Canada survives strong effort from Switzerland


Canada 3, Switzerland 2

Cody Glass (Vegas Golden Knights), MacKenzie Entwhistle (Chicago Blackhawks) and Noah Dobson (New York Islanders) each scored, and Ian Scott (Toronto Maple Leafs) made 15 saves to help Canada to a 3-2 win against Switzerland in Group A at the 2019 IIHF World Junior Championship at Rogers Arena on Thursday.

Canada is 2-0-0-0 and has outscored its opposition 17-2.

Philipp Kurashev (Blackhawks) scored twice and Akira Schmid (New Jersey Devils) made 29 saves for Switzerland (0-0-1-1), which opened with a 2-1 overtime loss to the Czech Republic on Wednesday.

Canada, which opened with a 14-0 win against Denmark, went up 1-0 on Switzerland on the first shift when Glass, picked No. 6 in the 2017 NHL Draft, scored 36 seconds into the first period.

Switzerland settled in, and Kurashev, a fourth-round pick (No. 120) in the 2018 NHL Draft, tied it 1-1 with a power play one-timer 46 seconds into the second period.

Scott made a great glove save off Swiss forward Yannick Bruschweiler alone in the slot at 4:52. Entwhistle, a third-round pick (No. 69) in 2017, put Canada ahead for good at 5:55, converting a pass from Shane Bowers (Colorado Avalanche) to make it 2-1.

Dobson, a defenseman picked No. 12 in the 2018 draft, made it 3-1 at 12:08 of the second period.

“We weren’t playing with urgency, that is probably the biggest thing,” Glass said. “We were trying to make plays that weren’t really there. We were trying to force it.”

Kurashev scored his second power-play goal of the tournament with 1:49 left, and Schmid pulled for an extra attacker, to make it 3-2.

“They’ve only been together a short while, so chemistry and learning how to win these tight games, and living through the goalie-out situations, it’s all new to them and we try to guide them through it and they are navigating pretty well,” said Canada coach Tim Hunter. Overall we’re really happy with where we’re at, just keep building, learn from whatever mistakes we made tonight and get better from it.”

Canada plays the Czech Republic on Saturday (8 p.m. ET; NHLN, TSN). Switzerland plays Denmark on Saturday (4 p.m. ET; NHLN, TSN).

Finland 5, Kazakhstan 0

Kaapo Kakko, an A-rated skater in NHL Central Scouting’s Players to Watch list for the 2019 NHL Draft, scored his first goal of the tournament to help Finland to a 5-0 win against Kazakhstan in Group B at Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre.

Otto Latvala (2019 NHL Draft), Aarne Talvitie (New Jersey Devils), Samuli Vainionpaa, and Aleksi Heponiemi (Florida Panthers) also scored and Filip Lindberg made 18 saves for Finland (1-0-1-0).

Latvala gave Finland a 1-0 lead off a wrist shot from the left circle 12:52 into the first period before Talvitie extended the lead 2:16 later with an unassisted goal off a turnover. Vainionpaa scored 12:49 into the second to give Finland a 3-0 lead.

Kakko, a projected top-5 pick in the 2019 draft, gave Finland a 4-0 lead 7:17 into the third period and Heponiemi made it 5-0 at 9:13.

Demid Yeremeyev made 51 saves for Kazakhstan (0-0-1-0).

Finland plays Slovakia on Saturday (6:30 p.m. ET); Kazakhstan will play the United States on Friday (10:30 p.m. ET; NHLN, TSN).

Russia 4, Denmark 0

Alexander Romanov (Montreal Canadiens) had a goal and two assists, Danil Tarasov (Columbus Blue Jackets) made 21 saves, and Russia opened its tournament with a 4-0 win against Denmark in Group A at Rogers Arena on Thursday.

Vitali Kravtsov (New York Rangers), Pavel Shen (Boston Bruins) and Ivan Morozov (Vegas Golden Knights) scored for Russia, which was outshot 21-20.

Goalie William Rorth started for Denmark after replacing Mads Sogaard in the third period of a 14-0 loss to Canada on Wednesday. Rorth, who gave up three goals on four shots against Canada, made 16 saves.

Kravtsov, the No. 9 pick in the 2018 NHL Draft, made it 1-0 at 6:28 of the first period after a three-way passing play on the power play. 

Romanov, a defenseman picked in the second round (No. 38) of the 2018 draft, made it 2-0 with 2:10 left in the second period with a screened shot from the top of the left face-off circle. The 18-year-old, who does not have a point in 28 Kontinental Hockey League games with CSKA, assisted two goals in the third period.  

Shen, a seventh-round pick (No. 212) pick in the 2018 draft, scored at 13:56 to make it 3-0, and Morozov, picked in the second round (No. 61) in the 2018 draft, scored into an empty net with 1:25 left to make it 4-0.

Sweden 5, Slovakia 2

Emil Bemstrom scored two goals to help lead Sweden to a 5-2 victory against Slovakia at Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre in Group B on Thursday.

The win gives Sweden 46 straight victories in preliminary-round play at the World Junior Championship. Sweden’s last loss was 3-2, in overtime, against the United States on Dec. 31, 2006.

Lucas Elvenes (Vegas Golden Knights) and Isac Lundestrom (Anaheim Ducks) each had a goal and an assist, and Erik Brannstrom (Golden Knights) scored for Sweden (2-0-0-0).

Elvenes opened the scoring at 11:42 of the first period. Bemstrom (Columbus Blue Jackets) scored his first goal at 16:12 of the first period to give Sweden a 2-1 lead. He scored a power-play goal 6:40 into the second period for a 3-1 lead.

Brannstrom scored his third power-play goal in two tournament games to give Sweden a 4-1 lead 5:09 into the third period. Sweden’s final goal at 12:37 of the third.  

Adam Liska, who tied the game at 1-1 at 13:43 of the first and Milos Fafrak scored for Slovakia (0-0-2-0). Farfak’s goal at 8:42 of the third made it 4-2.

Sweden plays the United States at Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre on Saturday (10:30 p.m. ET; NHLN, TSN). Slovakia plays Finland on Saturday (6:30 p.m. ET).