TORONTO, Ont. – Canada’s National Junior Team jumped out to a 3-0 lead just seven minutes into the game, but it needed an overtime goal from Nicolas Roy (Amos, Que./Chicoutimi, QMJHL) to beat Switzerland 4-3 to complete a perfect pre-competition schedule ahead of the 2017 IIHF World Junior Championship.
Philippe Myers’ (Moncton, N.B./Rouyn-Noranda, QMJHL) shot from just inside the blue-line went wide right but came back around the left side of the net, where Roy backhanded it in.
Canada finished with a 3-0 mark in pre-tournament play. It opens the World Juniors on Boxing Day against Russia (8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT).
Dylan Strome (Mississauga, Ont./Erie, OHL) and Dillon Dubé (Cochrane, Alta./Kelowna, WHL) had a goal and an assist, and Dante Fabbro (Coquitlam, B.C./Boston University, HE) also scored in regulation for Canada.
Carter Hart (Sherwood Park, Alta/Everett, WHL) got the win in goal.
The game appeared to be going the same direction as Canada’s first two pre-tournament games. The team defeated both Finland and the Czech Republic 5-0.
Only 1:30 into this one, Canada went to the power play. And only five seconds after that the man-advantage was over. Mathew Barzal (Coquitlam, B.C./Seattle, WHL) sent a cross-ice pass to Strome, who struck a one-timer from the right dot.
Just over two minutes later, Dubé knocked down the rebound off Noah Juulsen’s (Abbotsford, B.C./Everett, WHL) point shot and scored from the top of the crease.
Canada continued to roll. Fabbro circled near the side boards, came out and scored with a wrist shot from above the face-off circle.
Seven minutes in Canada had scored three goals and Switzerland was still without a shot.
Canada’s impressive shutout streak came to an end in the second period. When Nico Hischier finished off a centering pass from Dominik Diem at the 8:47 point, it marked not just the first goal Canada had allowed in pre-tournament play but the first goal since its first selection camp game, a span of nearly 291 minutes.
Hischier scored his second of the game 5:29 later, this time from the slot off a pass from Loic In Albon.
The Swiss comeback was complete just 1:20 into the third period. Diem’s shot trickled in five-hole on Hart.
Canada outshot Switzerland 32-14 overall.
Joren van Pottelberghe took the loss in net.
Dominique Ducharme, head coach, Canada’s National Junior Team:
“I was hoping for a hard night for our guys. The Swiss played better in the second [period], and we slowed down. We stopped. We stopped skating, and we stopped playing our game. So it was good to face that, and I like the way we reacted after the mid-point of the third period, [and] the way we played for the rest of the game. It’s a free lesson. We’re going to be ready for the 26th.”
Dylan Strome (Mississauga, Ont./Erie, OHL):
“It’s good for us to have a game that was close, and to have to battle. [The Swiss team] took it to us in the second and part of the third, but it was nice for us to have real good pushback in the last 10 minutes of the third. It’s nice to see. Russia’s going to be a tough game, and that’s what we’re building towards.”