Fresh off a convincing win over Slovakia, Canada’s National Men’s Summer Under-18 Team faces off against Switzerland on Wednesday to close out its preliminary round schedule at the 2023 Hlinka Gretzky Cup.
Canada earned its first win at the Hlinka Gretzky Cup on Tuesday, a 14-4 victory over the co-host Slovakia . Ryder Ritchie had three goals and two assists and Michael Misa added two goals and four helpers as Canada evened its record to 1-1 in Trencin.
Switzerland is coming off a 3-1 victory over Finland on Tuesday, improving its record to 2-0. David Bosson scored the eventual winner late in the second period, Yannik Ponzetto and Nils Wehrli added goals and Phileas Lachat made nine saves for the Swiss, who outshot the Finns 15-10 in a defensive struggle.
Canada and Switzerland faced off in the prelim opener a year ago in Red Deer, a dominant 14-0 victory for Canada . Calum Ritchie (1-3—4) and Cameron Allen (0-4—4) led the way offensively as Canada rode an eight-goal first period to the win, finishing with four goals on the power play and three shorthanded.
What to Watch
Berkly Catton continues to put up points on the international stage. The Canadian captain has five points (3-2—5) in two games in Trencin, tallied 12 points in seven games at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge last November (earning a place on the tournament all-star team), and added four points to help Canada to the bronze medal at the IIHF U18 World Championship in April. The offensive exploits are nothing new for the Saskatoon, SK native, who led all 16-year-olds in scoring in the WHL last season (23-32—55 in 63 games).
The Swiss have spread out their scoring through two games, getting goals from eight different players in wins over Slovakia and Finland. The line of Ponzetto, Jamiro Reber and Jordan Forget have led the way, tallying three points each to account for a third of the Swiss goals scored. Reber is one of four Swiss skaters who played as underagers at the 2023 IIHF U18 World Championship on home ice, along with Christian Kirsch, Leon Muggli and Daniil Ustinkov.
A Look Back
Canada and Switzerland have met 18 times at this tournament, with the Canadians winning the last 17 after the Swiss won the first meeting back in 2001.
Last year’s double digit win was Canada’s second against the Swiss – the previous time was a 10-0 win in 2018 . Peyton Krebs (2-1—3) and Matthew Robertson (1-2—3) led the way with three points each as nine different Canadians found the back of the net.
All-time record: Canada leads 17-1 (1-0 in OT/SO)
Canada goals: 111
Switzerland goals: 36
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