VICTORIA – Team Canada’s World Junior team opened their pre-tournament play, defeating Switzerland in their by a score of 5-3.
Just 24 hours after the roster was selected, Team Canada’s World Junior team played in their first pre-tournament game against the Swiss.
Despite the first goal of the game being scored by Switzerland, from a shot in the slot from Philipp Kurashev (Quebec Remparts), the canadians still managed to control the opening frame.
Dominating the first period was the line of Maxime Comtois (Drummondville Voltigeurs), Cody Glass (Portland Winterhawks), and Owen Tippett (Mississauga Steelheads) all scored in the period.
Glass would be the first one to get on the board, tying it up after threading the needle on a backhand shot, finding the smallest opening on Swiss goaltender Luca Jan Hollenstein (EVZ Academy). Shortly after, Owen Tippett wired a shot top right, to give Canada the lead. Near the end of the period, after setting up the first 2 goals, Maxime Comtois joined his linemates in finding the back of the net to give Canada the 3-1 lead after 20 minutes.
After not tallying on their first powerplay of the second period, Canada was able to finally convert on their second opportunity after countless chances. Arguably Canada’s best player in the 3-game series against the USports All-Star team last week, Jack Studnicka (Oshawa Generals) made something out of a broken play to give Canada the 3-goal cushion.
However, the Swiss did not go away so easily.
Valentin Nussbaumer (2019 Eligible) and Washington Capitals prospect Tobias Geisser found a way to beat goaltender Michael DiPietro (Ottawa 67’s) to cut the lead to 1, despite only having 5 shots after 2 periods.
In the third period, Canada’s defense core (who were shaky the first 2 periods), managed to lock it down and end the game on a high note. Maxime Comtois scored the empty-netter to get his fourth point of the hockey game, giving Canada the 5-3 win.
Michael DiPietro only made 7 saves in the win, while in the other crease Luca Hollenstein made 25 stops on 29 shots.
Toronto Maple Leafs prospect and Prince Albert Raiders standout Ian Scott will be between the pipes in Canada’s next pre-tournament matchup on Friday December 21st, as they will take on Slovakia, while Switzerland will face Kazakhstan later that day.