Switzerland 5, Belarus 1
Swiss (@SwissIceHockey) captain @MeierTimo talked with us after the relegation-round game vs. Belarus. #WorldJuniors https://t.co/9OXuawXnQQ
— IIHF (@IIHFHockey) January 2, 2016
New York (The Draft Analyst) — Timo Meier and Denis Malgin each had a goal and two assists to lead Switzerland to a 5-1 win over Belarus on Saturday in the relegation round of the world junior hockey championship from Helsinki.
Switzerland (1-4) can earn a berth in next year’s tournament with a win over Belarus on Sunday.
Dmitri Buinitski gave Belarus (0-5) a 1-0 lead on the power play at 1:59 of the first period. Swiss defenseman and Washington Capitals prospect Jonas Siegenthaler was whistled for slashing just thirty seconds into the game, and Buinitski cashed in by beating goalie Joren van Potelberghe for his first goal of the tournament.
Noah Road tied the score at one at 6:36 of the first, and Meier set up second period goals by Malgin and Damian Riat which gave Switzerland a 3-1 lead heading into the third. Julien Privet made it 4-1 with 8:55 left in the game, and Meier, a first round pick of the San Jose Sharks in 2015, closed out the scoring with a power play goal in the game’s final minutes.
Malgin, drafted by the Florida Panthers in the fourth round last June, finished the tournament with a team-best five assists and six points.
The victory snapped a four-game losing streak for the Swiss, who nearly upset Canada before losing 3-2 in a shootout. Van Pottelberghe made 21 saves to pick up the win.
Ivan Kulbakov stopped 37 of 42 shots in defeat. Belarus must win each of the next two games against Switzerland in order to win the relegation round and qualify for the next year’s world juniors in Canada.