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Canada rolls over Switzerland in convincing fashion

Photos by Erica Perreaux/Hockey Canada Images

Canada 14 Switzerland 0

Historically, or at least in recent years, Switzerland has created problems for Canada in international hockey.

Not so much this year, at least that hasn’t been the case in the 2022 U18 Hlinka Gretzky Tournament.

The Swiss squad was simply overwhelmed by Team Canada on Sunday night at the Peavey Mart Centrium, coming out on the severely short end of a 14-0 count.

“We were expecting more,” said Canada head coach Stephane Julien. “We watched the last two games they played in Europe against Germany, and were expecting more as far as a compete level.”

That being said . . . “I have to give credit to our players with the details.”

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The Canadians not only killed off an early penalty, they got the only goal they would need when Cody Barlow (Owen Sound, OHL) scored on a short-handed breakaway 2:02 into the contest. Barlow added another short-handed tally in the opening period.

“That first kill we got a big save by Scott (netminder Ratzlaff, Seattle WHL) and turned around and scored the first goal,” said Julien. “I thought that was a big turning point of the game and then after that we had opportunities.

“We have skill, we have talent. If teams give us time in the offensive zone we can make those teams pay for sure.”

The Canadians went on to score eight first-period goals before adding four more in the middle frame and an additional two goals in the final period.

Also finding the back of the net for Team Canada were Ethan Gauthier (Sherbrooke, QMJHL) with three goals, Red Deer Rebels forward Kalan Lind, Carson Rehkopf (Kitchener, OHL), Brayden Yager (Moose Jaw, WHL), Matthew Wood (Victoria, BCHL), Andrew Cristall (Kelowna, WHL), Denver Barkey (London, OHL), Caden Price (Kelowna, WHL), Calum Ritchie (Oshawa, OHL) and Riley Heidt (Prince George, WHL).

Julien admitted that a blowout win can be difficult for a team in regards to maintaining a focus.

“In a short term tournament you don’t want to take bad habits. That’s a challenge from the coaches if the score is a big high, that can make it difficult,” he said. “But overall we’re not disappointed. It’s a human thing when you get a lead like that. But overall we had I think 10 shots against with six or seven minutes left in the game. We can’t be disappointed with that.”

Indeed, Canadian goaltender Ratzlaff (Spokane, WHL) faced fewer than 20  shots while recording the shutout.

Julien praised Barlow for his short-handed tallies. 

“He’s a guy with a lot of power and he’s very good with his body on the penalty kill,” said the Team Canada coach. “He takes a lot of space and is very good with his stick. You see the two goals he scored today, he was very good with his stick and put it in second or even third gear.”

“I’m just going out there and working hard, doing the best I can every shift,” said Barlow. 

“This is an amazing hockey team. Everyone is really talented and works hard. It’s just a special group here.”

Czechia 4 Finland 3 (SO)

In a morning contest, Eduard Sale’s shootout goal lifted Czechia over Finland.

Jakub Stanci notched a pair of regulation time goals, while Adam Zidlicky also scored for the winners. Replying for Finland were Joona Saarelainen, Kalle Kanga and Kasper Halttunen.

Czechia goaltender MIchael Hrabal made 33 saves as Finland held a 36-22 advantage in shots.

United States 8 Germany 1

Will Whitelaw scored twice and recorded an assist for the Americans, while Andrew Strathman recorded a goal and two assists and Griffin Erdman had one goal and a single helper.

The Americans outshot the Germans 49-15.

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