CANADA ROLLS OVER SWISS, MOVES INTO SEMIFINALS AT WJC
JASON LA ROSE
BUFFALO, N.Y. - Drake Batherson (New Minas, N.S./Cape Breton, QMJHL) scored a pair of goals and Brett Howden (Oakbank, Man./Moose Jaw, WHL) added a goal and three assists, sending Canada's National Junior Team to the semifinals at the 2018 IIHF World Junior Championship with an 8-2 quarter-final win over Switzerland on Tuesday.
The Canadians will face the Czech Republic in the semis on Thursday. The game time will be confirmed once all four quarter-finals have been completed.
Canada controlled the play from the first drop of the puck, scoring three times in the first 13 minutes and directing 60 shots at the Swiss goaltending duo of Philip Wüthrich and Matteo Ritz.
Carter Hart (Sherwood Park, Alta./Everett, WHL) needed to make just 13 saves to record his third win of the tournament.
It took less than a minute for the scoring to start; Maxime Comtois (Longueuil, Que./Victoriaville, QMJHL) fed Howden for a 1-0 lead just 48 seconds after the puck dropped.
Cale Makar (Calgary, Alta./University of Massachusetts, HE) made it three consecutive games with a goal, dancing in off the blue-line and wiring a wrist shot past Wüthrich at 8:29, and Batherson jammed in a power play goal from in close at 12:06 to send Canada to the intermission up three.
Batherson added his second goal just past the six-minute mark of the second period, jumping off the bench and picking up a loose puck before picking the top corner over the glove of Wüthrich.
He played a role in the fifth Canadian goal without being on the ice; after Jordan Kyrou (Toronto, Ont./Sarnia, OHL) broke his stick, he grabbed Batherson's just seconds before snapping a quick shot under the arm of Wüthrich.
That was all for the Swiss goaltender, who was replaced by Ritz.
Dario Rohrbach got one back for Switzerland at 8:46 when his redirection hit the skate of Dante Fabbro (Coquitlam, B.C./Boston University, HE) and eluded Hart, but Conor Timmins (Thorold, Ont./Sault Ste. Marie, OHL) snuck in off the blue-line to finish a Tyler Steenbergen (Sylvan Lake, Alta./Swift Current, WHL) set-up and restore the five-goal lead after 40 minutes.
Less than a minute after Axel Simic scored shorthanded for the Swiss just past the midway mark of the third period, Dillon Dubé (Cochrane, Alta./Kelowna, WHL) ripped home a one-timer to make it 7-2, and Comtois put in his own rebound in the final minute to finish the scoring.
The Canadians got multi-point efforts from six players - in addition to Batherson and Howden, Comtois had a goal and two assists, and Timmins, Makar and Kyrou chipped in with a goal and a helper apiece.