Photo: Andre Ringuette/HHOF-IIHF Images
Team Switzerland had a porous performance at the World Championship. Led by Roman Josi and Damien Brunner, the Swiss failed to qualify for the playoffs, finishing fifth in Group B due to Mikhail Grabovski’s game-winner for Belarus. Eliminated before the end of the preliminary round, the Swiss played spoiler for Latvia, who needed a win to make the quarterfinals.
Late in the third period, Latvia trailed 3-1. After pulling goalie Kristers Gudlevskis, the Latvians got a goal back from Zemgus Girgensons on a deflection. Soon after, Kaspars Daugavins turned the puck over, giving the Swiss a chance to seal the deal. Reto Suri and Thomas Rufenacht went two-on-none towards an empty net.
And then they blew it.
Suri made a bad pass, forcing Rufenacht to reach for the puck. Rufenacht lost his edge and crashed into the net. The puck went off the post. Regardless, the Swiss hung on to win, making the fail slightly less epic.
And that’s why you play your skill guys during empty-net situations.