The goals came early and often as Team Canada routed Team Switzerland 8-2 to gain a berth in the semi-finals of the World Junior Ice Hockey Championships. While the Canadians were heavily favoured going into the match, any hope of a Swiss upset quickly vanished as forward Brett Howden scored for team Canada just 48 seconds into the first period.
It was clear that the Canadians would not let up after another two goals made the score 3-0 at the first break. The Canadian offense did not stop scoring in the second period and put two more shots past the Swiss keeper. The young Swiss team tried their best to fight back and scored one goal in the second to make the score 5-1.
The third period was more of the same as the Canadian offense continued its dominance as they scored another three goals to give them a massive lead on the scoreboard. Switzerland managed to score another goal to salvage some pride and end up with a final scoreline of 8-2. Team Canada have now secured a place in the semi-finals of the World Junior Championships where the will face the Czech Republic at the KeyBank Center on Jan 4.
Canada will go into the semi-finals as the favourite once again as they have dominated the Czech Republic in the past. Canada has played the Czech Republic on 16 occasions and has a 13-1 record. Filip Pesan, the head coach of the Czech Republic is optimistic that his young team will be able to change things around in the semi-final because of the pressure that Team Canada will be under.
In a statement, Pesan said
Everyone thinks Canada is going to beat us, but the pressure is on Canada, right? We have a great big heart and we are fighting (in) the game to win. If you see those guys and see it in their eyes, they want to fight, they want to battle, they want to block the shots and that is why we just made the semifinals
For Switzerland its time to look forward to next year's World Juniors in Vancouver. The future does look bright for the young ice hockey team as this year's campaign can only be seen as a learning experience. The Swiss team played 13 under aged players this year in the hopes they will learn from these games and come back stronger for next year.