World Juniors: Canada Barely Avoids a Swiss Shock
The old bromide if you can't beat 'em, beat 'em up has definitely crossed the pond.
Switzerland's most notable achievements in the 2016 IIHF World Juniors has been suspensions for a bit of the old ultra-violence:
- Christian Egli was docked three games for knocking Sweden's William Nylander senseless;
- Calvin Thürkauf was shelved for a game after rabbit-jacking the Tre Kronor's Adrian Kempe into the boards; and
- Fabian Heldner sat a game for planting a Liverpool kiss on Sweden's Joel Eriksson-Ek.
Not quite the Hanson brothers ...
... and not working. Sweden smashed the Swiss, 8-3.
What with Denmark's surprise victory over the depleted Eisgenossen, it's clear the powerhouse Canadians took Switzerland for granted.
They're lucky it was pool play. Ironically, the Swiss only took three trips to the box and almost took away Canada's undefeated record, taking the game to a shootout before falling, 3-2.
It took a hard talk by defenseman Joe Hicketts -- a Detroit Red Wings prospect -- during the first intermission to wake up his teammates, and he followed by practicing what he preached with the goal that would put the game into gimmickry:
The practical effect of this Canadian close call is that, if chalk holds, they'd be in line to meet the Russians one round sooner in bracket play.
But as they just discovered to their peril, chalk is quickly erasable.