With just one day to go in the preliminary round of the 2022 World Juniors Germany and Switzerland met and had one of the most exciting games of the tournament. The game felt close throughout, had some fun special teams to watch, and even had a fan removed by security because they ended up down at the bench.
It took less than three minutes in the final game of the fifth day of the 2022 World Juniors for Switzerland to take their first penalty. Simon Knak (former WHL/Portland Winterhawks), captain of the Swiss team, went off for hooking, giving Germany an early chance on the man advantage. However, the Swiss penalty kill was up to the task, and the team escaped the early test unscathed. Unfortunately, it would be less than a minute back at even strength when the Germans would open the scoring off the stick of Bennet Rossmy.
Six minutes into the game, the Swiss would take another penalty as Tim Muggli was called for tripping, but the penalty killers did their jobs once again. However, once again, just 16 seconds after the penalty expired, the Germans would pick up another goal, this time from Thomas Heigl.
After one more penalty to Switzerland in the first period, this time the Swiss avoided going down another goal, the penalty killers looked to be on top of their game. Finally, with just 8.8 seconds left, Knak would pick up the first goal for Switzerland and his team got through the first period down only one.
Once again giving up an early penalty, this time 16 seconds into the period, Switzerland found themselves having to fend off another German power play. They would hold Germany without a goal for just under 17 minutes in the second period, however 16:43 into the middle frame, Haakon Hanelt (QMJHL/Gatineau Olympiques) would put Germany up by two.
Rather than a goal, the Swiss team would head to the box another time as Knak was called for cross-checking with 2:12 remaining in the period.
Roles flipped a bit to start the third period, as Germany headed to the box 3:02 into the final period as Nikolaus Heigl headed off for high sticking. While the Swiss team couldn’t capitalize on the opportunity, they saw another chance as German captain Luca Munzenberger was called for hooking. This time, the Swiss team picked up a goal less than a second after the penalty expired.
Jonas Taibel’s goal provided some hope for Switzerland to get back into the game, with 8:20 to go. Unfortunately, Florian Bugl held his ground in net for Germany and the Swiss team couldn’t find a tying goal.
Bugl would finish the game stopping 23-of-25 shots, while on the other end of the ice, Kevin Pasche blocked 26-of-29 shots he saw in net for Switzerland.
Markus Schweiger was voted best player for the German team, with Simon Knak being named for the Swiss.
Yannick Proske (former WHL/Spokane Chiefs) picked up the primary assist on all three German goals.