net after a giveaway by a German defenceman with Reich in the corner playing the puck to him.
Less than a minute later, Timo Meier made it 5-2 after getting the rebound from a Fuchs point shot.
"This year we had five returning players; next year, I'm looking at eleven. That will make a huge difference. It's about maturity and handling situations in games, and the physical part. We're young and small, but next year we're back on the bigger ice surface, which should make us a better team," Fust noted.