Canada goalie Carter Hart looks on during team practice at the IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship in Buffalo, N.Y., Monday, January 1, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Mark Blinch

Canada not buying into Swiss coach’s comments ahead of world junior quarterfinal

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Canadian captain Dillon Dube couldn’t believe what he was hearing. Swiss head coach Christian Wohlwend was virtually raising the white flag of surrender, saying Switzerland expects to be dominated by Canada in Tuesday’s quarterfinal at the world junior hockey championship.

“They’re faster, they’re bigger, they’re stronger, they can shoot better, they can pass better, they can do everything better,” Wohlwend said Sunday after his team dropped a 6-3 decision to the Czech Republic to set up the Canada matchup.

“They have how many first rounders? And the rest in the second round?

“And one in the fourth round that has played the most NHL games?

“We have one in the fourth round too. One. The rest are undrafted.”

Wohlwend did make some good points.

Canada has eight players who were drafted in the first round and the rest were taken in the second round or later.

Defenceman Victor Mete, a fourth-round pick in 2016, played 27 games for the Montreal Canadiens this season before being loaned to Hockey Canada for the tournament.

Also, Canada beat Switzerland 8-1 on Dec. 22 in a pre-tournament exhibition game. However, Dube was still stunned to hear Wohlwend’s frank assessment of Switzerland’s chances.

“I didn’t know what to think of it at the start,” said Dube, who had two goals and an assist against the Swiss in the exhibition. “I watched it a couple of times, laughing a little bit. To be honest, I think everybody did.

“I think that might have been some reverse psychology or something like that.”

Sam Steel, Dube’s linemate throughout the tournament, agreed that Wohlwend might be trying to lull the Canadians into a false sense of security.

“I don’t know if he’s trying to play mind games or something,” said Steel, who led Canada with five points in the preliminary round.

“It’s funny, but we have to go in there with the same attitude we would with any other team.”

Canada took New Year’s Eve off, opting for a team dinner with Hockey Canada staff and players’ families.

Head coach Dominique Ducharme had his team back on the ice Monday to prepare for the Swiss.

Mete was the only player to sit out the practice session. Ducharme said the blue-liner was hurt in Friday’s 4-3 shootout loss to the United States.

“He’s good, we just want him 100 per cent and we felt he needed an extra day,” said Ducharme. “He’s going to be in tomorrow.”

Goaltender Carter Hart will start in net for Canada against Switzerland.

Hart has two wins and a shootout loss with a .929 save percentage and 1.95 goals-against average. He’s coming off an 18-save shutout in Canada’s 8-0 rout of Denmark on Saturday that clinched top spot in Group A.

Dube, Steel and Ducharme were all in agreement that despite Wohlwend’s comments they would not take Switzerland lightly.

“I think he’s obviously trying to send a message to his team, he must have said something to them,” said Dube.

“I think that’s why he said that we dominated them in the exhibition. They’re going to come out trying to catch us sleeping so that’s why we really have to focus on our game and know what to expect, they’re going to come out hard.

“That doesn’t mean they’re going to sit back and let us roll all over them.”

Just Posted

Town of Sylvan Lake takes over provincial park

Provincial government announced official transfer of park to town on Thursday

Red Deer Lowe’s welcomes shoppers

Grand opening giveaways all weekend

Olds father charged for alleged sexual offences on child

Child porn and sexual assault among charges

Nordegg gas station broken into

RCMP says thousands of dollars worth of goods taken in Tuesday break-in

Red Deer man says more cardiac care needed here

Ryan Gillies spent several extra days in hospital waiting to get a stent in Edmonton

Giddy up: Red Deer to host Canadian Finals Rodeo in 2018

The CFR is expected to bring $20-30 million annually to Red Deer and region

WATCH: Red Deer city council debates cost-savings versus quality of life

Majority of councillors decide certain services are worth preserving

Got milk? Highway reopened near Millet

A southbound truck hauling milk and cartons collided with a bridge

Stettler’s newest residents overcame fear, bloodshed to come here

Daniel Kwizera, Diane Mukasine and kids now permanent residents

Giddy up: Red Deer to host Canadian Finals Rodeo in 2018

The CFR is expected to bring $20-30 million annually to Red Deer and region

Ice dancers Virtue and Moir to carry flag at Pyeongchang Olympics

Not since Kurt Browning at the 1994 Lillehammer Games has a figure… Continue reading

Beer Canada calls on feds to axe increasing beer tax as consumption trends down

OTTAWA — A trade association for Canada’s beer industry wants the federal… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month