Switzerland forward ROMANO LEMM (67) skates off after scoring the winning goal in overtime as defenseman TOMMY JAKOBSEN (7) sees the Norwegians' best effort at the 2010 Vancouver Games go unrewarded. (Matthew Manor/HHOF-IIHF Images)
Just 52 seconds into the contest, Norwegian defenseman JONAS HOLOS desperately came sliding across to first make a skate save. The Swedish Elitserien club BK Farjestad Karstad defender then swept clear the loose rebound from in front of the goal and proceeded to cover the disc while still in the crease. A clear penalty-shot infraction which was signaled immediately by the referee, who had been right on top of the play.
After Norwegian goalkeeper PAL GROTNES denied Canadian-born former National Hockey Leaguer HNAT DOMENICHELLI of HC Lugano with his blocker, it should have clear both NORWAY and SWITZERLAND would be in for a wild time at the the final Group A round-robin match in Vancouver for the respective national sides.
Indeed, within the next ten seconds, Switzerland’s JULIEN SPRUNGER, the former Minnesota Wild fourth-round NHL draft pick and HC Fribourg-Gotteron forward, scored anyway. This despite Grotnes’ penalty-shot save moments earlier. Following the ensuing faceoff, Sprunger swept home a backhand shot from the slot with a centered puck that Domenichelli had stolen from Norwegian MATS TRYGG, the one-time BK Farjestad Karlstad defender now with German club EC Koeln, on the goalline.
Man of the match TORE VIKINGSTAD of German squad EC Hannover replied for Norway roughly twelve and a half minutes in, however, to square the score. Vikingstad, a one-time 6th round pick of the St. Louis Blues (1999, # 180 overall), collected a rebound in the slot and went to the backhand to beat Switzerland goaltender JONAS HILLER of the Anaheim Ducks. Significantly, the Norwegians would survive a 13-4 shot disparity for the first period.
Norway promptly took the lead roughly five and a half minutes into the second period when MADS HANSEN of Swedish Elitserien squad IF Brynas Galve slapped a puck past Grotnes from the point on the power play; approximately four minutes later, however, Swiss forward ROMAN WICK of EHC Kloten whipped home a smart pass from the attacking defenseman MATTIAS SEGER of SC Zuerich on a pretty even-strength play in the Norwegian zone involving SC Bern’s MARTIN PLUSS and captain MARK STREIT of the New York Islanders to once again tie the score.
RAFFAELE SANNITZ of HC Lugano finished off some nifty stickwork in front of goal to knock a puck out of the air past Grotnes after another setup from Seger to send Switzerland back in front with less than five minutes to play in the second period.
But Vikingstad again responded for Norway after some fancy moves and a fine centering pass from little MATS ZUCCARELLO AASEN of Swedish club Mo Do Ornskoldsvik.
Halfway through the final period, Switzerland went in front once more. A fine cross-ice pass on the power play by Wick on the right allowed defenseman SEVERIN BLINDENBACHER of Swedish club BK Farjestad Karlsbad to one-time the puck home from the faceoff hash on the left.
And, once more, Vikingstad rescued Norway and completed his hat trick after Hiller had mishandled the puck behind his own goal. Former National Hockey Leaguer PATRICK THORESEN of Russian club Salavat Yulayev Ufa took the puck from the Swiss goaltender and passed in front to Vikingstad, who beat Hiller between the five-hole to level matters at four goals apiece with than eight minutes remaining. Thoresen, who skated for the Edmonton Oilers and the Philadelphia Flyers in the NHL, totaled three assists on the day.
And so it was off to overtime.
Switzerland’s ROMANO LEMM of HC Lugano became a national hero 2:28 into extra time when he redirected SANDY JEANNIN’s centering pass behind Grotnes for the game-winning-goal.
The 33-year-old Jeannin of HC Fribourg-Gotteron, who, along with Streit is the most experienced player for Switzerland with 84 games at major international tournaments, made a fine play after cutting across the face of goal from the right to re-send the puck back to the left for Lemm.
SWITZERLAND 5 - NORWAY 4 — (overtime)
Shots-on-goal : Switzerland 38 – Norway 23
SWITZ goals : Sprunger, Wick, Sannitz, Blindenbacher, Lemm
NOR goals : Vikingstad 3, Hansen
Switzerland's THIERRY PATERLINI of SC Rapperswil-Jona is all set to shoot the puck into an apparently unguarded net with Norway goaltender PAL GROTNES (33) beaten less than a minute into the match in Vancouver. Note the gleeful expression on the face of Paterlini's Swiss teammate, IVO RUTHEMANN of SC Bern. (AP photo)
The skate of Norwegian defender JONAS HOLOS halts Paterlini's bid to put Switzerland in front early. (AP photo)
Penalty Shot! The referee points to the center ice face-off dot and awards Switzerland a penalty shot as Norwegian defenseman JONAS HOLOS is correctly judged to have intentionally covered the puck in the goal crease. (Matthew Manor/HHOF-IIHF Images)
JULIEN SPRUNGER (86) bumps fists with his teammates at the bench following the 2004 Minnesota Wild draft pick's opening goal against Norway at the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver. (Julie Jacobson/AP)
Two veteran international Norwegian defensemen with many seasons skated in the German league, MATS TRYGG (23) and TOMMY JAKOBSEN (7), tangle in the corner with Switzerland’s experienced IVO RUTHEMANN (32) of SC Bern. Jakobsen, 39, spent ten seasons in the DEL with EV Augsburg and EG Dusseldorf before moving to EC Graz in Austria for three years while Trygg, 34, has spent the past five winters in Germany playing for ECD Iserlohn (the Roosters) and EC Koeln (die Haie – the Sharks). (Reuters photo)
TORE VIKINGSTAD (29) has been playing his professional hockey in Germany since joining EG Dusseldorf from Swedish Elitserien club IF Leksands to start the 2002-03 season. The 34-year-old former St. Louis Blues draft pick was the German elite league's scoring leader in 2005-06. Entering the 2010 Vancouver Games, Vikingstad had scored 7 goals in 30 games for Norway at five major international tournaments. (Julie Jacobson/AP)
Switzerland's ROMAN WICK (14) lands an elbow to the shielded face of Norway's MADS HANSEN (8) in Vancouver. Hansen's second period power play goal handed Norway a 2-1 lead. (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Swiss forward ROMAN WICK (14) is denied by Norwegian goaltender PAL GROTNES (33) with NHL defenseman OLE KRISTIAN TOLLEFSEN of the Detroit Red Wings prone in front. Wick finished off a sharp passing play to tie the game at two goals apiece. (Reuters photo)
Switzerland's RAFFAELE SANNITZ (39) in the process of scoring one of, if not the most, skillful goal of the 2010 Winter Olympic Games against Norway's goaltender, PAL GROTNES. (Matthew Manor/HHOF-IIHF Images)
Sannitz completes his spectacular goal by tapping the mid-air puck past Grotnes to give Switzerland a 3-2 lead. (AP photo)
Another shot of Sannitz, hooked from behind by Norwegian defenseman MATS TRYGG (23), tapping the puck past goaltender PAL GROTNES. (AP photo)
Tiny MATS ZUCCARELLO AASEN (48) taps TORE VIKINGSTAD (29) on the helmet following the EC Hannover player’s second goal of the game to tie the game at three goals apiece. (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Blindenbacher's power play goal gave Switzerland a brief lead roughly mid-way through the third period. (AP photo)
Swiss forward ROMANO LEMM (67), tracked by Norwegian defender TOMMY JAKOBSEN (7), receives Sandy Jeannin's creative pass in the crease. (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
The puck is in the net, the game is over. (AP photo)
Lemm lifts Switzerland with his goal 2:28 into overtime to conclude an epic ice hockey match at the 2010 Winter Olympics Games in Vancouver, Canada. (Reuters photo)
Switzerland’s Lemm lets out a huge roar after his goal in overtime defeats Norway at Vancouver. (AP photo)
Two heroes, Switzerland's ROMANO LEMM (67) and Norway's TORE VIKINGSTAD (29), shake hands at the conclusion of an epic ice hockey match at the 2010 Winter Olympic Games. (Julie Jacobson/AP photo)