A dominant 60 minutes by Canada means that the favourite to win the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Cup will head to the semi-finals on Friday after a massive 9-2 victory over Switzerland.
The first ten minutes went rather smoothly for the Canadians. In fact, the team did a fantastic job of forcing themselves through the middle and using their speed to blow by the Swiss opposition. Canada would grab the first goal of the game just 5:41 into the first when Tyler Benson stole the puck from the sideboards and deked out multiple Swiss defensemen, eventually sending the puck past Philip Wüthrich glove side for the 1-0 goal. The play wouldn’t have happened if it wasn’t for some solid board action by Beck Malenstyn, who muscled multiple players along the wall before sending it out to Benson.
Three minutes after that, Canada found themselves back on the scoresheet. This time, Penticton Vees forward Tyson Jost would put in a good effort to rush in front of the net, cashing in on his own rebound to make it 2-0 Canada. That was just half of what Canada could accomplish in the opening period, as a Kale Clague shot from the point was too much for Wüthrich, handing Canada the 3-0 lead with six minutes left in the period.
Both teams would then trade markers near the end of the first 20. Once again, Jost would find himself potting a goal in the back of the net, re-directing Clague’s slap-pass into an enormous 4-0 lead for Canada early in the game. That wouldn’t last into the first intermission, however, as a late goal by Cyril Oehen meant that Canadian goaltender Carter Hart would finish without a shutout.
The Swiss would find a way to crack the Canadian defense once again in the second. 5:46 into the frame, Nico Hischier was at the right spot at the right time, pushing the disk past Hart and in to cut the lead in half. Canada wasn’t a fan of this new plan by the Swiss, as Samuel Girard converted a rebound from a Benson shot into their fifth goal of the game at 7:22.
With around ten minutes to go, Canada made sure to put the game away for real now. Jost would once again find a way to put the puck past Wüthrich, taking a one-timer off of a pass from Dilon Dube to make it 6-2 with half the game still left to play.
Canada’s game looked so effortless, dominating in every facet of the game. The team dominated the passing portion of the contest, making the Swiss skate all over just to keep up. Eventually, with seven minutes to go, Nolan Patrick would find a way to give Canada their seventh goal of the game, ripping an absolute laser beam of a wrist shot over the right arm of Wüthrich and in to make it 7-2 Canada. A minute later, Sam Steel got involved with the scoring, shooting a weak one past the Swiss netminder to give Canada a six goal advantage in the final period of play. Josh Mahura helped chip in on the offense late in the game, finishing Canada’s rout of the Swiss with a 9-2 victory on Wednesday.
With the win, Canada easily finished with first place in Group A. Their semi-final opponent will be the Russians. who went on to win just two games to finish second in Group B. The game is set for 1pm ET on Friday.
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