CANADA CLOSES PRE-WJC PLAY WITH WIN OVER SWISS
JASON LA ROSE
HAMILTON, Ont. - Dillon Dubé (Cochrane, Alta./Kelowna, WHL) and Tyler Steenbergen (Sylvan Lake, Alta./Swift Current, WHL) scored two goals apiece, and Canada's National Junior Team finished its pre-tournament schedule with an 8-1 win over Switzerland on Friday night.
The Canadians flexed their offensive muscle in exhibition play, outscoring the Swiss and Czechs by a combined 17-1.
They were just as dominant on the defensive end at the FirstOntario Centre, holding Switzerland to just seven shots on goal, and zero in the final 29 minutes. Canada had a 61-7 advantage in shots overall.
The scoring started early, with Jordan Kyrou (Toronto, Ont./Sarnia, OHL) finishing a gorgeous feed from Josh Mahura (St. Albert, Alta./Regina, WHL) to put the Canadians up 1-0 just 3:43 after the puck dropped.
Steenbergen doubled the lead less than four minutes later, finding a loose puck in the crease and knocking it past Swiss goaltender Philip Wüthrich.
Canada made a goaltending change to start the second period; Colton Point (North Bay, Ont./Colgate University, ECAC) replaced Carter Hart (Sherwood Park, Alta./Everett, WHL), who made three saves in the opening 20 minutes and did not allow a goal in his four periods of pre-tournament work.
Dubé, who missed the exhibition opener on Wednesday, got on the scoreboard at the 2:39 mark of the second, one-timing a centering pass from Sam Steel (Sherwood Park, Alta./Regina, WHL) for a three-goal advantage.
Guillaume Maillard got the Swiss on the board at 4:52, batting the puck up and over Point, but Jake Bean (Calgary, Alta./Calgary, WHL) beat Wüthrich over the glove at 8:15, Drake Batherson (New Minas, N.S./Cape Breton, QMJHL) tipped in a Mahura shot at 10:34 and Dubé snapped home his second of the period at 18:08 to send Canada to the intermission up 6-1.
Matteo Ritz replaced Wüthrich to start the third period, but the Canadians added two goals in rapid succession to finish the scoring; Steenbergen got his second at 7:35 before Kale Clague (Lloydminster, Alta./Brandon, WHL) went end-to-end just 1:34 later.
The Canadians are off to Buffalo for the 2018 IIHF World Junior Championship; they open the tournament against Finland on Boxing Day (4 p.m. ET/1 p.m. PT).