Canada defeats Switzerland to earn berth to semi-finals

Gemma Karstens-Smith, The Canadian Press

EDMONTON — Logan Stankoven shined with two goals and an assist as Canada edged Switzerland 6-3 in the quarterfinals of the World Junior Hockey Championship on Wednesday in Edmonton.

However, even if he is used to scoring goals, doing it at the World Junior Hockey Championship is not that easy.

“It’s harder than I thought, that’s for sure,” said the Kamloops Blazers forward, who was also named Canadian Junior Hockey’s Most Outstanding Player of the Year in June.

“Goals don’t come easily. I had chances, but not as many as I would like. Tonight I think I was able to generate more chances and the puck found the back of the net. So it was a good feeling.”

Tyson Foerster also hit the target while picking up two assists. Jack Thompson, Nathan Gaucher and Will Cuylle also flashed the red light for the Maple Leaf.

Ronan Seeley had two assists for Canada (5-0-0).

On the Swiss side (1-4-0), Attilio Biasca found the back of the net twice and captain Simon Knak scored.

After a four-goal surge in the first period, the Canadiens struggled at times on Wednesday. In particular, they offered excellent scoring chances to the Swiss due to nonchalant plays.

“We definitely didn’t want to take those guys lightly, but they played aggressively and took us by surprise,” said goaltender Dylan Garand, who made 23 saves for Canada. “It hasn’t been pretty, but we’re moving on to the next round.”

Swiss goalkeeper Noah Patenaude allowed four goals on nine shots before giving way to Kevin Pasche in the first period. In relief, Pasche stopped 30 shots.

Canada will play Friday in the semi-finals, but will have to wait a few hours to know the identity of its opponent. He will cross swords with the winner of the last quarter-final match, which will oppose the United States (4-0-0) and Czechia (1-2-1).

The Swiss retired Pasche with 3:15 remaining in favor of a sixth skater, but were unable to close the two-goal deficit.

Instead, Stankoven put the final nail in Switzerland’s coffin with a goal with 69 seconds left in the game.

“It’s the dreaded quarter-final game where you play against a team that has absolutely nothing to lose,” Canada head coach Dave Cameron said of the pressure. “And give them credit — they put pressure on us and they made the game interesting. But we found a way to win.

Canadian forward Ridly Greig retired to the locker room midway through the first period with a shoulder injury. He did not return to the game.


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