Defending champion Team Canada started its campaign at the 90th Spengler Cup with a loss. The Canadians suffered a 7-4 defeat at the hands of Dynamo Minsk, despite having led the game 3-1 and 4-3.
Team Canada and Dynamo Minsk wore each other down in a high-level, fast-paced battle with five goals already in the first 17 minutes of play. The Canadians showed a fierce reaction to Alexander Materchin’s go-ahead goal. Andrew Ebbett tied things up soon after, then Maxim Noreau as well as Mason Raymond took advantage of a couple of power play opportunities to put their team up by two. Yevgeny Kovyrshin cut Minsk’s deficit to one before the first intermission. Team Canada dominated parts of the game, but Ben Scrivens, Dynamo’s Canadian goaltender, kept the Belarusians in it with several outstanding saves. And then Yevgeny Lisovez’s 3-3 in the 31st minute blew the game wide open again.
To start the third period, Noreau gave the Canadians a 4-3 lead with the third power play goal, but then the Eastern Europeans came up big. Dmitry Korobov, Kovyrshin, Sergei Drosd, and Nikita Komarov (empty netter) delivered the ultimately comfortable win for Dynamo Minsk. The Belarusian’s efficiency was brilliant, as they required only 19 shots on Drew MacIntyre’s net to score their seven goals. On the other hand, the high pace early on seemed to have taken its toll on the Canadians.
Dynamo Minsk – Team Canada 7:4 (2:3, 1:0, 4:1)
Attendance: 6119 - REF Vinnerborg/Wiegand, Borga/Kaderli.
Scoring: 3. Materuchin (Gotovez) 1:0. 6. Ebbett (Jeffrey, Raymond) 1:1. 13. (12:57) Noreau (Ebbett, Pouliot/Penalties Shinkevitsh, Komarov) 1:2. 14. (13:58) Raymond (Flood, Pouliot/Penalty Komarov) 1:3. 17. Kovyrshin (Komarov, Materuchin) 2:3. 31. Lisovez (Ellison, Materuchin/Penalty Campbell) 3:3. 41. Noreau (Micflikier/Penalty Stass) 3:4. 47. Korobov (Komarov) 4:4. 51. Kovyrshin (Klinkhammer) 5:4. 55. Drosd (Kitarov, Graborenko) 6:4. 59. Komarov (Chenkel) 7:4 (empty net).
Penalties: 6 x minors each.
Minsk: Scrivens; Korobov, Lisovez; Graborenko, Gotovez; Shinkevitsh, Chenkel; Ambrosheytshik, Ellison, Klinkhammer; Materuchin, Kovyrshin, Komarov; Drosd, Pavlovitsh, Volkov; Kitarov, Stass, Lopatshuk; Karaban, Stepanov.
Team Canada: MacIntyre; Parlett, Morrisonn; Noreau, Gormley; Heshka, Flood; Vukovic; Emmerton, McIntyre, Campbell; Pouliot, DiDomenico, Micflikier; Jeffrey, Ebbett, Raymond; Sheppard, Pare, Colby Genoway; Katic.
Notes: Minsk without Pettersson (rested). Team Canada empty netted from 58:10 to 58:25 and from 58:56 to 59:03