EDITORS NOTE: Jay Bouwmeester had 21:12 of ice time in the game.
HELSINKI, FINLAND -- Captain Ryan Getzlaf scored at 8:02 of the third period to break a 2-2 tie and give Canada a 3-2 win over Switzerland. Jordan Eberle scored goals early in the second and third periods.
"We played them in exhibition games," said Canadian defenceman Duncan Keith. "One went into overtime, and the other was close as well so we had a lot of respect for them."
The win moves Canada to 3-0-1-0 and 10 points, tops in Group A. Switzerland is in third place with a record of 2-0-0-2 and six points.
"We know we can play on the same level as them, and Finland, like we did last night," said Swiss Mathias Seger. "It's a tough group for us, but we saw that we can play with the big teams and have a chance to get some points. That gives us faith for the next games.
Switzerland opened the scoring just 1:40 into the game on a strange play. Goran Bezina took a shot just inside the Canadian blue line off the rush, but as a group of players went to the net, the puck hit a body and fell to Damien Brunner who was alone to the back side of the play. He had an open net staring him in the face, and he didn’t miss with the shot.
Canada controlled play most of the rest of the period but generated precious few good scoring chances, even though it had the only two power plays of the period. The Swiss played stifling defence and didn’t give Canada any time to get creative or skate the razzle dazzle, as it were. Switzerland had only a few decent shots, but Cam Ward looked shaky in Canada’s net.
Canada came out flying on the opening shift and tied the game thanks to great hustle from the Kid Line of Jeff Skinner (19 years old), John Tavares (21), and Jordan Eberle (21). They created several chances before Eberle finally poked a loose puck in.
Undaunted, the Swiss countered with some good chances of their own. They had a power play which failed to click, and then they lost some momentum by taking two penalties midway through the period. Nonetheless, Canada failed to play with the same energy as it did on that first shift, and the score remained 1-1 after 40 minutes.
Teams exchanged goals early in the third. Eberle repeated his early heroics of the middle period when he scored just 41 seconds into the third. He carried the puck into the Swiss end and waited patiently as everyone backed up. Eberle calmly roofed a backhand to give Canada a 2-1 lead.
Just three minutes later, though, the Swiss tied it up on a lovely three-way passing play during a man advantage, Bezina finishing with a shot between Ward’s pads right in the slot.
Getzlaf put Canada ahead for good at 8:02 when he blew a wicked slapshot by Tobias Stephan, goalie Ward getting the only assist on the play.
"I was skating up the ice all the way. It was me and [Jamie Benn] Benny, and I saw the guy come off the bench. He was suddenly in the picture, so I had to shoot."
Courtesy of the IIHF