Wayne Simmonds and Claude Giroux had a goal and an assist apiece, helping Canada’s National Men’s Team to a 4-1 win over Switzerland on Tuesday in exhibition action ahead of the 2017 IIHF World Championship.
It was the lone pre-tournament game for the Canadians, who are two-time defending world champions.
Canada struck quickly to take control, scoring twice before the six-minute mark of the first period.
Chris Lee opened the scoring at 4:16, beating Swiss goaltender Leonardo Genoni from the slot, and Sean Couturier doubled the lead at 5:42, getting his shot past Genoni from a sharp angle.
The offensive onslaught continued from the Canadians with Giroux scoring unassisted to make it 3-0 just part the 13-minute mark, before Pius Suter poked a rebound past Canadian netminder Chad Johnson late in the first period to make it a two-goal game after 20 minutes.
Canada kept it coming in the second period, but Genoni was there to keep his team within striking distance; the Swiss puck-stopper finished with 37 saves, and stopped 29 of 30 in the final two periods.
Simmonds capped the scoring with less than four minutes to go in the middle frame, finishing on the power play; Jeff Skinner and Giroux earned the helpers on the 4-1 goal.
The Canadian pressure continued in the third but Genoni was perfect on 15 chances in the final stanza, keeping the final margin of victory at three.
Johnston stopped nine of the 10 shots he faced in just over 29 minutes of work before giving way to Calvin Pickard, who turned aside all seven shots directed his way.
Canada finished with a 41-17 advantage in shots on goal.
It heads now to Paris, where it will open defence of its gold medal Friday against the Czech Republic in the Group B curtain-raiser for both at the world championship.
IHLC: With the win, Canada wins back the International Hockey Lineal Championship, the 63rd such title in their history, reclaiming their place on the throne for the first time since November. In fact, their last win as champions was over the Swiss, a 3-0 victory at the 2016 Deutschland Cup; today’s win gives Canada a fourth straight IHLC victory over Switzerland. This game actually marked a tiebreaker of sorts over the IHLC this season, as both Canada and Switzerland entered the game with seven IHLC wins apiece this year. The victory most importantly means that Canada will start the 2017 World Championships in Paris with the IHLC, meaning their first defence will be on opening night versus the Czechs.
04:16 – GOAL – Lee (MacKinnon)
05:42 – GOAL – Couturier (Simmonds)
09:41 – PEN – Johnson, delay of game
13:06 – GOAL – Giroux
13:31 – PEN – Card, delay of game
18:48 – GOAL – Suter (Almond)
34:45 – PEN – Untersander, holding
36:38 – PP GOAL – Simmonds (Skinner, Giroux)
42:53 – PEN – Almond, hooking
54:29 – PEN – Demers, cross checking
57:23 – PEN – Romy, slashing
W: Johnson (9-10), Pickard (7-7)
L: Genoni (37-41)
SHOTS ON GOAL
11+15+15 = 41
7+6+4 = 17
Goaltenders: Chad Johnson, Calvin Pickard. Defence: Tyson Barrie, Mike Card, Calvin de Haan, Jason Demers, Chris Lee, Michael Matheson, Josh Morrissey. Forwards: Sean Couturier, Matt Duchene, Claude Giroux, Alex Killorn, Travis Konecny, Ryan O’Reilly, Nathan MacKinnon, Mitchell Marner, Brayden Point, Mark Scheifele, Brayden Schenn, Wayne Simmonds, Jeff Skinner.
Goaltenders: Leonardo Genoni, Niklas Schlegel. Defence: Raphael Díaz (C), Joël Genazzi, Dean Kukan, Romain Loeffel, Christian Marti, Dominik Schlumpf, Dave Sutter, Ramon Untersander. Forwards: Cody Almond, Andres Ambühl, Simon Bodenmann, Damien Brunner, Fabrice Herzog, Denis Malgin, Tanner Richard, Kevin Romy, Thomas Rüfenacht, Reto Schäppi, Reto Suri, Pius Suter.