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By Jeff Kolpack, Published April 12 2009

Canadian exchange: Canada takes advantage of power plays in win

Taking on Canada at full strength was tough enough for Switzerland on Saturday afternoon. Short handed? The Swiss had no chance.

Canada converted on a power play on its first four goals and went on to a dominating 8-1 victory in the World U18 Hockey Championships at the Urban Plains Center.

“To be successful in this tournament, you need to generate something on the power play,” said Canada forward John McFarland.

McFarland had one goal and three assists and Canada improved to 2-0 in Group A heading into Monday’s game against Czech Republic. The Canadians have outscored their two opponents 19-3 in methodical fashion.

“Our main focus is to get better every day,” McFarland said.

Forward Ethan Werek had the first two goals and teammates Joey Hishon added two goals later. By then, Switzerland’s 2-1 deficit after one period was a distant memory.

Three Canadian goals in the second period made it an uphill battle.

“Switzerland, as the underdog, we can’t allow so many penalties,” said Swiss head coach Manuele Celio. “We took a couple of stupid penalties. We have to learn to stay disciplined against these good teams that have the good power play.”

The dagger was a loose puck Hishon sneaked past goaltender Benjamin Conz with 27 seconds left in the period that made it 5-1. It was a busy day for Conz, who finished with 43 saves and faced pressure all afternoon.

“We couldn’t clear the puck fast enough,” Celio said. “(Canada) moved the puck really well.”

FIRST PERIOD: 1, Canada, Werek (Elliott, O’Reilly), 10:11 (pp). 2, Canada, Werek (Gudbranson), 13:46 (pp). 1, Switzerland, Niederreiter (Mettler, Schappi), 19:13 (pp).

SECOND PERIOD: 3, Canada, O’Reilly (Olsen, De Haan), 7:55 (pp). 4, Canada, Ferraro (McFarland), 9:34 (pp). 5, Canada, Hishon (McFarland), 19:33.

THIRD PERIOD:6, Canada, Hishon (McFarland, Olsen), 6:03 (pp). 7, Canada, McFarland (Ferraro), 15:34. 8, Canada, Kassian (Holland), 19:17.

GOALIE SAVES: S, Conz 20-7-16—43. C, Zador 7-5-12—24.

A-1,516.


Jeff Kolpack can be heard on the Saturday Morning Sports Show, 10 a.m. to noon on WDAY-AM (970). He can be reached at (701) 241-5546. Kolpack’s NDSU media blog can be found at www.areavoices.com/bisonmedia