POPRAD, Slovakia – Jack Studnicka (Tecumseh, Ont./Oshawa, OHL) and Cody Glass (Winnipeg, Man./Portland, WHL) made their debuts in style, scoring two goals apiece to help Canada’s National Men’s Under-18 Team to a 7-3 win over Switzerland on Monday at the 2017 IIHF U18 World Championship.
Studnicka and Glass were the final two players added to the Canadian roster after their teams were eliminated from the Canadian Hockey League playoffs on the weekend.
Kyle Olson (Calgary, Alta./Tri-City, WHL), Stelio Mattheos (Winnipeg, Man./Brandon, WHL) and MacKenzie Entwistle (Georgetown, Ont./Hamilton, OHL) had the other goals for the Canadians, who won for the third time in as many games to stay within a point of Finland for first place in Group A.
Canada faces the Finns on Tuesday (9:30 a.m. ET/6:30 a.m. PT) to wrap up the preliminary round.
Studnicka didn’t waste any time getting his name on the scoreboard, circling out of the corner and throwing a shot on net that eluded Swiss goaltender Gianluca Zaetta for the 1-0 goal at 9:44.
Glass doubled the lead less than three minutes later, going five-hole on Zaetta to send the Canadians to the dressing room up by a pair.
Studnicka struck again 3:31 into the second period, one-timing in a feed from Matthew Strome (Mississauga, Ont./Hamilton, OHL) to make it 3-0 and chase Zaetta, who was replaced by Akira Schmid after allowing three goals on 13 shots.
Special teams got the Swiss back into the game before the end of the middle frame; Keijo Weibel jumped on a loose puck in the neutral zone and beat Canadian netminder Jake McGrath (Mississauga, Ont./Sudbury, OHL) for a shorthanded goal at 12:33, and Philipp Kurashev converted on a power play at 18:35 to cut the lead to one after 40 minutes.
But Glass redirected a pass from Jocktan Chainey (Asbestos, Que./Halifax, QMJHL) past Schmid just 75 seconds into the third period, and Olson wired in a wrist shot off a Glass set-up at 9:47 to put the Canadians back up by three at 5-2.
Nando Eggenberger scored for Switzerland to make it a two-goal game with less than four minutes to go, but Mattheos hit the empty net with 2:25 left, and Entwistle capped the scoring in the final minute.
McGrath finished with 27 saves in his first start of the tournament.
“Tonight’s game was great at times, and a little sloppy periodically. The penalty-kill was outstanding all night. We will look for our power play to respond with a great effort against Finland, and that, coupled with continued improvement in our game, should make for a great match-up.”
– Darren Rumble (Barrie, Ont./Moncton, QMJHL) on his assessment of Canada’s game against Switzerland, and looking ahead to Finland on Tuesday
“The guys really played well against the Swiss. I had three assists, but really, those were thanks to great plays by my teammates. Overall, I think we played really well and I’m happy with our team’s performance.”
– Jocktan Chainey (Asbestos, Que./Halifax, QMJHL) on his three assists and Canada’s performance against Switzerland