TV: TSN | Stream: TSN Direct
With its lone pre-tournament game behind it,
Canada’s National Men’s Summer U18 Team
opens up prelim play at the 2022 Hlinka Gretzky Cup against Switzerland on
Canada’s lone exhibition game was a fruitful one, as it
shut out Finland 6-0 on Friday night.
The Canadians got goals from six different players, with Mathieu Cataford
and Tanner Howe finishing with a goal and an assist each. Carson Bjarnason
and Scott Ratzlaff split goaltender duties and turned away 15 and 10 shots,
respectively, to blank the Finns.
Switzerland also came out on top in its tuneup,
beating Germany 4-2.
Simon Meier scored the game-winner at 5:26 of the third period and added an
assist, and Kevin Zürcher also had a goal and a helper. Diego Simeoni
stopped all 15 shots he faced through 35 minutes before Ewan Huet turned
aside six of eight the rest of the way.
Canada last saw Switzerland at the 2019 Hlinka Gretzky Cup, coming away
an 8-0 win over the Swiss
in the preliminary round. The Canadians got a pair of goals from Cole
Perfetti and Hendrix Lapierre as they outshot Switzerland 48-8.
WHAT TO WATCH
Cataford earned Player of the Game honours in Friday’s pre-tournament win
thanks to his two-point effort. The Halifax Mooseheads forward went sixth
overall in the 2021 QMJHL Entry Draft and was named to the QMJHL All-Rookie
Team in his 2021-22 season with 46 points (in 62 games (17-29—46). Cataford
can just as easily finish a play as he can set up one, helping to make the
Canadians an offensive threat.
Against a heavy shooting Canadian side, the Swiss will need to stay solid
between the posts. Simeoni and Huet split goaltending duties in
Switzerland’s pre-tournament win Germany, with Simeoni stopping all 15
shots he faced. Expect to see him get the start in the tournament opener.
A LOOK BACK
Canada has dropped just one of 17 games to the Swiss since 2001, winning 10
games by at least three goals, including each of the last four. The only
game that needed extra time came at the 2013 Memorial of Ivan Hlinka
tournament; in that one, Spencer Watson and Brayden Point were the shootout
scorers for the Canadians in
a 4-3 prelim win, with Julio Billia turning away 38 shots.
All-time record: Canada leads 16-1-0 (1-0 in OT/SO)
Canada goals: 97
Switzerland goals: 36