Major boo hoo as Swiss put 2 goals into own net
Switzerland put two pucks into its own net, as Russia breezes to 6-0 win in world hockey quarters.15 May 2008
QUEBEC CITY - Switzerland put two pucks into its own net in the opening minutes, helping Russia to an easy 6-0 victory in the ice hockey World Championship quarter-finals Wednesday.
Maxim Afinogenov had two goals for Russia, seeking its first world championship title since 1993. The Russians will play Finland in the semi-finals, a rematch of last year when they lost and settled for a bronze medal.
"It'll be way harder than this game," goalie Evgeni Nabokov said. "They're more skilled, they're more physical. They have a great power play. They have everything."
Alexander Semin opened the scoring 1:14 into the game as Alexander Ovechkin screened goalie Martin Gerber.
Then, the costly mistakes came for the Swiss. Afinogenov got credit for a goal when Swiss defenceman Raphael Diaz pushed the puck into his own net with his hand at 2:18. He was in the crease after Afinogenov's drive to the net and tried to push the puck under Gerber to freeze it.
Danis Zaripov was also given a goal that defenceman Philippe Furrer mistakenly shot into his own net 6:23 in. Furrer was attempting to clear the puck around the boards while killing a penalty, but his blast from the left circle went straight into the net.
"Maybe we were trying too much," Swiss veteran Marc Reichert said. "One guy wanted to rim it around the boards and he missed the angle and it was in. The other tried to help the goalie and missed. You can't blame those guys. It was just really unlucky."
A scary moment came with 6:47 left the game, when Russia's Ilya Kovalchuk took a major penalty and a game misconduct - earning an automatic suspension for the semi-final - after a charge on Julien Vauclair.
The Swiss defenceman was down for several minutes and attended to by trainers on the ice before refusing a stretcher and skating off the ice under his own power.
"Julien was walking down the hall, but he's in a lot of pain," Swiss coach Ralph Krueger said. "It looks like we have some internal injuries. He's getting an ultrasound now and we hope he's OK."
He would say only that the injury affected "the lower two-thirds of the body."
Russian coach Vyacheslav Bykov said Kovalchuk kept his elbow down for the hit, but may have taken a few too many steps before contact was made.
"We like to play a physical game, but by no means are we out to hurt people," Bykov said. "That is not the philosophy of our team."
Afinogenov scored his second of the game, and Ovechkin and Sergei Fedorov had goals in the second period to make it 6-0. Evgeny Nabokov made 22 saves for the shutout.
"We needed to have a tight game to make it a game and it didn't happen," Krueger said.
"A crazy set of circumstances put us in a hole we couldn't get out of."
[AP / Expatica]