Home » U18 Men’s Worlds Preview: Canada vs. Switzerland

U18 Men’s Worlds Preview: Canada vs. Switzerland

U18 Men’s Worlds Preview: Canada vs. Switzerland

Sunday, April 28 | 12 p.m. ET | Vantaa, Finland | Preliminary Round

Preliminary-round play rolls on Sunday at the 2024 IIHF U18 World
Championship as

Canada’s National Men’s Under-18 Team
 takes on Switzerland in search of its third win in as many tries in Group B.

Last Game

Canada made it back-to-back wins with

a 6-0 victory over Czechia on Friday
. Malcolm Spence set a U18 Men’s Worlds record by scoring five seconds in,
finishing with two goals and an assist, Tij Iginla added a pair of goals –
one on the power play and one shorthanded – and Gavin McKenna added a goal
and two helpers for Canada, which scored four goals in the first 7:42.
Carter George earned the shutout, making 26 saves.

The Swiss got their first win Friday,

erasing an early two-goal deficit to beat Kazakhstan 5-2
. Gian Meier paced the offence with a goal and two assists, and Switzerland
outshot the Kazakhs 35-8 over the final 40 minutes.

Last Meeting

The teams clashed a year ago in the quarterfinals in Switzerland, with

Canada earning a 7-3 win over the hosts
. Macklin Celebrini scored a pair of goals and set up two more, Andrew
Cristall had two goals of his own and Carson Bjarnason was terrific in a
28-save performance.

What to Watch

Maybe not a player, but how about a time frame? Settle in early, because
Canada has been a first-period team in its first two games, scoring four
goals against the Swedes and four more against the Czechs. But if we have
to choose a player, Spence is a pretty good place to start. The Erie Otters
forward has goals in both games (two against the Czechs) and sits a

point back of captain Porter Martone and wunderkind Gavin McKenna for
the Canadian scoring lead
 with four points. The Mississauga native has already been a Team Canada
hero once this season,

potting the overtime winner in the gold medal game at the Hlinka
Gretzky Cup
 last summer.

Switzerland captain Leon Muggli is the

top-rated Swiss skater for the 2024 NHL Draft
, ranking 11th among international skaters in the final NHL Central
Scouting rankings. The 6-foot, 176-pound defenceman played with the big
boys in the National League this season, posting 12 points (3-9—12) with EV
Zug, and had an assist in four games at the World Juniors in Sweden.

A Look Back

Canada has owned the head-to-head history, winning 12 of the 13 meetings at
U18 Men’s Worlds, including the last 11 dating back to 2013.

The Canadians blanked the Swiss 7-0
 on their way to their most recent gold medal in 2021, getting a hat trick
and an assist from Luca Pinelli, four helpers from Olen Zellweger and 11
saves from Thomas Milic.

All-time record: Canada leads 12-1
Canada goals: 78
Switzerland goals: 21