Nashville forward Simon Moser scored perhaps the biggest goal of his life on Wednesday, as his marker with eight seconds remaining gave Switzerland a crucial 1-0 win over Latvia in Group C play.
The Swiss, stymied all game long by veteran Latvian goalie Edgars Masalskis, earned three points in the most unlikely of fashions. Moser was behind the goal line when he scored, as his centering aerial pass to Nino Niederreiter deflected in off Latvian defender Georgijs Pujacs.
Up until that point, Masalskis was unbeatable.
The 33-year-old, who plies his trade in the Slovak Extraliga, stopped the first 38 shots he faced — five of which came from New Jersey forward Damien Brunner, who led all Swiss players in that category. For most of the game, it looked as though Masalskis’ heroics would push Latvia through to an upset performance — the country lost all three games at the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver, getting outscored 19-4 — until Moser came through with some heroics of his own.
Though there were some decent offensive forays, the game was largely about the two netminders. Jonas Hiller was rock solid in the Swiss net, stopping all 21 shots for the first shutout of the tournament.
Switzerland will now face Sweden — who beat the Czechs 4-2 on Wednesday — in its next game; Latvia will take on Czech Republic in a battle of winless clubs.