TORONTO, CANADA - JANUARY 2: Switzerland's Denis Malgin #16 with a scoring chance against Germany's Kevin Reich #30 while Janik Moser #18 battles with Noah Rod #26 during relegation round action at the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship. (Photo by Andre Ringuette/HHOF-IIHF Images)
Germans lose relegation opener
Switzerland woke up early and beat a sluggish German team 5-2 in an 11.00 start at the Air Canada Centre to open the best-of-three Relegation Round.
The team was led by Noah Rod, who had two goals and an assist, and Denis Malgin, who added three assists.
With a win tomorrow night, the Swiss can assure themselves of a place in the top pool for 2016 in Helsinki, while the Germans would be relegated with a loss.
"We did what we had to do," said Swiss coach John Fust. "We controlled the game. Our best players were our best players. The only thing that matters now is to win tomorrow."
"We controlled the game," agreed captain Luca Hischier, who had a goal and an assist. "We were the better team. We got the puck deep and scored on our chances."
A tepid first period produced only one goal, that coming from the Swiss on a broken play. Noah Rod took the puck to the net and wheeled and fired a shot that was blocked in front. The rebound came right to Kevin Fiala who had an open net.
That goal at 3:56 was followed soon after by a two-on-one with Luca Fazzini and Luca Hischier, the latter hitting the post. The Germans, meanwhile, were unable to generate much in the way of scoring chance.
The Swiss opened a sizeable lead in the middle period, starting just 54 seconds in on a nice two-on-one play from in close. Michael Fora a made the pass and Denis Malgin finished it off with a nice re-direction from the top of the crease.
Fazzini made it 3-0 at 5:20 when his shot from the slot deflected off the stick of a German defender and over the glove of Kevin Reich. The Germans got one back three minutes later off a nice play by Parker Tuomie. He gained control of a loose puck in the corner and skated to the goal unmolested before sliding the puck between the legs of Gauthier Descloux.
The Swiss made it 4-1 at 13:56 when Hischier’s quick shot from the slot beat Reich.
Rod made it 5-1 at 5:46 of the third off a turnover just inside the Germany blue line. He took the puck down the wing and drilled a great shot over the shoulder of Ilja Sharipov, who had come on in relief of Reich to start the final period.
Patrick Kurz closed out the scoring late in the third with a long shot to the far side that fooled Descloux.
"Every time we play Germany, it's a little bit special," Hischier noted. "But we know we have more skill, so we had the confidence to know we could win."
"The most important thing is to accept where we're at," Fust added. "We accept we're in the relegation round. It's not where we wanted to be. The analysis for why is for after the tournament. Right now, we're focused on winning two games, and we've done half of it."