You have to hand it to the Swiss, they gave the US its best game of the tournament. Of course, that’s because these supposedly neutral cheese-making cowards had a very clear gameplan: if you see an American’s numbers, put your shoulder between ‘em.
As the rest of the world was reveling in another year of clear American dominance over the sport of hockey, the mighty nation’s greatest players under 20 cruised to a 2-1 over the hated Swiss. In doing so, they advanced to the semifinals, on goals from Charlie Coyle and Mitch Callahan, and yet another casually dominant performance from Jack Campbell.
The game was marred by controversy. How much better would the Americans have fared if the game was called equitably, and the crew of clock-winding ne’er-do-wells in red and white were actually whistled for the many, many boarding and hitting from behind penalties they rightly deserved to have called against them?
But the US is not Canada, and therefore doesn’t have to deal with “what-ifs.” We don’t have to imagine how good America would be if not for its terrible goaltending, because Jack Campbell is perhaps the best netminder that ever lived, and Olivier Roy clearly the worst.
The Swiss tactic successfully forced Stalwart American Patrick Wey to be removed from the game, as coach Keith Allain was concerned the defenseman would become annoyed, and beat Reto Schappi to death with Nino Niederreiter.
With this win, the US became one of two teams in the tournament to have not lost a single game. This is because Sweden, the other team that went undefeated, got a bracket chock full of cupcakes, including Norway, the Czechs, and Canada.
Speaking of which, America will host the winner of Sunday’s quarterfinal matchup (haha) between the Canadian and Swiss sides on Monday night in what is sure to be the most one-sided contest in Buffalo since Czolgosz vs. McKinley. (In this scenario, the US is Czolgosz.)