PROPAD, Slovakia — Cody Glass had two goals and an assist while Jack Studnicka also scored twice to lead Canada past Switzerland 7-3 on Monday at the world under-18 hockey championship.
Kyle Olson, Stelio Mattheos and MacKenzie Entwistle had the other goals for Canada (3-0). Jacob McGrath stopped 27 shots.
The Canadians took a 3-2 advantage into the third period before putting the game away by outscoring the Swiss 4-1 in the final frame.
Philipp Kurashev led the way for Switzerland (1-2) with a goal and an assist. Gianluca Zaetta and Akira Schmid split goaltending duties, combining to stop 27 shots.
Canadian team coach Darren Rumble was generally happy with his team’s play against Switzerland, but he admitted to being somewhat concerned with Canada’s penchant for taking penalties.
"We’re not taking selfish penalties but we’re putting ourselves in the box more than I’d like," said Rumble, who coaches the QMJHL’s Moncton Wildcats. "It’s generally the stick penalties … it’s called to a different standard here so it’s a big adjustment for a lot of the guys.
"We’ve got to certainly reduce that … if you give high-end teams too many power plays generally it comes back to bite you. We’ll try to keep working on that."
Rumble also figured Canada’s power play, which was 0-for-6 against Switzerland, needs to be better.
"I thought our power play had a bit of a tough night," he said. "Generally you’d like the power play to build you some momentum even if they don’t score but we struggled in that area.
"I thought that was sort of our only negative."
And there’s no time like the present as the Canadians face Finland (3-0) on Tuesday. The Finns lead the Group A standings with nine points, one more than Canada.
"They’re good, they’re really good," Rumble said of the Finns. "We’ve got to stay out of the box and just really play our good team game."
Which, Rumble said, will include the Canadians playing physically.
"Absolutely, you’re still allowed to hit," he said. "As long as you hit clean they don’t call that but they do call the reaching and stick stuff quite harshly.
"I want our guys to be physical."
A concern remains the Canadian players taking a split second to think about making a hit because of the concern of being penalized. However, Rumble said the key will be for his players to keep moving.
"You’ve just got try your best to move your feet," he said. "When you’re finishing your checks its shoulder to shoulder or shoulder to chest, not anything from behind.
"And when you’re in a puck battle keep your feet moving so you don’t reach. As soon as you stop your feet from moving you get reaching and that’s when you get into trouble."
Rumble said Canada could help itself Tuesday by taking an early lead on Finland.
"As good as they are offensively they’re very good defensively," he said. "If you don’t get out to a lead it’s tough to play from behind because they defend as well.
"Absolutely, that will be the mentality to try and come out hard and attack the game like we talk about and try to have a score-first mentality and then see how it goes."