Sunday, December 30, 2012

Granlund gets SO winner

Press Release

Markus Granlund scored the only goal of a 10-shot shootout to give Finland a 5-4 win over the Swiss, shootout losers for the second straight game. It was Granlund's third goal of the night. 
The Finns now leapfrog Switzerland into second place of Group B with five points. The Swiss have now earned points in all three games and also have five points but are seeded third by virtue of today's loss.
It was Granlund's second shot of the shootout. He was stopped in the first round by a Melvin Nyffeler pad save but coach Harri Rindell decided to give him another chance. "It was his decision," Granlund said, "but I wanted to shoot again. I wanted to score."

Finland came back from deficits of 2-0 and 4-2 for the win despite a fine game from Nyffeler who faced 57 shots to only 23 by the Swiss on Joonas Korpisalo.

"It was a great battle for us," Korpisalo said said. "The first period was pretty horrible, but after that we tied the game and were much better."

"It hurts. It really hurts to lose a shootout for the second time," Nyffeler said. "We need to score more in the shootout. We were leading. We should have won."

Nyffeler set the tone for the Swiss early. After a bad giveaway by defenceman Mirco Muller, Finn Artturi Lekhonen had a point-blank shot gloved beautifully by the Swiss goalie. Just a few minutes later, the Swiss opened the scoring when Lino Martschini banged in a loose puck that goalie Korpisalo couldn’t control.
Just 61 seconds later, they made it 2-0 when Tanner Richard made another fine pass in front to Sven Andrighetto. His first re-direct was stopped, but no Finn knocked Andrighetto out of the way and he knocked in the rebound.

To cap the excellent first period, Nyffeler made another great save in the final minute on a Finnish power play, stoning Granlund in a one-on-one situation.

The Finns rallied in the second, though, thanks to a string of Swiss penalties that both gave the Finns puck possession while preventing them from generating offense. Grandlund got revenge for the first-period stop when he deflected a Juuso Vainio point shot on one such power play at 5:21 to make it a 2-1 game.
Then, midway through the period on another man advantage, Teuvo Teravainen ripped a wrist shot through a maze of players over Nyffeler’s shoulder to tie things up. Switzerland recovered to play solid hockey the rest of the way, but a game they once controlled was now tied with 20 minutes left to play.

The Swiss made a fine recovery in the third. When Vainio lost an edge bringing the puck out of his own end, Alessio Bertaggia scooped it up and snapped a perfect shot to the short side of Korpisalo to make it 3-2.
The Swiss regained their two-goal lead on a power play of their own at 11:30. Christoph Bertschy's long shot pinballed in front where Dario Simion smacked the loose puck in to make it 4-2.

Then the Finns staged another rally. Teravainen made it a 4-3 game on another Finnish power play, sliding a low shot past Nyffeler at 13:06. Then, with Korpisalo on the bench, Granlund got his second off a faceoff with just 1:40 left in the third to bring the team back from its second two-goal deficit, setting the stage for overtime.

Finland finishes its round robin tomorrow against arch-rivals Sweden while the Swiss play the Czechs to determine placings heading to the quarter-finals on January 2.

"We're a really good group," Nyffeler said. "We know we're not the most skilled team, but we have great spirit. We're playing really well."

(Nathan can be reached at

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