Following a much closer Group A battle with Slovakia that saw the Canadian National Junior Hockey Team win 3-1 on Sunday, the Canadians were back to their dominating ways on Tuesday. Facing off against Switzerland, Canada pumped 52 shots on Swiss netminder Noah Patenaude, which resulted in 10 goals for. Unfortunately none of Switzerland’s 15 shots found their way past Devon Levi, resulting in a 10-0 shutout victory for the home team.
Canada received Brandon Wheat Kings defenceman Braden Schneider back to its lineup following the completion of his one-game suspension for checking to the head, while the team also saw University of Wisconsin forward Dylan Holloway return following a one-game upper-body injury absence.
Led by the strong offensive play of 2020 second overall NHL draft pick Quinton Byfield, Canada’s offence really got going in the second period. Through 20 minutes, the team had but a 1-0 lead, while seeing the team handily handily outshoot the Swiss.
Despite owning multiple power play opportunities – including 1:12 worth of five-on-three time – the Canadians were unable to strike on any of their early man advantages. On the other hand, Switzerland also failed to capitalize on any of its three first period power plays.
Red-hot Philip Tomasino continued his scoring streak, as he potted his fourth of the tournament off a defensive zone turnover by a Swiss defenceman in the early stages of the game. Assisted by Byfield and Jack Quinn, Tomasino fired a wrist shot high blocker side just 1:30 into the contest, marking Canada’s only goal of the opening frame.
“It’s always nice to get one on your first shift, it definitely starts the game on the right step for sure,” Tomasino said following the first period. “I think I’ve definitely taken advantage of my opportunity and have gotten the chance to play with some great players, so that definitely helps. But overall I feel pretty good about my game but there is a long ways to go and there is a lot left here for our team.”
Just 1:05 into the second period, Switzerland’s Lorenzo Canonica took his second minor penalty of the game, which led directly to Canada’s first power play marker of the period. Jets’ 2020 first rounder Cole Perfetti fired a one-timer from the top of the circle, where Dylan Cozens collected the rebound and potted his fourth of the tournament just 35 seconds into the power play.
Seven minutes later, Jakob Pelletier found his second goal of the tournament. On a break up ice, forward Connor Zary missed the net wide on the short side, and the rebound landed directly on the stick of Pelletier. He made no mistake putting it off the post and into the net past Saint John Sea Dogs keeper Patenaude.
Later, with Alessandro Villa in the box for high sticking, the Canadian power play struck again. This time it took 1:16 of the minor penalty for the team to score. Following a Ryan Suzuki shot, Byfield attempted a shot on net, but the puck rebounded off his stick and right back to Suzuki, who tucked it past Petenaude, giving Canada a 4-0 lead.
With just 2:07 left to play in the middle stanza, Connor McMichael stepped into a one-timer following a phenomenal offensive-zone pass by Cozens. His long shot from the top of the circle also found its way into the net, fiving Canada a five-goal lead through 40 minutes.
The third period was all Quinton Byfield, as the Canadian team potted another five goals, including two from Byfield and one from Perfetti, who found his first of the tournament off a nifty offensive-zone pass from Winnipeg ICE captain Peyton Krebs. Perfetti’s goal, which made the game 8-0, came just 1:02 after Byfield’s second of the period.
Canada added two more markers, including the 10th goal of the game, which came on the team’s 50th shot of the evening. The final shots ended up being 52-15 for Canada, while the Swiss netminder stopped 42 pucks in defeat. Byfield’s six-point night matches Cozens’ total from the tournament opener against Germany. Byfield and Swiss captain Simon Knak earned the ‘Stars of the Game’ recognition.
“The first goal dragged us a little bit down, but the first period wasn’t bad,” Knak said post-game. “In the last two periods we didn’t show up or show any character, and that was a big problem in this game.”
With four goals in the second period and five in the third, Canada has upped its goals for/against to 29-3 through nine periods of tournament play. The team will now look to keep its perfect 3-0-0 record in tact as it takes on Finland in a New Years Eve showdown on Thursday evening. Puck drop is scheduled for 5:00 PM central. The game can be viewed live on TSN in Canada and the NHL Network in the United States.