Wednesday, August 17 | 5 p.m. MT | Edmonton, Alberta | Quarterfinal
GAME NOTES: CANADA VS. SWITZERLAND (AUG. 17)
It’s on to the playoff round for Canada’s National Junior Team , which takes on Switzerland in the third of four quarterfinals on a busy Wednesday at the 2022 IIHF World Junior Championship.
Canada capped off a perfect preliminary round with a 6-3 win over Finland on Monday, getting goals from six different players. Special teams were the story for the Canadians; they scored on both of their power-play opportunities and killed four of five Finnish chances, including a five-minute major and a pair of five-on-three advantages in the third period. Mason McTavish added a goal and two assists to his tournament-leading totals, while Olen Zellweger had three helpers to move into a tie with American defenceman Luke Hughes for the scoring lead among blue-liners.
The Swiss went down to the wire to clinch their quarterfinal spot, getting a power-play goal from Attilio Biasca with 4:07 left to score a 3-2 win over Austria on Monday afternoon and advance to the playoff round. Joshua Fahrni and Jonas Taibel provided the other goals for Switzerland.
The Canadians and Swiss met last in the preliminary round of the 2021 World Juniors inside the Edmonton bubble, with Canada cruising to a 10-0 win for its third victory in as many tries. Quinton Byfield was the offensive star, scoring twice and adding four assists to post the 12th six-point effort by a Canadians in tournament history. Jakob Pelletier added two goals and an assist and Devon Levi made 15 saves for Canada, which led 1-0 after one period and 5-0 after two before pulling away over the final 20 minutes.
WHAT TO WATCH
As mentioned above, how about the special teams for Canada? The Canadians are clicking as a 60% success rate on the power play (6-of-10) – tops in the tournament – while the penalty kill has allowed only two goals in 11 opposition chances. And in goal, Dylan Garand has been lights out in his second World Juniors (third if you count the cancelled December event); he has fashioned a 1.67 goals-against average and .930 save percentage in three games, both second-best among all puck-stoppers.
The Swiss are never an easy out. They may rank near the bottom of the tournament on the offensive side of the puck (eight goals in four games and a 7.2% shooting percentage), but they put third-period scares into Sweden and Germany in a pair of 3-2 losses and kept the high-powered Americans scoreless for the first 26 minutes. They tend to find a way to hang around, and in a win-or-go-home game, that could create some excitement.
A LOOK BACK
Canada has dominated the head-to-head history since the first meeting in 1980, winning all 24 meetings – 23 of them in regulation time.
The history includes six playoff meetings, four of them in the quarterfinals – Brandon Reid had two goals and an assist in an 8-3 win in 2000, Brayden Schenn notched two his record-tying 18 points in a 4-1 win in 2011, Anthony Mantha scored the game-winner on a penalty shot in a 4-1 triumph in 2014 and Brett Howden had a goal and three helpers as part of an 8-2 victory in 2018.
All-time record: Canada leads 24-0-0 (1-0 in OT/SO)
Canada goals: 154
Switzerland goals: 40