IIHF World Junior Championship
Canada vs. Swizterland @ HSBC Arena
I hope everyone had a good New Year's celebration wherever in the world you were!
We may have not gotten the bye, we may have not have the easy way to the gold-medal game, we may have lost to the Swedes, but we are not out of this yet. We cannot lose, we have a pulse, we just have to keep playing our game.
Switzerland is not to be overlooked though. Benjamin Conz is their go-to goalie and he is worth the position. Conz has been one of the main guys that carried Switzerland in last year's tournament, and his great play is what got him the 2010 tournament's goaltender of the tournament award. The Swiss also has Nino Neiderreiter (love this guys name!) as their captain. A very good forward, we'll see how he captains his team against the Canadians.
Dave Cameron has chosen Mark Visentin for the starting goalie position. We will get to see Visentin get a bigger test today than he did against Norway. These games matter so Cameron better be right on this (I'm still vouching for Roy). And the Canadian team gets Zach Kassian back since he has served both of his suspended games. Win!
Not off to the start they wanted, Mark Visentin allowed a bad goal 1:09 into the game. Visentin got caught cheating a little off of his post and in the couple of centimeters of space between his skate and the post, the puck snuck in and how much would Visentin would've loved to have that back, eh? Inti Pestoni just threw it behind him on goal, not expecting a goal, but got the goal to put his team up by one.
Canada is given means to amend themselves soon after. A minute and some after the Swiss goal, Canada is awarded a power-play and then a minute after that they earned a 2-man-advantage. But despite a couple of good chances, Canada could not capitalise and did not score on those PPs.
After seeing him labour a little during the Norway game (kind of went unnoticed in the Sweden game), Dylan Olsen headed to the Canadian dressing room with a bit of a limp and some more labour. We're already depleted, man, don't do this to us! But when he started towards the room, Canada started to look a bit more like Canada with less of the nervous edge.
With 4:54 left in the opening period and on the PP, Ryan Ellis sends the puck down to Brayden Schenn who made the cross-crease pass to Ryan Johansen who beats the pads of Benjamin Conz to tie the game at one!
After a long time of no scoring, the clock ticks down to 2:32 left in the second period. Casey Cizikas took control of the play and slowed time down to just him, Louis Leblanc, and Benjamin Conz. Leblanc provided the best of support for his teammate, but Cizikas took advantage of a little edging Conz and shot the puck above the head of Conz to give Canada the go-ahead goal!
Despite the careful play of the Swiss, Louis Leblanc gets a goal to complement his play today and beats Conz short-side to give Canada the 2-goal lead! Leblanc played great away from the puck, he provided great support, and generated some good chances, it was about time he got a goal to go with his game!
The game wasn't over yet and Zach Kassian beat Nino Niederreiter to the open net to get a goal for the tournament, Canada, and to avenge his suspension.
Guess who Canada and Canadian fans want? WE WANT USA!
Player of the Game: Ryan Johansen (CAN), Tristan Scherwey (SUI)
My 3 stars:
(1) Ryan Johansen
(2) Benjamin Conz
(3) Louis Leblanc
Ryan Johansen: 1 G Inti Pestoni: 1 G
Casey Cizikas: 1 G Sven Bartschi: 1 A
Louis Leblanc: 1 G
Zach Kassian: 1 G
Brayden Schenn: 2 A
Ryan Ellis: 1 A
Simon Despres: 1 A
Carter Ashton: 1 A
Cody Eakin: 1 A
Dylan Olsen: 1 A