Slow starts seem to be Canada's thing. After surrendering the first goal against Denmark in yesterday's eventual 6-1 win, Canada continued that trend by surrendering the opening goal to the Swiss this afternoon.
Blackwood, in his first game of the tournament after serving the end of an eight-game OHL suspension, was tested early on as the Swiss out-shot Canada 8-5 through the first 14 minutes of the period.
Canada, unable to score on a Rod cross-checking penalty on Marner, struggled to create quality scoring chances in the opening period.
And eventually, as Canada continued to struggle, a point shot from Marco Forrer redirected, again, off of a leg and in -- this time Dario Meyer's -- to give Switzerland the stunning two-goal lead on just their ninth shot of the game. The Swiss didn't intend on slowing down either, as Coyotes prospect Brendan Perlini and Swiss defensemen Fabian Heldner exchanged big hits in the final minutes of the period.
With a little bit of luck Canada and a well-placed shot by Dylan Strome from the corner off the rush, Canada halved the lead with less than 30 seconds remaining in the period, trailing 9-7 in shots.
Canada's lack of rest, while potentially a factor, is undermined by the other two games they've surrendered the opening goal in. In a single-elimination tournament, that trend will need to be curbed before they play in the quarterfinals.
In the second period, Canada tried to rectify the slow start with some early pressure only to have it stunted by a Jake Virtanen high-sticking penalty.
On an extended shift for the Marner line, a shot through traffic from the Leafs prospect redirected off another leg and nearly tied the game for Canada before hitting the far post.
Sustaining that pressure from the Marner line, Dylan storm got to work on the next shift before the puck found assistant captain Joe Hicketts sliding into the slot from the point to tie the game. On the goal, Panthers prospect Lawson Crouse picked up his second assist of the game with the pass to Hicketts after joining Strome in the team's top-six forwards.
At the end of another strong shift from Marner's line, their second in a row, Canada drew a late period powerplay with a chance to take their first lead of the game. After Virtanen drew a penalty providing the screen, Canada was sent to a 35-second two-man advantage.
Unable to capitalize, creating a couple of chances while also giving one up to Meyer, the two teams remained tied into the third period with the shots even at 17 a piece.
The third period started slowly for both teams, until Panthers fourth rounder Denis Malgin took a tripping penalty on Hicketts midway through the period.
But on the powerplay, it was actually Blackwood who was forced to come up with two big saves off of a shorthanded Swiss 2-on-1.
And that was the story, as Canada continued to be thwarted offensively for the remainder of the period, forcing overtime.
During the five minutes of overtime, 2016 draft eligible prospect Julien Gauthier was the only Canadian forward to create chances before the buzzer went and the two teams headed to a shootout. Without a regulation win, Canada's chances at first place in Group A slipped away, barring two upsets by Denmark and Switzerland over Sweden and the United States.
In the shootout, Strome shot first for Canada, coming off the left wing slowly only to be stopped high glove before Blackwood did the same.
With the game on his stick, Mathew Barzal went to Point's move to seal the win and pick up two points for Canada.
- A more quiet first period than any of his periods against Denmark. Drew a penalty on Rod. Sent a nice pass from the corner to Quenneville in dying seconds of opening period.
- Played on fringe early on in second period, which is easier to do to open himself up to receive the puck and make plays in the OHL than it is on international ice, needs to find the slot without the puck. Hit the post at the end of a really long shift midway through the period. Followed it up with another strong shift to send Canada to another PP. Took a few shots on another long shift on the PP before getting beat on a foot race by Meyer for a PK chance for Switzerland.
- Created two attempts on net after sliding the puck around a defender at the blueline on his first shift of the third period. Went to the net to create a chance as time wound down on Canada's hopes at a regulation win.
- Passive in overtime, little urgency to his game.
- Wasn't on for either of the goals against but put a couple passes in the feet of some forwards up ice. Played physical and finished his checks -- probably out of a bit of anger -- when Canada was down in the first period.
- An excellent neutral zone carry and pass to create a clean zone entry eight minutes into the second period, shuffling up ice with his compact stride. Had a shot through traffic on some nice crossovers that was blocked and nearly rebounded into a scoring chance for Gauthier. Got a shot through on the prolonged late powerplay after the Marner unit came off.
- Won a puck battle in his defensive zone corner, made a pass up ice, and then jumped into the rush to receive it back and throw a shot on goal midway through the third period.