Matthew Lombardi scored two more goals Thursday as Canada cruised to a 5-1 quarter-final win over Switzerland. The Calgary Flames forward has five goals in the past two games. The Canadians will face Sweden in the semifinals on Saturday. The Swedes beat Canada 5-4 in last year’s semifinal in Latvia on the way to winning the gold medal.
Jamal Mayers, Rick Nash and Shea Weber scored the other goals Thursday for Canada, which has won all seven games its played here.
Canadian-born Paul DiPietro replied for Switzerland.
There was absolutely no atmosphere at the half-empty Khodynka Arena, especially compared to the quarter-final game played by host Russia a day earlier.
Players could often be heard calling for passes from one of the last rows in the second level.
It translated to a pretty dull start as the Swiss repeatedly iced the puck and the Canadians fought for a breakthrough.
Swiss goaltender Jonas Hiller continued his solid play but wasn’t forced to make many spectacular saves. Canada’s Dwayne Roloson was sharp the few times he was tested early.
Lombardi opened the scoring at 15:22 after a bad giveaway from Sandy Jeannin. The Swiss defenceman cleared the puck right onto Lombardi’s stick in front and he backhanded it by Hiller for his fifth goal of the tournament.
Switzerland got itself in penalty trouble early in the second period and Mayers made it 2-0 while Canada had a 5-on-3 advantage. The St. Louis Blues winger drove out from behind the net and swept the puck around Hiller at 9:05.
But the Swiss got it back quickly when DiPietro beat Rolson with a long slapshot that appeared to go off the stick of Canadian defenceman Nick Schultz. It was the third straight goal DiPietro had scored against Canada dating to the two he had in Switzerland’s upset win at the Turin Olympics.
The Swiss soon got themselves in penalty trouble and Canadian coach Andy Murray called a timeout to help organize his team’s 5-on-3 man advantage. Nash made it 3-1 moments later. Standing at the top of the crease, the Columbus forward slammed a pass from Eric Staal into the goal.
Lombardi had a tap-in at 6:03 of the third period when he scored his second of the night from the side of the net on another power play.
Weber, a defenceman with the Nashville Predators, made it 5-1 with a hard slapshot late in the third.
Notes: Canada has a career record of 22-0-2 against Switzerland at this tournament . . . The Swiss have scored just 29 total goals in those 24 games . . . Defenceman Mark Streit and backup goalie David Aebischer were the only NHLers playing for Switzerland.