FIVE SECOND-PERIOD GOALS LEAD CANADA EAST OVER SWISS IN WJAC OPENER
WHITBY, Ont. – Luc Brown (Napanee, Ont./Wellington, OJHL) found the back of the net once and added three assists, and Makail Parker (Brooklyn, N.S./South Shore, MHL) had a goal and two helpers to pace Canada East’s offence in an 8-3 win over Switzerland on Sunday night in the 2015 World Junior A Challenge opener for both.
It’s the first time Canada East has won its first game at the tournament since 2011; the three-year winless skid included a 4-3 shootout loss to the Swiss one year ago in Kindersley, Sask.
Despite being outshot 12-6 in the opening period, Switzerland was the first to get on the board after a point shot from Simon Le Coultre found its way through traffic and past Canadian goaltender Colton Point (North Bay, Ont./Carleton Place, CCHL) at the 7:14 mark.
The second period, though, was all Canada East; Josh Dickinson (Georgetown, Ont./Georgetown, OJHL) tied the game at 6:55, capitalizing on a rebound in close, and Lucas Batt gave the Canadians the lead for good just 40 seconds later.
The red-and-white would pile up another three goals in a two-minute span before the end of the middle frame, a run that started when captain Grant Cooper (Cornwall, Ont./Cornwall, CCHL) roofed a backhand over Swiss goaltender Philip Wüthrich at 14:49.
Parker and Brown added their goals just 16 seconds apart for a 5-1 lead after 40 minutes.
Nando Eggenberger ended the run of five-straight Canadian goals, beating Point 4:17 into the third period, but Ben Sokay (Port Hope, Ont./Wellington, OJHL) responded just 36 seconds after that,
Eggenberger scored his second of the game with a five-hole backhand to make it 6-3 at 8:05, but it was too little, too late for the Swiss; Brett Murray (Bolton, Ont./Carleton Place, CCHL) and Owen Grant (Stittsville, Ont./Carleton Place, CCHL) converted late power plays to provide the final scoring.
Canada East will try to wrap up first place in Group A and earn a bye to the semifinals when it faces Russia on Monday night (7 p.m. ET), while the Swiss will face the Russians in the preliminary round finale on Tuesday (7 p.m. ET).