(Reuters) - Switzerland booked their place in Sunday’s Ice Hockey World Championship final against reigning champions Sweden after a shock 3-2 win over Canada on Saturday.
They will be up against a Swedish team in red-hot form after hammering the United States 6-0 in Saturday’s earlier semi-final.
The Swiss took a surprise lead with 1:19 to go in the first period when Tristan Scherwey swept the puck home, and although Bo Horvat struck back for Canada in the second, the Europeans went ahead again with a power-play goal from Gregory Hofmann.
The Canadians struggled throughout to break down the dogged Swiss defense and Gaetan Haas administered the coup de grace when he steered in Switzerland’s third goal early in the final period.
Colton Parayko threw his side a lifeline with a slapshot from distance with just over two minutes to go, and the Canadians threw everything forward in search of an equalizer, but the Swiss held firm to make the final for the first time since 2013.
Current champions Sweden led 1-0 after a cautious first period in their semi-final but they left their American opponents reeling with a three-goal salvo in the second as Patric Hornqvist and Mattias Janmark netted two goals in 11 seconds.
The misery was compounded for the U.S. with Viktor Arvidsson punishing them for taking out goaltender Keith Kinkaid by firing his second goal of the game into an empty net to make it 5-0, and Adrian Kempe added a sixth before the horn sounded.
The Americans will be left scratching their heads as to how Swedish goalie Anders Nilsson managed to shut them out, despite facing 41 shots during the 60 minutes.
Canada will now face the United States in a third-place playoff at Copenhagen’s Royal Arena on Sunday afternoon ahead of the decider between Sweden and Switzerland.
Reporting by Philip O'Connor,; Editing by Neville Dalton