Canada opens Hlinka Gretzky Cup in Edmonton with 10-0 win over Switzerland
Team Canada produces top-to-bottom performance as dominant on ice as it was on scoreboard
Playing on Canadian ice for the first time since 1996 in what's now called the Hlinka Gretzky Cup, Team Canada made it a memorable and lopsided homecoming at Rogers Place on Monday, opening with a 10-0 win over Team Switzerland.
Canada, the defending champion and gold medallist in 21 of the 27 previous editions of the annual best-on-best under-18 tournament, produced a top-to-bottom performance that was every bit as dominant on the ice as it was on the scoreboard in waltzing past the Swiss.
While the Canadians have a roster laden with players projected to go in the first round of the 2019 NHL Entry Draft, it wasn't just the top-end talent the Swiss couldn't handle as Canada got goals from nine different players.
When Canada jumped to a 3-0 lead in the in the first 16 minutes on goals by Graeme Clarke of the Ottawa 67's, Ryan Suzuki of the Barrie Colts and Jakob Pelletier of the Moncton Wildcats, goaltender Nolan Maier of the Saskatoon Blades had more than enough of a margin to work with. He got plenty more.
Canada poured it on in the second period with five goals, chasing Swiss starter Sascha Ruppelt at 5-0 in favour of Thibault Fatton.
Dylan Cozens of the Lethbridge Hurricanes, Xavier Parent of Halifax, Matthew Robertson of the Edmonton Oil Kings, Maxence Guenette of Val-d'Or and Peyton Krebs of the Kootenay Ice made it 8-0 before the second intermission.
Kirby Dach, who plays with the Saskatoon Blades but hails from Fort Saskatchewan, Alta., and had friends and family in the stands, scored a short-handed goal to make it 9-0 early in the third period.
Krebs got his second late to close out the scoring.
Canada continues preliminary play in Pool A in a match-up with Slovakia Tuesday at Rogers Place.