U.S. Can’t Hold Lead In WJC Tie With Switzerland

Switzerland scored a pair of third-period power-play goals to gain a 2-2 tie with the United States before 12,130 at the Pacific Coliseum at the 2006 International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship.

“It was a good hockey game,” said U.S. Head Coach Walt Kyle. “I thought both teams played hard. We scored a couple of goals early but didn’t get the job done after that.”

The United States took a 1-0 lead on a nice play that had Nate Davis feeding Geoff Paukovich from behind the net at 6:16 of the first. Tom Fritsche also drew an assist on the play.

The other U.S. goal in the opening period came when Bobby Ryan banged in a rebound off Robbie Schremp’s blast from the top of the left faceoff circle.

It was a fairly lackluster second period. U.S. netminder Cory Schneider made a key save on Steve Kellenberger from eight feet out just more than seven minutes into the period. The best U.S. chance in the stanza came when Davis got in alone on Reto Berra but was stopped by a toe save.

Switzerland’s Eric Blum banked one in off of Schneider from just below the goal line with the U.S. shorthanded at 7:53 of the third to pull the Swiss within one.

Then, with a two-man advantage, Matthias Joggi tied the game at 14:08. Team USA applied fierce pressure in the waning seconds, but could not get another past Berra.

Schneider finished with 22 saves, while Berra had 28 stops.

Team USA (2-0-1) will face Canada (3-0-0) Saturday in the final preliminary-round game for both teams. The winner will be the top seed from Group A and get a bye into the semifinals. The loser will play in a quarterfinal on Jan. 2.