CANADA DOWNS SWISS, WINS AGAIN AT U18 WORLDS
JASON LA ROSE
UMEÅ, Sweden – Brayden Tracey (Calgary, Alta./Moose Jaw, WHL) scored two goals for the second day in a row, helping Canada’s National Men’s Under-18 Team withstand a comeback from Switzerland and earn a 7-4 win Friday at the 2019 IIHF U18 World Championship.
The Canadians led 3-0 after the first period, but the Swiss tied the game late in the second, and were within one midway through the third before a pair of late goals clinched the three points.
Tracey added an assist to his two goals, while Thomas Harley (Jamesville, N.Y./Mississauga, OHL), Connor Zary (Saskatoon, Sask./Kamloops, WHL) and Peyton Krebs (Okotoks, Alta./Winnipeg, WHL) chipped in with a goal and a helper apiece.
The line of Tracey, Zary and Jamieson Rees (Hamilton, Ont./Sarnia, OHL) took charge early, producing a pair of goals before the eight-minute mark of the first period; Tracey set up Zary for a tap-in just 3:40 in, and Zary found Tracey in the slot at 7:04 to make it 2-0.
A turnover deep in the Swiss zone found its way onto the stick of Philip Tomasino (Mississauga, Ont./Niagara, OHL), and he found Harley for the 3-0 goal just past the midway mark of the opening frame.
Canada came out firing in the second period, peppering Swiss goaltender Andri Henauer with 23 shots, but it was the Europeans who found the scoreboard and got even.
Elvis Schläpfer went upstairs on the short side to beat Canadian netminder Taylor Gauthier (Calgary, Alta./Prince George, WHL) at 2:57, he redirected in a power-play goal at 9:41 and Denys Rubanik got a shot through traffic at 16:02 to tie the game.
Krebs quashed the momentum late in the middle stanza, getting a piece of a shot from Jamie Drysdale (Toronto, Ont./Erie, OHL) to send Canada to the intermission with its lead restored.
Tracey struck again early in the third, poking in a power-play goal on a five-on-three, but Joel Salzgeber jumped on a loose puck less than three minutes later to make it a one-goal game again.
But the Swiss would get no closer; Dylan Cozens (Whitehorse, Y.T./Lethbridge, WHL) was left all alone in front to hammer in a one-timer near the halfway point of the final period, and Dylan Holloway (Bragg Creek, Alta./Okotoks, AJHL) finished a give-and-go with Krebs to provide the final margin of victory.
Canada ended with a one-sided advantage in shots on goal, 60-28.
After an off day Saturday, the Canadians resume prelim play when they face off against Belarus on Sunday (1:30 p.m. ET/10:30 a.m. PT). Canada had the upper hand in a pre-tournament meeting between the teams, scoring a 6-5 overtime victory last Sunday.