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Canada's power play erupts again in 8-1 win over Swiss at world under-18s

NHL.com @NHL

FARGO, N.D. - Canada had plenty to work on heading into the world under-18 hockey championship.

It looks like the power play is functioning just fine.

Ethan Werek and Joey Hishon each scored twice, and the Canadians once again took advantage of an opponent's lack of discipline in an 8-1 win over Switzerland on Saturday.

Werek, who plays for the OHL's Kingston Frontenacs, and Hishon, of the OHL's Owen Sound Attack, combined to score three of Canada's five man-advantage goals against the Swiss. Canada had four goals in five power-play chances in its tournament-opening 11-2 rout of Germany on Thursday.

Canadian head coach Mike Johnston applauded his team's special teams.

"We focused on (special teams) from day one of our camp and it's something our guys feel comfortable with," said Johnston, the head coach of the WHL's Portland Winter Hawks.

"We had a good start tonight and their goaltender was solid in the first period," he added.

"We built momentum as the game went along and our finishers had their chance and put them away."

Ryan O'Reilly of the OHL's Erie Otters, Landon Ferraro of the WHL's Red Deer Rebels, John McFarland of the OHL's Sudbury Wolves and Zach Kassian of the OHL's Peterborough Petes had the other goals for Canada (2-0), while Michael Zador of the OHL's Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds earned the win in goal.

Nino Niederreiter had the lone goal for Switzerland (0-2).

Johnston said prior to the tournament that it would be difficult to get his team to mesh on short notice. But two games in, it's hard to see any weaknesses.

As they did in Thursday's tournament-opening win over Germany, the Canadians overcame a so-so first period by dominating thoroughly in the second. And for the second straight game, it was the power play that led the way.

With Nicholas Steiner serving a holding penalty, O'Reilly beat Swiss netminder Sebastien Conz to extend Canada's lead to 3-1. Ferraro, the son of longtime NHL forward Ray Ferraro, made it 4-1 at 9:34 with Tristan Scherwey in the box for tripping.

Hishon's first of the tournament at 19:33 was the first even-strength goal of the game. He added a man-advantage goal 6:03 into the third period to make it 6-1. McFarland and Kassian completed the scoring in the final four minutes.

The games will get tougher for Canada, beginning with Monday's showdown against the Czech Republic (1-1). The Canadians finish Pool A play against Sweden (2-0) on Tuesday.

"The Czechs are one of the top countries in the world, in this tournament they don't have as many players high-end players that are getting looked at by NHL teams, but I like their lineup," said Johnston.

"They're going to be the strong opponents we've faced up to this point."

Switzerland opened the game with a parade to the penalty box - taking three minors in the first nine-and-a-half minutes - and Canada took advantage at 10:11, as Werek beat Conz.

Swiss forward Thomas Mettler was given a slashing minor less than two minutes later, and Werek extended Canada's lead with another power-play goal at 13:46.

Switzerland halved the deficit on their only man advantage of the period. With Brayden McNabb of the WHL's Kootenay Ice serving a tripping minor, Niederreiter fired a shot past Zador with 47 seconds left in the period.

In other Pool A action, the Swedes held on for a 5-4 win over Germany (0-2) at Moorhead, N.D.

In Saturday's late Pool B games, Adam Murray made 36 saves and the host Americans (2-0) held off a three-goal third period rally by Finland (1-1) to win 4-3.

Also, Vladimir Tarasenko scored twice and added two assists as Russia (1-1) rolled over Slovakia (1-1) 7-2.

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