BONNYVILLE, Alta. – Buoyed by defenceman Cale Makar's (Brooks Bandits, AJHL) five-point night, defending World Junior A Challenge champion Canada West made an early statement Sunday that they have every intention of repeating as they rolled over Switzerland 6-2 as Day 1 play came to a close at R.J. Lalonde Arena in Bonnyville, Alta.
Makar had a tremendous game for Canada West starting with an assist on the night’s opening tally six and a half minutes into the contest on a power play marker from Ian Mitchell (Spruce Grove Saints, AJHL).
He then blasted one by Swiss starter Beat Trudel just over a minute later to make it 2-0.
Canada West kept coming and added another before the frame was complete thanks to Jonny Tychonick (Penticton Vees, BCHL) at 11:40.
A man advantage opportunity allowed Switzerland to get on the board at 14:32 as Sven Leuenberger notched his nation’s first goal at this year’s event.
Action in the second stanza saw the West tack on two more to go up 5-1 after 40 minutes.
Makar picked up his third and fourth points of the night as he helped set-up Ryan Cox (Fort McMurray Oil Barons, AJHL) at 3:41 and Jordan Kawaguchi (Chilliwack Chiefs, BCHL), who lit the lamp during a power play at 14:07.
The Brooks standout then scored again six minutes into the third to increase his club’s cushion.
Arnaud Riat rounded things out offensively for the Swiss with 6:25 left.
Kawaguchi also had a solid performance adding a pair of helpers to go along with his tally for a three-point evening.
Matthew Galajda (Victoria Grizzlies, BCHL) stopped 15 of the 17 attempts he saw to post the win while Trudel was peppered with 45 shots in defeat for Switzerland.
To no one’s surprise Makar was selected the CJHL player of the game for his side while Trudel was recognized for the Swiss.
Day 2 action at the WJAC goes Monday with the United States seeing their first action as they take on the Czech Republic (0-1) at 3:30 p.m. MT while Canada West (1-0) faces off with Russia (0-0) at 7:30 p.m. MT.