We're back at HSBC Arena for the final game of the round-robin portion of the tournament as the USA looks to wrap up Group A with a win over Switzerland. There were around 17,000 folks in the building for Canada's shootout loss to Sweden. Right now, I'd say there might be 7,000 here for this one. A shame really but what can you do?
Scenarios: The US would play Canada in Sunday's quarterfinals if it loses this one in regulation. Things get all wacky with a US loss in overtime or shootout. We'll worry about those possibilities if we get there. A US win lines up a US-Canada semifinal.
9:49 p.m.: Game on.
15:52 left: Campbell with a good save on Schappi. US pretty loose in its own zone thus far. Playing with fire.
15:10 left: Sven Bartschi drills a slapshot off the right post past a beaten Campbell. Close, close call.
10:00 left: US still hanging on. Shots are 37-21.
9:56 left: Schappi is dangerous. Nice pad save by Campbell.
4:30 left: Pounding story on print deadline as well. Nothing new to report. Still a tense, 2-1 game.
3:59 left: Campbell with the save of the night as Bartschi breaks in alone. Wow.
2:03 left: Shots are 41-26 for the US. These two goalies have played well above Roy and Lehner did in Canada-Sweden. Campbell looks like the difference maker for the US in this tournament.
1:00 left: Conz to the bench.
IT'S OVER: US holds on 2-1, Final shots were 42-26.
8:58 p.m.: Game on.
16:45 left: Impressed by the Swiss. Speedy bunch. Not intimidated at all. Solid goaltender. The USA certainly has an issue on its hands.
16:33 left: Mitch Callahan robbed on the doorstep by Conz with the left pad.
13:31 left: Like how the Sabres put a few volunteers up on the HD board and salute them during a break in a game. The folks in the powder blue jackets are everywhere. And the PA announcement is right. They have a huge role in the tournament.
12:30 left: You wonder how in tune the Canadian fans in the building are to things. You're not hearing a lot of anti-US sentiment. I think they know enough to realize a US loss means a Canada-US quarterfinal, which is something neither side nor tournament organizers would really want.
12:09 left: The puck is behind Campbell and Switzerland leads, 2-1. Or do they? Under review. It's a deflection off the backboards. And it's NO GOAL. Puck was under Campbell's right pad in the crease, not his left pad inside the left goalpost and over the line.
10:07 left: Just about halfway home and still tied at 1-1. Shots are 29-13 for the US. A hot goalie can get you in these kind of tournaments.
7:57 left: Shots are 31-14.
6:07 left: Finally the breakthrough. Callahan with the wraparound from behind the net, beating Conz to the right post. US leads, 2-1.
40.7 left: In a fast-moving game, US goes down a man as Brian Dumoulin goes for holding.
End-2nd: It's 2-1 for Team USA. Shots are 34-17 (15-7 in that period). More dominant period.
8:08 p.m.: The puck is dropped
18:00 left: I feel like I'm at a World Cup soccer game with vuvuzuelas around. The place is filled with people blowing New Year's Eve noisemakers. Ouch to my ears. Although blowing them in rhythm to the organ is actually kind of cool. Good thing they are to give us some noise here because so many of the Canada fans left. Think the loss means more or less drinking tonight on Chippewa Street on New Year's Eve? Tough call.
13:40 left: Shots are 4-4. No real solid chances for either side. Noisemakers starting to drive me so insane I'm actually rooting for the Thunderstix the Canadian fans had.
12:59 left: What's up here tonight? Switzerland takes a 1-0 lead as Inti Pestoni burns Jack Campbell with a quick snap shot on a 2-on-1 break. Pestoni's third of the tournament. It's the first time the US has trailed in any game.
10:44 left: Nino Niederreiter for cross checking for the Swiss 23 seconds after Swiss goalie Benjamin Conz turns away Ryan Bourque's slapshot on the Americans' first 2-on-1. Niederreiter is the No. 5 overall pick in this year's draft by the New York Islanders.
9:45 left: US ties it on the power play at 1-1 as Chris Krieder pounds home a one-timer after a great back pass from behind the net by Charlie Coyle.
8:17 left: Bourque stopped on another 2-on-1. But he's been flying. He's due. And the "USA, USA" chant goes up.
7:09 left: Shots are 12-8 for US. And here come the stupid blooper films we see at Sabres games. Maybe the folks here will make a New Year's resolution for 2011 to stop. Please?
6:00 left: Are you making plans for Sunday? Canada will play in the 3:30 quarterfinal -- unless the US loses this game in regulation, in which case Canada and the US would play in the 7:30 game.
4:49 left: Vicious hit into the end boards by Tristan Scherway on Patrick Wey. Pretty much from behind. What's the call? He's get a two-minute minor and a 10-minute misconduct.
4:01 left: Coyle just misses on a great feed by Krieder but now it's a two-man advantage for 1:12 as Reto Schappi goes for slashing.
3:19 left: Campbell helps the US avert complete disaster by stopping Gregory Hofmann on a 2-on-1 after a great feed from Sven Bartschi. No excuse for that to happen when you're two men up. None. An aside: I'm feeling these Swiss names. Easier than doing a game with, say, Russia or the Czechs or Slovaks.
1:00 left: Conz is doing the job for Switzerland in goal. Shots are 19-9 for the US although it doesn't feel like there's that big an edge. The Swiss have had good chances in those nine shots. Campbell has made some tough saves.
End-1st: We're tied at 1-1. Shots are 19-10 for the US. Nervous time for the Americans in the wake of what happened to Canada.