12 Days of World Juniors: Day 8 - Nino Neiderreiter and Switzerland knock off Russia, 2010 Saskatoon


(Andrew Yang/The Intermission)

By: Alex Baumgartner


Entering the 2010 World Juniors, Russia was one of the favourites to contend for a medal. That team rostered multiple future Stanley Cup champions, including Vladimir Tarasenko, Evgeny Kuznetsov and Dmitry Orlov.


Russia lost just one game in the preliminary round, making them the second seed in Group B. This meaning meant they had to play Switzerland in the quarter finals. Switzerland was the underdog entering this game, as they were the third ranked team from Group A.


In the 2009 tournament, Russia won a bronze medal. Switzerland on the other hand wasn’t in the World Juniors the previous year. They had won Group A in the Division 1 tournament to earn promotion to the 2010 World Juniors.


Looking at the lineups over ten years later, Switzerland had some serious talent on their team. The Swiss boasted the likes of future Norris winner Roman Josi, current Winnipeg Jets defenseman Lucas Sbisa and the 2009 fifth overall pick, Nino Neiderreiter.


After playing the entirety of the first period without a goal, both teams entered the second hungry to grab the lead.


Switzerland was able to open the scoring when Michael Loichat stole the puck behind the Russian goal and tucked a wrap-around past Igor Bobkov.


With under two minutes left in the period, Russia was able to score twice, taking all the momentum away from the Swiss.


Vladimir Tarasenko scored the first Russian goal with a short side shot past the glove of Benjamin Conz. 16 seconds later Kirill Petrov made it 2-1 with a one timer from the slot.

The Swiss saw their one goal lead evaporate just minutes before the intermission.


You would think after giving up two goals in 16 seconds, the underdog Swiss team would cave in and give Russia the opportunity to open up the game. Well, that’s not what happened.


Switzerland kept the game close and pulled their goalie with just thirty seconds remaining in the game. Niederreiter ripped a shot from the point and beat Bobkov, tying the game up at 2-2.

The Canadian faithful in the crowd burst into cheers as the game was now tied. Canada was set to face the winner of this game in the semifinals and the Canadians rather have gotten the Swiss over the Russians.


Onto overtime they went and both sides were looking for a hero. Switzerland looked no further than their hero from regulation, Nino Niederreiter.


Niederreiter entered the Russian zone in the dying seconds of overtime. He spun a puck towards goal and snuck it past the Russian netminder. The Swiss took down the Russain 3-2.


This was Switzerland’s first quarterfinal win since the 2002 tournament where they defeated Slovakia in a shootout.


The Swiss ended up losing to Canada in the semis and to the Swedes in the bronze medal game. Despite not walking away with a medal, the Swiss shocked the world and took out the Russians after not being in the main tournament the previous year.