CANADA OPENS JUNIOR WORLD CUP WITH HARD-FOUGHT WIN OVER SWITZERLAND
Piestany, Slovakia – Canada held strong against a very determined Swiss team, rebounding from a tough second period for a hard-fought 5-3 win over Switzerland to open the 2006 Junior World Cup on Tuesday in PIestany. Bryan Cameron and Angelo Esposito each scored twice in the victory.
Canada had the first good scoring chance as good forechecking led to a scramble near Swiss netminder Damiano Ciaccio. Zack Torquato (Sault Ste. Marie, ON/ Saginaw, OHL) seemed to have pushed the puck past Ciaccio, but the referee ruled that he had already called the play after he lost sight of the puck.
The Swiss side was first on the scoreboard. With Canada down one man, the puck came back to defenceman Yves Muller whose blast beat Justin Leclerc (Saskatoon, SK/ Lethbridge, WHL) high to the stick side. At 7:21 of the first period, Bryan Cameron (Brampton, ON/ Belleville, OHL) capitalized on a turnover to get in alone and Ciaccio and made it 1-1.
Canada's power play made it a 2-1 lead less then two minutes later. Defenceman Thomas Hickey (Calgary, AB/ Seattle,WHL) found Angelo Esposito (Montreal, QC/ Quebec, QMJHL) with a quick pass and Canada's captain fired a quick shot over the goaltender's shoulder.
At 11:40 of the first frame, Canada made it 3-1 as Brett Sonne (Maple Ridge, BC/ Calgary, WHL) jammed in a loose puck from the side of the net. Despite leading 3-1, Canada was outshot 10-8 in that first period.
Canada was in penalty trouble for a large portion of the middle frame, and the Swiss kept pressing, eventually getting two goals and evening the game at 3-3. Denis Hollenstein, at 6:02, and Tobias Bucher, at 6:55, scored and it was all even going into the final period.
Cameron registered his second goal, and what proved to be the winning goal, on a power play, at 8:30 of the final period after great work by Brandon Sutter (Red Deer, AB/ Red Deer, WHL) behing the net. Sutter's forechecking behind the net led to the puck getting loose for Cameron in the slot who quickly got it past Ciaccio.
Esposito added his own second of the night, on a breakaway, only twenty-five seconds later, at 8:55, to give Canada an all-important win in its opening game. Canada outshot Switzerland 23-20. Canada next faces Sweden on Wednesday in Piestany.
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Brad Pascall Vice-President, Hockey Operations