Juniors dismiss Swiss

KEN WIEBE -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 8:24 AM ET

The tune-up is complete and Team Canada has the engine of the shiny red Corvette running on all cylinders two days before the real race begins.

Other than a mundane start out of the gates, head coach Brent Sutter had little to complain about as Canada's world junior team punished Switzerland 5-0 before another partisan crowd of 15,015 at the MTS Centre last night.

CANADA 5 SWITZERLAND 0

"Out of these two games, we probably had five pretty good periods," said Sutter.

The building shook as the raucous crowd saluted Team Canada with a standing ovation with 4:39 to go.

"The fans here are unbelievable and it just shows how people here really love their hockey and support it," said goalie Rejean Beauchemin, who turned aside 14 shots to record the shutout. "It made me really proud to be a Winnipegger.

"I was feeling it during the national anthem and it was really exciting. It's been a dream for a long time and I made the most of it."

Canada dominated play in all three zones, got the power play going, kept the tempo up, dished out some glass-shaking hits, didn't allow a goal for the second consecutive game and produced a few more goals of the highlight-reel variety as they improved to 2-0 in pre-tournament games.

Canada, which defeated Finland 6-0 on Monday, opens the 2005 World Junior Hockey Championship on Saturday against Slovakia and enters the tournament as the favourite to win its first gold medal since 1997.

Offensively, Jeff Carter and Patrice Bergeron each scored twice, while Corey Perry, promoted to the top line because of an injury to Jeremy Colliton, chipped in with three assists.

Canada produced a pair of power play goals as well, a one-timer from blue-liner Dion Phaneuf and an open-net tap-in from Bergeron, who scored four times in the two pre-tournament contests.

Defensively, Canada put forth another strong effort and gave up just a handful of scoring chances in the two games.

"We're pretty sound," said Carter. "Obviously we can put the puck in the net but we're really strong on the back end and our forwards do a good job of coming back and helping out."

Following the game, Canada got down to its 22-man roster as defenceman Kyle Quincey of the Mississauga Ice Dogs was released, allowing Winnipegger Cam Barker and London Knights defender Danny Syvret to sleep a lot easier.

"This was a dream of mine and (now) that it's gone, it kind of hurts a lot," Quincey told reporters. "It was a great experience and it was great while it lasted. I'll take what I can from it."

Defenceman Brent Seabrook, who remains day-to-day with a shoulder problem, has been improving steadily and said yesterday that he hopes to be ready for the tournament opener.

"All indications right now point in that direction, but we'll see what happens," said Seabrook, who skated in full gear for the first time yesterday morning, did some push-ups as part of a conditioning skate and took some shots at full throttle.

Colliton, who suffered a "lower-body" injury late in Monday's win over Finland, is being listed as day-to-day and could be ready for the tournament opener.


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