Canada outshot the Swiss, 32-17, but were stymied time and again by big Swiss goalie Akira Schmid. Ian Scott, making his first start, wasn't nearly as busy in Canada's net, but he came up with the save of the game in the second period to inspire Canada at a time when it looked a bit vulnerable.
The win put Canada at 2-0-0-0 this year and the loss put Switzerland at 0-0-1-1. More incredible, Canada has now won all 23 meetings at the U20 against the Swiss dating back to the first game in 1979.
"We could have won that game, but it was a fun game to play in front of 17,000 people," said Swiss forward Matthew Verboon, a dual Swiss-Canadian citizen. "We proved that we can play with anyone."
"We definitely weren't as sharp as we were yesterday," Canadian Brett Leason admitted in reference to the team's easy 14-0 win over Denmark.
"They're a good team, but we got into penalty trouble, especially at the end," added Cody Glass. "We had some trouble with them pre-tournament [5-3 Canada win]. They played a good game. They play together, and they're fast. But in the end, we came out with the win, so that's all that matters."
Canada got off to the perfect start, scoring after just 36 seconds of play. Nick Suzuki made a nice pass to Glass who ripped a quick shot past Schmid. Canada controlled the period but didn’t quite dominate.
The Swiss got their legs and started to play sound defence, and when Jaret Anderson-Dolan took a roughing penalty near the end of the period, the Swiss capitalized with the fresh ice at the start of the second. Captain Nando Eggenberger and Nicolas Muller teamed up behind the end red line and Philipp Kurashev wired a shot from the slot, beating Scott over the glove just 46 seconds in to make it 1-1.
Shane Bowers set up MacKenzie Entwhistle to the side of the net, and he made no mistake, restoring Canada’s lead at 5:55. The rest of the period belonged to the hosts, and they made it 3-1 at 12:08 after some great puck pressure in the Swiss end.
Noah Dobson drove down the right side, fought off a check from Janis Moser, and snapped a shot between Schmid’s pads.
"We stopped the bleeding pretty early, and they didn't get much on us after that," Verboon said of the early goal. "We played simple, closed up defensively. But then the goalie made a nice save, and they scored two quick goals, which kind of demoralized us for the rest of the period."
Canada seemed content to keep it a 3-1 game, but a late penalty to Suzuki in the third gave the Swiss an opening. Coach Christian Wohlwend pulled Schmid, and then a Canadian broke his stick. Kurashev connected, whipping a loose puck into the top corner at 18:11.
Moments later, though, Kurashev took a penalty, and soon after Glass joined him to create a four-on-four. Out came Schmid again, but the Swiss couldn't get the tying marker as the clock ticked towards 0:00.