PENTICTON, B.C. – Fourteen players had at least a point and seven scored goals – led by a pair from Gregory Hofmann – as Switzerland earned the bronze medal at the 2010 World Junior A Challenge with an 8-3 win over Canada West on Sunday afternoon.
The Swiss broke open a 2-2 game with six unanswered goals in a span of 11:43 in the third period, pulling away to win a medal in their tournament debut while leaving the Canadians off the podium for the first time in the five-year history of the event.
Early on it looked as if Canada West would rebound nicely from its semifinal loss to the United States on Saturday, as Grayson Downing set a WJAC record by scoring just 14 seconds into the game, tapping in a cross-crease feed from Dylan Walchuk.
The Swiss tied the game just minutes later thanks to Hofmann, but the westerners used a first-minute goal to take the lead again when Ryan Marshall tipped in a Ben Gallacher point shot with just 38 seconds elapsed in the middle frame.
Yannick Herren drew Switzerland even late in the second period on a power play, setting up what should have been an exciting race to bronze in the third.
But Reto Schäppi and Manuel Holenstein scored 34 seconds apart to open the floodgates, and Joël Vermin, Romain Loeffel and Gaëtan Haas made it a 7-2 game before the shell-shocked Canadians knew what hit them.
Hofmann and Ryan Marshall traded goals in the final 40 seconds to wrap up the scoring.
Switzerland, which beat Canada West in Monday’s opener for both teams, outshot the Canadians 44-16, including 36-11 over the final two periods.
(Nathan can be reached at email@example.com)