Canada’s Brett Howden (21) scores past Switzerland’s Philip Wuthrich (30) during first period quarter-final IIHF World Junior Championships hockey action in Buffalo, N.Y., on Tuesday, January 2, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

Canada moves to world juniors semi-final with win over Swiss

Dubé scores one goal in quarter-final win over Switzerland at 2018 IIHF World Junior Championship

Team Canada booked their tickets to the semi-final of the 2018 IIHF World Junior Championship by defeating Switzerland 8-2 on Tuesday.

“We managed the game we wanted to. Guys stuck with the game and when you run the score a little bit sometimes you can get away from our game and we didn’t do that. They kept their focus,” said Team Canada coach Dominique Ducharme.

The win means Team Canada, which includes captain Dillon Dubé (Cochrane, Alta./Kelowna Rockets, WHL), Cal Foote (Kelowna/Kelowna Rockets, WHL) and former Penticton Vees defenceman Dante Fabbro (Coquitlam/Boston University, HE), will now face the Czech Republic on Thursday at 5 p.m.

Drake Batherson (New Minas, N.S./Cape Breton, QMJHL) scored a pair of goals and Brett Howden (Oakbank, Man./Moose Jaw, WHL) added a goal and three assists and Dubé had one goal in Tuesday’s quarter-final win.

Canada controlled the play from the first drop of the puck, scoring three times in the first 13 minutes and directing 60 shots at the Swiss goaltending duo of Philip Wüthrich and Matteo Ritz. Carter Hart (Sherwood Park, Alta./Everett, WHL) needed to make just 13 saves to record his third win of the tournament.

I think we’ve progressed really well, we keep building every day and we’ve progressed a lot since the first game to where we are now. I think (in preparing for the semifinals) the Finland game was a big wakeup [for us] – a close intense game; the boys are fired up and it’s going to be fun,” said Batherson.

It took less than a minute for the scoring to start; Maxime Comtois (Longueuil, Que./Victoriaville, QMJHL) fed Howden for a 1-0 lead just 48 seconds after the puck dropped.

Cale Makar (Calgary, Alta./University of Massachusetts, HE) made it three consecutive games with a goal, scoring at 8:29, and Batherson jammed in a power play goal from in close at 12:06 to send Canada to the intermission up three.

Batherson added his second goal just past the six-minute mark of the second period, jumping off the bench and picking up a loose puck before picking the top corner over the glove of Wüthrich. He played a role in the fifth Canadian goal without being on the ice; after Jordan Kyrou (Toronto, Ont./Sarnia, OHL) broke his stick, he grabbed Batherson’s just seconds before snapping a quick shot under the arm of Wüthrich.

That was all for the Swiss goaltender, who was replaced by Ritz.

Dario Rohrbach got one back for Switzerland at 8:46 when his redirection hit the skate of Fabbro and eluded Hart, but Conor Timmins (Thorold, Ont./Sault Ste. Marie, OHL) snuck in off the blue-line to finish a Tyler Steenbergen (Sylvan Lake, Alta./Swift Current, WHL) set-up and restore the five-goal lead after 40 minutes.

Less than a minute after Axel Simic scored shorthanded for the Swiss just past the midway mark of the third period, Dubé ripped home a one-timer to make it 7-2, and Comtois put in his own rebound in the final minute to finish the scoring.

The other semifinals will see the host U.S., who defeated Russia 4-2 in the quarter-finals, face-off against Sweden, who defeated Slovakia 3-2. That game will start at 1 p.m. on Thursday. The bronze medal game will be played at 1 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 5 and the gold medal game at 5 p.m.

Just Posted

Kelowna firefighters douse blaze in hedges

The cause of the fire on Renfrew Road is under investigation.

Kayaker still missing as COSAR continues aerial searches

71-year-old Zygmunt Janiewicz was reported missing Friday

Kelowna Springtime Regatta draws more than 50 sailboats

Sailors treated to windy, excellent long weekend conditions on Okanagan Lake

Crews responding to car crash in West Kelowna

A collision has been reported at the intersection of Carrington Road and Butt Road.

Get those flowers competition ready

Gardeners will come together June 29, for the 22nd Juried Flower Show

Weather holds up for Rutland May Days

60th annual May Day midway, market and entertainment saw hundreds of attendees

Update: Plan to see more smoke from South Okanagan wildfire

Richter Creek wildfire, 12 kilometres west of Osoyoos, is an estimated 400 hectares

Raptors beat Bucks 118-112 in 2OT thriller

Leonard has 36 points as Toronto cuts Milwaukee’s series lead to 2-1

South Okanagan runners take top spots in Peach City RunFest

Both the top male and female half-marathon winners were from Penticton

Former Greyhound Canada employees gather in Okanagan to say a final farewell

“Greyhound may take our jobs but they will never take our friendships,” says former bus driver

‘Teams that win are tight’: B.C. Lions search for chemistry at training camp

The Lions added more than 50 new faces over the off-season, from coaching staff to key players

B.C. VIEWS: Reality of our plastic recycling routine exposed

Turns out dear old China wasn’t doing such a great job

Okanagan tattoo fundraiser draws tons of support

Lineup around the block in Vernon for start of Five Fathoms Tattoo event for Children’s Hospital

Carbon dioxide at highest levels for over 2.5 million years, expert warns of 100 years of disruption

CO2 levels rising rapidly, now higher than at any point in humanity’s history

Most Read