WJC: Canada 3 Switzerland 2 O/T

For most of this game, the Swiss played it to near perfection. They protected their blueline, collapsed to the front of their net and protected it, got into shooting lanes and blocked shots. They had their own net front presents and took the Canadian blue line time and time again. They played physical and they won board battles.

Just 46 seconds into the game Canada’s Brendan Perlini would take a needless penalty to put the Swiss on the powerplay. It proved costly. The puck would end up at the right point where Noah Rod sent a shot towards the Canadian net.  The shot bounced of the shin pad of Damien Riat and behind Mackenzie Blackwood, who was making his first start after serving his two game suspension.

The Swiss’ net front presents would pay off again. Marco Forrer would fire a shot from the point. Once again, it bounced in off a Swiss player causing havoc in front of the Canadian net, this time it was Dario Meyer, and the Swiss jumped out to a 2-0 lead.

With just 23 seconds remaining in the period, Canada would get one back on what could only be called “a should have had” shot. Dylan Strome moved down the left boards and was almost at the goal line when he fired a shot at the net. Joren van Pottelberghe failed to stand tall in his goal and moved off the post and Strome’s shot went over his right shoulder.

The Swiss would outshoot the Canadians 9-7 in the period and go one for 1 on the powerplay while Canada went zero for one.

It was much of the same for the first half of the second period for the Swiss. But 12:17 into the period, Canadian defender Joe Hicketts made a fine play to keep the puck in the Swiss zone. He sent a pass to Lawson Crouse at the right boards who sent it back to Hicketts who was moving in from the point down the middle of the ice. Hicketts fired a perfect wrister to tie the score at two.

Canada would outshoot the Swiss 10-8 in the period and go zero for two on the powerplay while the Swiss were zero for one.

There would be no scoring in the third as Canada gained a territorial advantage. They also had the only powerplay and outshot the Swiss 16-8.

A five minute overtime would solve nothing as the fast paced extra frame had missed opportunities on both sides.

The game would go to a shootout. After Strome and Pius Suter were stopped, Brayden Point moved in and froze van Pottelberghe, moved to his left and roofed a backhander into the net. Timo Meier would be stopped by Blackwood. In an identical move to Point, Matthew Barzal scored for Canada for the win.

Hicketts and van Pottelberghe were named the players of the game for their respective teams.


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