BARZAL’S THREE POINTS LEAD CANADA OVER HOSTS AT U18 WORLDS
JASON LA ROSE
ZUG, Switzerland – Mathew Barzal (Coquitlam, B.C./Seattle, WHL) scored twice and added an assist, helping Canada’s National Men’s Under-18 Team to a 4-1 win over Switzerland on Saturday at the 2015 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 World Championship.
Canada and Finland sit atop Group B with six points apiece through three days of action at Bossard Arena.
Nicolas Roy (Amos, Que./Chicoutimi, QMJHL) and Anthony Beauvillier (Sorel, Que./Shawinigan, QMJHL) were the other goal-scorers for Canada, which has opened 2-0 at the world championship for the third year in a row, and fourth time in its last five tries.
Barzal didn’t waste any time converting on Canada’s first power play opportunity, taking a feed from Mitchell Stephens (Peterborough, Ont./Saginaw, OHL) and going to the backhand to beat Swiss netminder Joren van Pottelberghe just 13 seconds into the man advantage, and just four minutes into the game.
A fortuitous bounce helped Canada double its lead early in the second period; leading the rush into the Swiss zone, Barzal’s centering feed deflected off the stick of Jonas Siegenthaler and in for a 2-0 advantage.
Roy made it a 3-0 game midway through the middle frame, camping out at the top of the crease and banging in the rebound of a Deven Sideroff (Summerland, B.C./Kamloops, WHL) shot on another Canadian power play.
The Swiss got one back on a power play of their own late in the second when Dominik Diem finished off a pretty pass from Denis Malgin, but that would be the only puck to beat Canadian goaltender Evan Cormier (Bowmanville, Ont./Saginaw, OHL), who stopped 19 of 20 shots in his first start of the tournament.
Beauvillier capped the scoring with Canada’s third power play marker of the game, rifling a wrist shot past van Pottelberge on the short side just 30 seconds into the third period.
The Canadians outshot Switzerland in every period, and finished with a 29-20 advantage overall.
Canada is right back to preliminary round action on Sunday when it takes on the Czech Republic (12:30 p.m. ET/9:30 a.m. PT) in a game that can be seen live on TSN2.