Team Canada defeats Switzerland in men's Olympic hockey opener

Team Canada defeats Switzerland in men's Olympic hockey opener
From Global News - February 15, 2018

Rene Bourque and Wojtek Wolski scored twice and Derek Roy had three assists as Team Canada opened its Olympic campaign by dispatching Switzerland 5-1 on Thursday.

For a team expected to score by committee, the Canadian men found their offence early at the Pyeongchang Winter Games. They led 2-0 after 7.5 minutes and made the Swiss pay when they went to the penalty box.

Maxim Noreau had a goal and an assist for a hard-working, hard-skating Canada. Chris Lee had two assists.

WATCH: Its been 24 years since the NHL hasnt participated in the Winter Olympics, until now. Just like the 1994 team, Canadas 2018 25-man roster lacks household names, but former NHLer and 94 silver medallist, Todd Hlushko says theres power in the underdog mentality. Megan Robinson reports.

I thought it was a good game for us, said Canada head coach Willie Desjardins. I think the Swiss have a very good team, we had a lot of respect for them.

I think we were fortunate to get a couple of goals early. The power play was good. But I think they played hard throughout. For us though, it was a good start.

Simon Moser pulled one back for Switzerland on the power play at 7:33 of the third, tapping in a puck that trickled through Canadian goalie Ben Scrivens legs after a goalmouth scramble.

It marked the first time since the 1994 Games that Canada fielded a team that wasnt made up of NHLers. And its the first time since 1956 that no player on Team Canada had any Olympic experience.

WATCH: Canadians attending the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang arent concerned NHL players wont be competing in the Games, saying theyre excited to cheer on whoever puts on the maple leaf.

Canadas 25-man roster does boast 5,544 NHL games played, led by captain Chris Kellys 833 outings with the Boston Bruins and Ottawa Senators. Lee and fellow defenceman Mat Robinson are the only players without NHL experience.

The Swiss team is made up entirely of Swiss league talent. Canadas squad is European-based with the exception of the players from the North American minors.

Swiss coach Patrick Fischer reckons he is without some 12-13 NHL players here. But Canada is missing 200, Fischer said with a wry smile.

READ MORE: Canada stays perfect in womens hockey with 2-1 win over rival U.S. at 2018 Winter Olympics

The Canadians chased Swiss goalie Leonardo Genoni less than six minutes into the second period after he gave up his fourth goal on 12 shots. Scrivens, who plies his trade in the KHL these days, was solid in the Canada goal. The Swiss outshot Canada 29-28.

The team played well, Scrivens said.

Weve been here for a week now. I think everyone was excited to get going. I thought we executed, stuck together.


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