CHESTERVILLE – On Tues., Jan. 2, Canada faced Switzerland in the quarterfinals of the World Junior hockey tournament. On Fri. Dec. 29, there was a version of Canada against the Swiss in the form of the North Dundas Rockets taking on CP Meyrin.
The visiting Swiss club was on a seven-day tour of Canada where they played two hockey games, one in Gatineau to face the Volant and one in Chesterville to face the Rockets.
After a 6-5 overtime victory in Gatineau the night before, the Swiss club fell 9-5 to the North Dundas side.
In front of a capacity crowd at the rink in Chesterville, Brodie Barkley opened the scoring on the power play for the Rockets with Shawn Simms chipping in the assist.
Not long after, McKay Balaton (Jack van Kessel) put the Rockets up by a pair of goals heading into the second period.
The Rockets extended their lead to 4-0 when Justin Lefebvre (Bryden van Kessel, Jason Buma) and Jack van Kessel (Barkley) scored.
CP Meyrin erased their zero on the scoreboard in short order when Maxime Piller put the puck past Rockets’ goalie Buma.
The Rockets increased the Swiss deficit back to four goals when Simms scored off of a pass from Barkley.
CP Meyrin added a goal just before the second period came to a close when Romain Tavernier scored on assists from Mickael Walther and Renait Walker.
The Rockets offence exploded in the third period as Lefebvre completed his hat trick, scoring twice in the first minute of the third period.
Jace Legue and Balaton each scored in the remaining 10 minutes of the game to seal the victory for the Rockets.
After the pair of games in Canada, the style of hockey played by Canadians is much different compared to Swiss hockey, according to CP Meyrin player Mateo Genevay.
“It is a lot more physical in Canada,” he said. “In Switzerland, penalties are given very easily. In Canada, you can get away with a lot.”
Alain Pivron, head coach of CP Meyrin, agreed with his player.
“It is rough here,” Pivron said. “The speed is faster in Switzerland with some more passing.”
While another victory would have been nice, Pivron said it is a great experience for his team to travel to Canada.
“It is nice for them to get to see another country and play ice hockey as well,” he noted.
The team was also scheduled to travel to Kanata to see an Ottawa Senators game.
The experience wasn’t just a good one for the Swiss team, but also for the Rockets as well.
“All of these kids on the Rockets have played against the same kids and same teams around here,” Sadler said. “It was an opportunity for them to experience something different.”