CANADA WINS AGAIN, EDGES SWISS AT WORLD JUNIORS
JASON LA ROSE
VANCOUVER, B.C. – Noah Dobson (Summerside, P.E.I./Acadie-Bathurst, QMJHL) scored the game-winning goal in the second period, and Canada’s National Junior Team held off a late flurry to earn a 3-2 win over Switzerland on Thursday night at the 2019 IIHF World Junior Championship.
Cody Glass (Winnipeg, Man./Portland, WHL) and MacKenzie Entwistle (Georgetown, Ont./Hamilton, OHL) had the other goals for the Canadians, who sit atop Group A after posting their second win in as many days.
“Going into this one we knew [Switzerland] had a good team,” said Entwistle, who has scored in both Canadian victories. “They have seven or eight returnees, they’ve played at this level before, and they know what it takes to win. It was tough, but [we are] happy to get the win.”
Early on it looked as if the offensive momentum from the 14-0 win over Denmark on Wednesday would continue; Glass finished a centring pass from Nick Suzuki (London, Ont./Owen Sound, OHL) just 36 seconds after the puck dropped.
But Swiss goaltender Akira Schmid and the defence clamped down from there, allowing just seven Canadian shots – and, more importantly, no more goals – in the opening 20 minutes.
Switzerland used an early goal of its own to tie the game in the second period. The puck found its way into the slot and onto the stick of Philipp Kurashev, who wired a rocket past Canadian netminder Ian Scott (Calgary, Alta./Prince Albert, WHL) only 46 seconds into the middle frame.
Entwistle restored the lead for good five minutes later with a goal similar to the Glass opener – this time it was Shane Bowers (Herring Cove, N.S./Boston University, HE) serving as set-up man – and Dobson pushed the advantage to two at 12:08.
“I stepped up in the neutral zone, and [Barrett Hayton] made a great play,” Dobson said of his game-winner. “I thought I had a step on the ‘D’ so I just tried to take it to the net and threw it in the five-hole. Ended up being a big goal.”
The teams spent most of the third period trading penalties, combining for seven minors in the final stanza, and the Swiss made it interesting when Kurashev netted his second power-play goal of the game to cut the deficit to 3-2 with 1:49 to go.
Schmid headed to the bench for the extra attacker with 65 seconds left, but Scott and the Canadian defence locked it down in the final minute to keep Canada unbeaten in 23 all-time meetings with the Swiss at the World Juniors.
“Ian played really well,” Canadian head coach Tim Hunter said of his goaltender. “He made a couple big saves, which you’re going to have to as these games go along. I thought we gave some pucks away in the second period, but we responded and recovered from it fine. We only gave up 17 shots, so that’s still pretty good for a World Juniors.”
The Canadians are off Friday before taking on the Czech Republic on Saturday night (8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT).