Canada downs Switzerland at World Under-18 Hockey Championship

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Two games, two wins for Canada at the 2015 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 World Championship, as they defeated Switzerland 4-1 on Saturday night in Zug.

The last time these two teams met was a tight game, Canada edging Switzerland 3-2 in the 2014 quarter-finals on a goal by Travis Konecny with 30 seconds to go in regulation.

But this time around, penalty trouble and missed opportunities buried the Swiss early. Canadian forward Matt Barzal got on the board four minutes into the game, pouncing on a puck after a centering effort from captain Mitchell Stephens along the boards and finishing off goaltender Joren van Pottelbergher with a backhand shot.

The Swiss weren’t able to generate enough pressure on the Canadians early on. Canada got into penalty trouble in the latter half of the period, giving up a two-man advantage but nevertheless was able to kill off both penalties and frustrate the Swiss attack.

Barzal put his team up by two goals early in the second period, taking possession at centre ice and putting a good deke on Jonas Siegenthaler before throwing the puck on net. Siegenthaler, who has had an up-and-down U18 campaign so far, turned and tried to stop the puck, only to have it bounce off the blade of his stick and into the back of the net.

Switzerland fell further behind midway through the second period. Pottelbergher stopped a shot attempt from Jansen Harkins in the slot area, but Nicolas Roy was on the spot for the rebound, giving Canada the 3-0 lead.

“It was an important goal, giving us that 3-0 lead. I was elated. You know, it’s our goal to work hard, minimize turnovers, get the puck deep – and then create offense. I was very happy when that puck went in the net.”

Switzerland gave itself some life with under two minutes to go in the second frame. Denis Malgin set up linemate Dominik Diem for a one-timer past goaltender Evan Cormier, cutting the lead to 3-1 going into the third.

But the Canadians quashed any ideas of a comeback early in the third with a power play goal from Anthony Beauvillier, and Canada cruised the rest of the way.

Along with Russia and Finland, Canada remains the only undefeated team at the 2015 IIHf U18 World Championship. The Canadians will face the Czech Republic tomorrow, while the Swiss, still searching for their first win, will play against Latvia on Monday.

Source: Adam Steiss – http://u18worlds2015.iihf.com

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