GANGNEUNG, South Korea (AP) — Rene Bourque and Wojtek Wolski each scored twice and Derek Roy had three assists as Canada opened its Olympic campaign with a 5-1 win over Switzerland on Thursday night.
The Canadians led 2-0 after 7 1/2 minutes and made the Swiss pay when they went to the penalty box. Maxim Noreau had a goal and an assist for Canada, which is considered one of the favorites in the tournament being played with NHL players for the first time since 1994.
The Canadians chased goalie Leonardo Genoni less than six minutes into the second period after he gave up his fourth goal on 12 shots. Simon Moser pulled one back for Switzerland on the power play at 7:33 of the third period, tapping in a puck that trickled through Ben Scrivens’ legs, but the game wasn’t in doubt by then.
”I thought it was a good game for us,” coach Willie Desjardins told the Canadian Press. ”I think the Swiss have a very good team, we had a lot of respect for them. I think we were fortunate to get a couple of goals early. The power play was good. But I think they played hard throughout. For us, though, it was a good start.”
Canada’s next game is Saturday against the Czech Republic, which beat South Korea 2-1 in its opener.
Bourque, who had 163 goals for six NHL teams, scored on Canada’s first shot when he tipped in a Lee slap-pass from the blue line at 2:57. Noreau made it 2-0 on the power play at 7:30 when his shot from the blue line beat Genoni with Bourque screening.
The Canadian power play struck again five minutes into the second period with Bourque stuffing the puck in from in front. Wolski scored on a solo rush 52 seconds later, slicing through two Swiss players before beating Genoni high on the glove side. That was it for the Swiss starter, who was pulled for former NHL player Jonas Hiller.
Canada’s 25-man roster boasts 5,544 NHL games played, led by captain Chris Kelly with 833. The Swiss team is made up entirely of Swiss league talent.
The Swiss outshot Canada 29-28.
”The team played well,” Scrivens said. ”We’ve been here for a week now. I think everyone was excited to get going. I thought we executed, stuck together.”