VANCOUVER (AP) -- Don't be fooled by Switzerland's struggle against Belarus. The Swiss are ready for another shot at the top-ranked Americans.
Switzerland had a tighter-than-expected game Tuesday, a 3-2 shootout victory that sent the country into the men's Olympic hockey quarterfinals.
Goalie Jonas Hiller of the Anaheim Ducks stopped Sergei Kostitsyn in the third round of the shootout for Switzerland. Hiller made the winning save after the puck slid off the stick of the Montreal Canadiens forward. Hiller allowed only one goal after letting a bad one go through in the opening minute.
"I tried to stay on my feet as long as possible," Hiller said, referring to the final shot. "I thought he was going to deke me. I was able to close the corner down, and he ran out of time, ran out of space. It was a great feeling -- sure better feeling at the end of the game than how I started it."
Thomas Deruns and Romano Lemm scored shootout goals for Switzerland, which will take on the Americans on Wednesday. The U.S. beat the Swiss 3-1 in the Olympic opener a week earlier.
"We're coming at an all-NHL team for the third time. We feel comfortable," Swiss coach Ralph Krueger said. "We were definitely too timid in the first half of that game. We gave them too much space.
"It's more about being less timid and getting into their faces. I see them as the most physical-playing team in the tournament. We need to bring an absolutely perfect team game to even have a chance."
Julien Sprunger and former NHL forward Hnat Domenichelli scored power-play goals for Switzerland, which earned the No. 8 seed after forcing Canada into a shootout and beating Norway in overtime during preliminary play.
"I think you can say Belarus and Switzerland are on the same level," the Canadian-born Domenichelli said. "We found a way to come out on top. Now, we have a chance to get with the big boys."
Andrei Mezin made 40 saves before the shootout, but couldn't complete Belarus' upset. Dmitri Meleshko scored the team's only goal in the tiebreaker.
"In shootouts, it's just a lottery. Unfortunately, we lost," Belarus coach Mikhail Zakharov said through an interpreter. "I have no regrets for how we played (in the tournament) with the amount of time we had together -- three practices and two games. There's always a side that's not happy enough."
Belarus, seeded ninth, was missing much of its usual energetic fan base because this qualification matchup wasn't determined until Sunday -- after tickets were sold. That didn't deter the team best known for its upset of Sweden in the 2002 Salt Lake City Games.
Aleksei Kalyuzhny gave Belarus the lead 59 seconds into the game, and Konstantin Zakharov tied it 2-2 in the second period to back Mezin. Mezin was solid in his second game, following a 34-save effort in a 4-2 loss to Sweden. He stopped five shots in the 10-minute overtime.
Switzerland took its first lead 7:07 into the second on Domenichelli's first goal of these Olympics. Defenseman Mark Streit's shot hit traffic in front, and the puck caromed to Domenichelli. His first drive was stopped by the left post and Mezin, but he quickly popped in the rebound to make it 2-1.
Zakharov followed a rebound of Aleksei Ugarov's shot and knocked it into the open side vacated by Hiller to tie it 2-2 with a power-play goal with 4:18 left in the second.
As time ticked down in the third, chants of "Bel-A-Rus, Bel-A-Rus" filled Canada Hockey Place that for much of the contest had the toned-down atmosphere of an early-round NCAA tournament game.
Many in the crowd, as has been the norm, donned red Maple Leaf hockey jerseys and were likely more concerned with the following game when Canada was to face Germany for another spot in the quarters.
Hiller was forced to make only 20 shots overall before the shootout. His opening-minute gaffe put Switzerland in a quick hole.
Hiller put his head on the ice as he reached to cover the puck, but fumbled it as Kalyuzhny raced toward him. After the puck bounced free, Kalyuzhny pushed a backhander into Hiller that was blocked but still not secured. Kalyuzhny then poked his stick inside the right post and nudged the puck past Hiller.
The goal was confirmed by video replay a few moments later, sending the Belarus bench into celebration -- led by fist pumps and howls from coach Zakharov.
Sprunger got that goal back late in the first when he kicked a loose puck up and off his chest before batting it in under the crossbar. The goal came 10 seconds after forward Lemm left the penalty box.
NOTES: Switzerland beat Belarus in their only other Olympic matchup, 2-1 in the preliminary round in 2002. ... Belarus allowed six power-play goals in this tournament. Switzerland has scored four.