Russia edges past Switzerland into semifinals of the world junior hockey championships

Russia reached the semifinals of the world junior hockey championships Wednesday after a tense 4-3 shootout win over Switzerland.

In Thursday’s semifinal, the hosts will now try for revenge against Sweden for their 1-0 defeat in last year's final. Canada and the United States play in the other semifinal.

Spartak Moscow forward Alexander Khokhlachev put host team Russia in the lead on seven minutes, scoring on a power play, before Christoph Bertschy equalized four minutes later after badly misplaced Russian pass.

Russia restored the advantage in the middle of the second period as NHL No. 12 draft pick Mikhail Grigorenko netted his first goal of the tournament with a backhander.

Again it took Switzerland only four minutes to level the score, as Martin Ness sent the puck through the five-hole of Tampa Bay Lightning prospect Andrey Vasilevsky.

The attacking play continued till the end of the period, as first Grigorenko and then Swiss forward Sven Andrighetto hit the post.

Andrighetto achieved his aim in the third period, scoring in a stinging counter-attack to make the score 3-2.

Switzerland was on the verge of the semifinals before CSKA Moscow wing Nikita Kucherov, the best forward at the 2011 world under-18 championships, saved the day for the hosts 99 seconds before the buzzer.

Ten minutes of overtime brought no result, before accurate penalty shots from Grigorenko and Kucherov gave Russia the victory.

Switzerland will face the Czech Republic for fifth place Friday.

First published in RIA Novosti.

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