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Canada opens 2022 Hlinka Gretzky Cup with victory versus Switzerland

Erica Perreaux / Hockey Canada Images

Red Deer, Alta. – Five WHL players scored in Canada’s 14-0 tournament-opening victory over Switzerland Sunday at the 2022 Hlinka Gretzky Cup.

Reigning WHL and Canadian Hockey League Rookie of the Year Brayden Yager finished with a goal and an assist, while Riley Heidt (Prince George Cougars), Zachary Benson (Winnipeg ICE) and Kelowna Rockets teammates Andrew Cristall and Caden Price all enjoyed multi-point efforts.

Yager and Kelowna forward Andrew Cristall found the back of the net in the opening frame as Canada raced to an 8-0 advantage through 20 minutes.

Playing in his home arena, Red Deer Rebels forward Kalan Lind extended the Canadian advantage to nine before Price rounded out the second period scoring with a low shot from the left goal-line.

Heidt capped off the evening’s offence with a goal in the final minute of play.

Seattle Thunderbirds netminder Scott Ratzlaff earned the shutout with a 17-save performance, earning an assist in the process.

Forward Ethan Gauthier, who skates with Sherbrooke of the QMJHL, paced the Canadian attack with a hat-trick. Canada outshot the Swiss 52-17.

The Canadian special teams were also ruthless Sunday; Canada finished 4/4 on the power-play and scored three times while short-handed.

Canada continues the round-robin portion of the 2022 Hlinka Gretzky Cup Tuesday versus Slovakia (7:00 p.m. MT, Peavey Mart Centrium).

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