In a game that featured almost as many penalty minutes as shots on goal, Team Canada rallied to defeat Switzerland 4-1 after allowing an early goal.
In what seems to be a typical start based on the three pre-tournament games, Canada started the game very slowly, allowing 11 shots by the Swiss team in the first period and not looking very dangerous themselves. Jonathan Drouin changed the flow of the game though, scoring twice on two listless 5-on-3 powerplays for Canada.
The second period was much more of what is expected of Team Canada, holding a 11-3 edge in shots, with the only goal coming from Vancouver Canucks prospect Bo Horvat, who has looked awkward offensively the last two games, but seemed to get better as the game went on.
Horvat is extremely important to Canada's medal hopes this year, as he should be the team's best two-way player. He's currently playing with Connor McDavid and Sam Reinhart, providing a bit of protection for the two youngsters, but that seems like a waste of his talents. He should be playing on a shutdown line, keeping the best players on the opponents' team stymied.
Jake Paterson spent the game looking very much like Ondrej Pavelec, out of position a ton and overreacting to shots, as well as letting in a laughable goal. Canada's coaching staff though, seems to have given him the nod over Zachary Fucale as the starting goaltender.
The big trouble for Canada though, continues to be their transition game. There's lots of talent in the forward corps, but the defense looks very shaky. The only guy on the back end who seems confident with the puck is 2014 draft eligible Aaron Ekblad, who bring size and mobility, but is also just 17. 19 year old players like Mathew Dumba and Griffin Reinhart will need to step up in order for this team to compete.
A good sign for Canada is that Anthony Mantha looked like he was on the verge of getting up to speed, and if he does, could be as big of a scoring threat as Drouin.
Even with that though, this does not look like a team that will compete for gold, so temper your expectations. A win against Switzerland is good, but not exactly unexpected, and certainly nothing to get excited about. They will need to gel a heck of a lot more than they have so far.
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