TORONTO -- San Jose Sharks prospect Noah Rod scored two goals and goaltender Gauthier Descloux made 30 saves to lead Switzerland to a 5-2 victory against Germany in Game 1 of the best-of-3 relegation round in the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship at Air Canada Centre on Friday.
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Switzerland, which finished fifth in Group B, will earn a berth into the 2016 WJC in Finland with one more victory against Germany. The second game of the series will be held Saturday at ACC at 7 p.m. ET.
If a third game is necessary, it will be played Monday at 11 a.m. ET. The loser of the series is relegated to Division I Group A in the 2016 tournament.
Rod, a second-round pick in the 2014 NHL Draft by the Sharks, scored 54 seconds into the second to give Switzerland a 2-0 lead. His goal 5:46 into the third gave the Swiss a 5-1 advantage.
Kevin Fiala (Nashville Predators), Luca Fazzini and Luca Hischier also scored for Switzerland, which held a 32-31 advantage in shots. Parker Tuomie and Patrick Kurz scored for Germany.
Switzerland was playing without defenseman Yannick Rathgeb after the IIHF disciplinary panel suspended him two games for an illegal hit he delivered in the second period of a 5-1 loss to Sweden in the preliminary round on Wednesday. Rathgeb, who serves as the team captain, will miss Game 2 of the relegation round on Saturday. If the relegation series requires a third game on Monday, he would be eligible to return to the lineup.