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World Juniors 2016 Recap: Canada Survives Scare, Beat Switzerland

It wasn't pretty, but Canada got the win they needed after a rough start against the Swiss.

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Brayden Point and Matthew Barzal scored in the shootout and Mackenzie Blackwood made two saves to give Canada a 3-2 win at the 2016 World Junior Hockey Championships in Helsinki.

It was the first time that Switzerland took Canada beyond regulation at the World Juniors. Canada's previous games against Switzerland were all wins in regulation time. Switzerland survived a frantic third period where Canada tried all it could to end things after 60 minutes. Canada outshot Switzerland 16-8 in the final 20 minutes of regulation.

The game going to overtime and a shootout means both teams get a point and Canada only get two points for the win. A regulation win is worth three points. Canada had tons of pressure in overtime but mustered only one shot. Switzerland didn't have any.

Canada fell behind early when Brandon Perlini took an early penalty and Switzerland scored on the power play. Damien Riat had the point shot go off of his leg and past Mackenzie Blackwood, making his first start of the tournament.

Canada's first shot in the game came almost nine minutes into the first period. They got chances on their first power play but Joren van Pottelberghe was great.

Switzerland took a 2-0 lead when a Marco Forrer's point shot went off of Timo Meier with Thomas Chabot in front. The goal was credited to Meier.

It wasn't looking good for Canada but a sharp angle shot from Dylan Strome somehow made it past van Pottelberghe and cut the lead to 2-1 with 23 seconds to go in the opening frame. Strome has scored in all three games and has been Canada's best player.

Canada tied the game in the second after several scoring chances when Hicketts broke into the slot and wired a wrist shot past van Pottelberghe after a beautiful feed by Lawson Crouse. Hicketts, who has been on the ice for several goals against, started the play by keeping the puck in at the blueline.

The second half of the second period is where Canada really turned on the jets. They had several opportunities, hit at least one post and had a short 5-on-3 but could not get a puck past van Pottelberghe. Switzerland also had chances in the second, but Blackwood was very good when he needed to be.

He also could not be blamed for either of the two goals as both were deflections a few feet in front of him.

Canada was out shot 9-7 in the first, and also the first part of the second but evened things up by the end of the period.

Swiss coach John Fust said that van Pottelberghe would have to have the game of his life to have a chance, and he played very well. The Red Wings fourth round pick in last year's draft has cemented himself as the Swiss number one goaltender. When Canada started pushing in the last 30 minutes, he was the reason most chances stayed out.

The best Swiss players needed to be their best against Canada and they were. Meier and Rod both had goals and were very good as was defenceman Jonas Siegenthaler who barely left the ice throughout the game.

Blackwood's two shorthanded saves in the third period was exactly what Canada needed. It kept the game tied and prevented a huge momentum swing.

Canada had a great shift with just over seven minutes left where they hemmed the Swiss in their zone but could not get a puck in the net.