VAN POTTELBERGHE, IMPOSE LEAD SWISS TO WJAC-OPENING WIN
KINDERSLEY, Sask. – Auguste Impose scored the lone goal in the third round of the shootout to give Switzerland a come-from-behind 4-3 win over Canada East in the opening game Sunday afternoon at the 2014 World Junior A Challenge.
Impose initially bobbled the puck before lifting a shot past a sprawling Blade Mann-Dixon (Antigonish, N.S./Valley, MHL), and Drake Board (Barrie, Ont./Aurora, OJHL) hit the post on the final Canadian chance in the shootout.
The Swiss, who didn’t arrive in Kindersley until almost 11 p.m. on Saturday night, erased one-goal deficits in the second and third periods to earn the first two points in Group A.
Damien Riat, Misha Moor and Timo Haussener had the goals in regulation time for the Swiss, while Joren Van Pottelberghe finished with 43 saves in regulation and overtime, and was perfect on three chances in the shootout.
Callum Fryer (Oakville, Ont./Aurora, OJHL), Kyle Locke (Aurora, Ont./Aurora, OJHL) and Lucas Batt (Lewisporte, N.L./Amherst, MHL) scored for Canada East, which has dropped seven in a row at the tournament, dating back to the 2012 semifinals.
Riat needed just six seconds of a Swiss power play to open the scoring, sneaking a shot from the point past Mann-Dixon at 7:16 of the first period.
Fryer quickly drew even once the puck dropped to start the second, beating Van Pottelberghe from the point just 27 seconds into the middle frame, and Locke found the back of the net on a Canadian power play at 7:46 to give the easterners their first lead.
But Switzerland answered just 22 seconds after Locke’s goal; Moor made it a 2-2 game heading to the intermission.
Batt gave the Canadians another lead 4:33 into the final period, but Haussener forced overtime with just 3:05 to go, lifting a backhand over the glove of Mann-Dixon.
Haussener, Alex Tonge (Kingston, Ont./Kingston, OJHL), Riat and Adam Brady (Delhi, Ont./Kingston, OJHL) missed in the first two rounds before Impose’s winner.
The Swiss finish their preliminary round schedule against the Americans on Monday night (7:30 p.m. CT), while Canada East faces the Americans on Tuesday afternoon (3:30 p.m. CT).