Canada East have begun the 2014 World Junior A Challenge on a low note, losing 4-3 in overtime to Switzerland.
The Swiss needed just 7:16 to get the first period’s only goal. Six seconds into Ryan Garvey’s penalty, Damien Riat’s point shot made it past Blade Mann-Dixon to make it 1-0 Switzerland. Canada East was the more offensive team in the first, outshooting the Swiss 12-8 after 20 minutes of play, but Joren Van Pottelberghe stood tall early to secure the lead.
Canada would beat Van Pottelberghe just 27 seconds into the second, however. Aurora Tigers defenseman Callum Fryer, who has just one goal this season in the OJHL, fired one from the point and beat the Swiss goaltender cleanly for the tying marker.
Canada hoped to get the go-ahead goal from Oakville Blades forward Ryan Garvey, but his shootout attempt early in the period would go unsuccessful. The disappointment didn’t last for long, however, as Kyle Locke capitalized on the power-play at 7:46 to give Canada their first lead in the game.
The lead didn’t last for long. Switzerland’s Misha Moor, who plays with the Ambrì-Piotta organization in Switzerland, answered back just 22 seconds later with a point shot to tie it back up at two apiece.
Canada continued to out-shoot Switzerland, and they started off their 20-shot third period effort with a goal just four minutes into the final regulation frame by Lucas Batt. Despite a 14 shot advantage over the Swiss, the visiting team would tie it up late to put a dagger in the heart of the hometown team. With 3:10 to go, Timo Haussener went to the backhand on a mini-breakaway for the 3-3 goal.
The game couldn’t find a victor in the overtime, so it would have to end with a shootout. Canada’s final shooter, Drake Board, looked to have potentially scored with a wrist shot attempt over the glove of Van Pottelberghe, but it hit the crossbar and didn’t make it over the line. Instead, Auguste Impose’s goal was good enough for the Swiss to win it, taking home the 4-3 victory.
Canada will have the day off on Tuesday, returning to action to take on the United States in their final preliminary round game. Switzerland will finish a back-to-back at the tournament on Monday, also taking on the Americans.
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