Canada used two second period goals to open up a 3-1 lead en route to a second straight round robin win, 3-2 over Switzerland on Thursday night in Vancouver at the 2019 World Junior Hockey Championship.
MacKenzie Entwistle gave Canada a 2-1 lead 5:55 into the second period after a shift that saw the Canadians hold possession through a full line change, converting a pass from Shane Bowers.
Before the second period ended, Noah Dobson had a great individual effort to double Canada’s lead and provide the cushion Canada needed to squeeze the Swiss the rest of the game. It would stand up at the game-winning goal.
It could have turned early for the Swiss. Only 36 seconds into the game, Montreal Canadiens prospect Nick Suzuki made a beautiful pass to Cody Glass who beat Akira Schmid to give Canada an early 1-0 lead.
It looked like it would be another blowout for Canada, a day after beating Denmark 14-0. But Switzerland didn’t go away. A few minutes later Valentin Nussbaumer beat Ian Scott, but the shot went off the crossbar. Switzerland would get another chance in the zone later on, and Scott lost his stick, but the Swiss could not equalize.
Canada would dominate possession, but couldn’t get shots through the Swiss defence. Canada only mustered seven shots in the first period.
Jaret Anderson-Dolan would take the game’s first penalty late in the first period, giving Switzerland an opportunity to tie the game, and they would get a couple of shots on Scott, led by Nussbaumer, but the Canadian goaltender made the saves.
Switzerland would convert before the penalty ended to start the second period. Only 46 seconds into the frame, Philipp Kurashev finished what was a great shift with a perfect shot to beat Scott and tie the game at 1-1.
Switzerland had a chance to take their first lead of the game a few moments later but Scott robbed Yannick Bruschweiler with the glove, a save that seemed to spark the Canadians for the rest of the game.
Schmid, making his first start of the tournament was good for Switzerland at keeping the score close, especially as the Canadians had back-to-back power plays in the third period. He made 29 saves and gave his team a chance.
After killing the two penalties, Switzerland hit another post as Nicolas Muller fired a puck off the iron midway through the final period.
Scott, making his first start of the tournament made 15 saves for Canada, and although he wasn’t tested often, Switzerland was able to create scoring opportunities throughout the game.
Kurashev would score his second power play goal of the game with 1:49 remaining to make it 3-2, firing a shot past Scott after both Canadian defenders lost their sticks. It appeared that he would cost his team a chance to get an equalizer, taking a penalty shortly after but the Canadians would take a penalty of their own so that the game ended four-on-four.
The Swiss would have several opportunities with the goaltender pulled in the final minute, but were unable to beat Scott and find the tying goal. Canadiens prospect Josh Brook was among the Canadians leaned on by coach Tim Hunter.
Both teams had plenty of opportunities on the power play. Switzerland was 2/4 on their opportunities, while Canada was 0/5. The passing by the two teams were good, but shots were blocked defensively or by the goaltenders.
Kurashev was deservedly named player of the game for Switzerland, while Barrett Hayton was named player of the game for Canada.
Canada now has a day off before facing the Czech Republic on Saturday night. Switzerland also has a day off and will face Denmark on Saturday afternoon.