Hockey Canada Network |
Canada Defeats Switzerland 5-4 in Final Round-Robin Game at IIHF Inline World Championship Advances to Semifinal Round to Play Finland on Friday
July 22, 1998

ANAHEIM, CA -- Hugo Belanger's second goal of the game on a wraparound shot at 2:20 of the fourth period snapped a 4-4 tie and lifted Team Canada to a 5-4 victory over Switzerland on Wednesday and a berth in the semifinals at the 1998 IIHF World Inline Hockey Championship.

Canada, the twice-defending silver medalist in this event, will meet Finland in one semifinal, while two-time defending gold medalist Team USA will play the pesky Swiss in the other. The winners of the two semifinals will play in the Gold Medal game on Saturday at the Arrowhead Pond of Anaheim, while the losers will play there in the Bronze-Medal game.

Switzerland grabbed a 1-0 lead in Wednesday night's game before Victor Gervais of Prince George, BC, scored his sixth and seventh goals of the tournament to give Canada a 2-1 lead. Belanger, of St-Hubert, QC, made it 3-1 when he scored on a set-up from Gervais at 1:20 of the second quarter.

But Switzerland, playing with just 11 skaters, narrowed the score to 3-2 at halftime on a goal by Rolp Schrepfer, then moved into a 4-3 lead early in the third quarter on goals by Andy Rufener and Peter Schlagenhauf's second of the game.

"We came in here thinking, ÎHow many goals are we going to beat these guys by,'" said Team Canada head coach Doug McCarthy, a native of Edmonton. "The Swiss played that well, too, commenting to us during the day on the same thing.

"The fact is, our work ethic simply wasn't there. But I think this is a great game for us to have at this point of the tournament, because now we've had our backs against the wall in a key game. "That's something all of our players have to know how to react to if we're going to win this tournament."

The reaction of Doug Ast, of Chilliwack, BC, was to take advantage of a bad line change by the Swiss at 9:10 of the third quarter, when he took a lead pass from Calgary's Gary Gulash, streaked up the right wing and buried a wrist shot above Swiss goaltender Matthias Muller's shoulder to tie the game, setting the stage for Belanger's early fourth-quarter heroics.

That didn't end things, though. Canada still had to defend against two potentially costly fourth quarter penalties, and goaltender David Goverde, of Toronto, had to be at his sharpest in the final period, as well.

"I told our guys they all owed Goverde a little tap on the pads to thank him for saving the victory," said McCarthy. "He had to make to great stops on clear breakaways in the fourth quarter. "He just played outstanding."

Both goalies were brilliant, although Muller was busiest, facing 45 shots to 27 for Goverde.

In other games on Wednesday, Germany beat Austria 14-5 and Finland 10 Italy 4. Team USA was playing an evening game against Russia.

For more information:

André Brin
Director, Communications
Hockey Canada

Francis Dupont
Manager, Media Relations/Communications
Hockey Canada

Jason LaRose
Manager, Content Services
Hockey Canada

Kristen Lipscombe
Coordinator, Communications
Hockey Canada

Keegan Goodrich
Coordinator, Media
Hockey Canada

2014 WU18C: CAN 2 - SVK 1
Apr 20, 2014
Brendan Perlini’s two goals led Canada to a victory over the Slovaks.
2014 Esso Cup: WEY 2 - SUD 1
Apr 20, 2014
Jenica Whitrow scoredwith less than two minutes to play to winit for Weyburn.
2014 WU18C: CAN 5 - GER 2
Apr 19, 2014
Ryan Gropp scored with 5:36 to go to help Canada to its second win.
2014 WU18C: CAN 3 - SWE 1
Apr 17, 2014
Virtanen scored twice to lead Canada to the tournament-opening win.
2014 WWU18C: CAN 5 – USA 1
Mar 30, 2014
U18 women win gold.
2014 WWU18C: CAN 1 – RUS 0 (OT)
Mar 29, 2014
Canada edges Russia in overtime.
2014 WWU18C: CAN 5 – CZE 0
Mar 26, 2014
Canadians shut out Czechs.
2014 WWU18C: CAN 7 – FIN 0
Mar 24, 2014
U18 women blank Finland.
2014 WWU18C: CAN 7 – JPN 1
Mar 23, 2014
Canada starts Worlds with win
2014 PARA: CAN 3 – NOR 0 (Bronze)
Mar 15, 2014
Billy Bridges scored a pair of goals to lead Canada to a Paralympic bronze.
2014 PARA: USA 3 – CAN 0 (Semifinal)
Mar 13, 2014
Corbin Watson made seven saves, but Canada will play for Paralympic bronze.
2010 OLYW: Flag Raising
Feb 10, 2010
Canada's National Women's Team taking part in the Flag Raising ceremony at the Olympic Village in Vancouver, B.C.
Photo Credit: