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Sutter puts Canada through rough practice

Wednesday, 01.01.2014 / 10:37 PM

By Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor / 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship blog

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2014 IIHF World Junior Championship blog
Sutter puts Canada through rough practice

Since Brent Sutter was named coach of Canada's team for the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship, he has preached getting better every day.

That included Wednesday, when he put his team through a rough practice in preparation for its quarterfinal game against Switzerland on Thursday (11 a.m. ET, NHLN-US) at Malmo Isstadion in Malmo, Sweden.

"When you get to this point, every game is like a Game 7," Sutter told Canadian Press. "We have to make sure our emotions are in control and our details are good. It doesn't matter who your opponent is, you have to be at the top of your game. We've got to practice like it's for keeps. You can't just turn a switch on."

Canada rallied for a 3-2 win against the United States on Tuesday to earn the top spot in Group A and a medal-round opener against Switzerland, which finished fourth in Group B. The Swiss ended preliminary-round play with a 4-3 shootout win against Finland on Tuesday. Despite the history between the teams at World Juniors -- Switzerland has never beaten Canada at the tournament and Canada has outscored the Swiss by a total of 126-33 -- Sutter knows the Swiss won't be an easy out.

"They're a disciplined hockey team," Sutter said. "They've kept games close. They're in this position for a reason. They're a very structured team. You've got to be disciplined in your game when you play them. You can't get frustrated."

Canada already has seen the Swiss once, beating them 4-1 in a Dec. 23 pre-tournament game. Canada had five power plays in that game, showing the Canadian players what they can do if they stay disciplined.

However, the Swiss players learned something about the Canadians as well.

"We know their players now," Swiss goalie Melvin Nyffeler told Canadian Press. "They've got a pretty good power play. Last game, we lost because they had so many power plays. Now we're looking forward to playing them, and let's see. In hockey, anything's possible. We have a chance against anybody."

That's why Sutter was seen at Malmo Arena banging his stick on the ice and getting agitated during the skate.

"I don't want to see it slip," he said of his team's level of play.

The only player missing from Canada's practice was Charles Hudon, who was receiving treatment for a shoulder injury sustained in the win against Slovakia on Saturday. He's expected to be in the lineup Thursday.

With Hudon out, Taylor Leier skated at left wing on a line with center Jonathan Drouin and right wing Anthony Mantha. Bo Horvat centered a line with Sam Reinhart at right wing and Scott Laughton at left wing; Nicolas Petan was in the middle with Curtis Lazar at right wing and Connor McDavid on the left; and Frederik Gauthier centered right wing Kerby Rychel and left wing Josh Anderson.

It's expected that Zachary Fucale, the Montreal Canadiens prospect who stopped 24 of 26 shots against the U.S., will be back in goal.

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