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Couturier leads Canada to win against Switzerland

by Staff /

Sean Couturier (Philadelphia Flyers) had two assists and was one of seven players to score a goal for Canada in a 7-2 win against Switzerland on Sunday in a Group A preliminary-round game at the 2015 IIHF World Championship played at O2 Arena in Prague.

Aaron Ekblad (Florida Panthers), Cody Eakin (Dallas Stars) and Claude Giroux (Philadelphia Flyers) each had a goal and an assist. Jordan Eberle (Edmonton Oilers), Nathan MacKinnon (Colorado Avalanche) and Tyler Seguin (Dallas Stars) each scored a goal.

"We've got a team that can roll four lines pretty easily," Seguin told the IIHF website. "It's very evident on our roster. It's easy to put a bunch of stars together, but you've got to come together as a team, and we've done a good job of that thus far."

Goaltender Mike Smith (Arizona Coyotes) made 21 saves to keep Canada undefeated in the tournament (6-0-0-0, 18 points).

Morris Trachsler and Damien Brunner scored for Switzerland. Reto Berra (Colorado Avalanche) made 39 saves.

Canada led 2-1 after MacKinnon's goal with 17.6 seconds left in the first period, and then scored three times in the second, including two goals in the final minute, to build a 5-1 lead through two periods.

Ekblad's goal at 7:59 gave Canada a 3-1 lead before Eberle knocked in the rebound of a Sidney Crosby shot for a power-play goal with 59.5 seconds remaining. And when Berra couldn't control a Couturier shot, Eakin scored off the rebound with 1.3 seconds left.

"We just tried to keep it simple and bring as many pucks as we could at the net, jump on those second and third chances," Couturier told the IIHF website. "Tonight we had a few goals like that. That's what we need to do to keep going forward."

Brunner scored 2:17 into the third to make it 5-2, but Couturier and Giroux scored later in the period to close the scoring.

"That's not the way we expected to play," Switzerland forward Kevin Romy told the IIHF website. "We were lacking energy maybe a little bit to put the Canadians under pressure. We know Canada has a good team. For us to win the hockey game, we just needed to put them under pressure. We're a fast team, and I think we were lacking a bit of speed tonight."

Canada's win clinched first place in Group A and a quarterfinal game against the fourth-place finisher in Group B. The Canadians will play their final preliminary-round game Tuesday against Austria.

Switzerland is fourth in Group A with nine points (2-0-3-1) and finishes preliminary-round play Tuesday against the Czech Republic. The top four teams from each group advance to the quarterfinals.

Czech Republic 4, Germany 2: Jaromir Jagr had a goal and an assist to help the Czech Republic to a win in a Group A preliminary-round game in Prague.

Jakub Voracek (Philadelphia Flyers), Petr Koukal and Michal Vondrka each also had a goal, and goaltender Ondrej Pavelec (Winnipeg Jets) made 12 saves.

Michael Wolf and Daniel Pietta scored for Germany, and goaltender Timo Pielmeier made 34 saves.

The Czech Republic (4-0-1-1) is tied with Sweden for second in Group A with 13 points. The Czechs will play their final preliminary-round game Tuesday against Switzerland.

Germany (2-0-0-4) is fifth in the group with six points, three behind fourth-place Switzerland. The Germans finish the preliminary round Monday against Austria.

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