Impressive Canadian performance
Article - Impressive Canadian performance
Team Canada will enter the final of the 93rd Spengler Cup on Tuesday afternoon as the favourite. The Canadians won their semifinals matchup on Monday afternoon against TPS Turku 6-0. The team from overseas will seek its 16th triumph in its 24th final appearance.
Right from the beginning of the semi-final game against Turku, the Canadians made their ambitions clear playing an up-tempo, high-pressure game. Tournament top scorer Kevin Clark took advantage of the first powerplay for the go-ahead (5.). After just six minutes the shot differential was 6-2. Shortly thereafter Canadian goaltender Zach Fucale came under pressure for the first time on a redirected shot by Elias Karvonen. But Paul Posma increased the lead for the Canadians with a solid long-range shot (16.).
During two minor penalties against Team Canada in the first half of the middle period the Finns came close to cutting down their deficit. Thanks to this phase they were able to cut the shot differential to 16-15 but nothing more. Chris DiDomenico, on the third Canadian man-advantage, demonstrated what efficiency on the powerplay means. He increased the lead for the Canadians with an accurate shot just below the crossbar. Despite their considerable efforts, the Finns could not hide the toll the tournament schedule had taken on them, which also manifested itself in six minor penalties throughout the first 40 minutes. For Turku it was the fourth game in as many days. Whereas Canada, as the group stage winner, was playing only their third game in five days. Eric Faille, Chris Versteeg, and Clark, with his second marker of the game, stretched the lead to 6-0 in the final period not least due to greater physical and mental freshness. The Finns, who never gave up, failed to salvage at least one goal when Lauro Panjuniemi hit the goal post.
With its 6-0 victory, Team Canada also took revenge on Finnish hockey. At last year’s Spengler Cup, the favoured Canadians had lost the final to KalPa Kuopio 3-2 in a shootout. The clincher had come only on the 15th shootout attempt. TPS Turku was an enrichment to the Spengler Cup, too. The team, which currently sits at the end of the standings in the national “Liiga”, demonstrated their top-notch education in Finland. The players are tactically exceptionally well trained. They skate and move at a technically outstanding level. Good thing the Spengler Cup’s organizing committee has extended the contract with the Finnish “Liiga” ensuring the participation of a club for three more years.
Team Canada – TPS Turku 6-0 (2-0, 1-0, 3-0)
Eisstadion Davos. – Attendance 6300 (sold out). – Referees Stricker/Wiegand (SUI/SUI), Kovacs/Schlegel (SUI/SUI).
Scoring: 5. Clark (Jeffrey, Noreau/penalty Pajuniemi) 1-0. 16. Postma (Danforth, Faille) 2-0. 34. DiDomenico (Postma, Fehr/penalty Anttalainen) 3-0. 43. Faille (DiDomenico) 4-0. 45. Versteeg (Clark) 5-0. 58. Clark (Jeffrey, Upshall) 6-0.
Penalties: 5 minors on Team Canada, 6 minors and 10 minutes (Anttalainen) on TPS Turku.
Team Canada: Fucale; Noreau, MacDonald; Postma, Wiercioch; Mitchell, Maione; Ross; Jooris, Fehr, Boychuk; Clark, Jeffrey, Versteeg; Danforth, Faille, DiDomenico; Riley, Tambellini, Upshall; Knelsen.
TPS Turku: Tirronen (48. Pohjanoksa); Olsson, Piskula; Larsson, Anttalainen; Sund, Salonen; Windlert; Budish, Filppula, Korpikoski; Pyythia, Wirtanen, Janatuinen; Pajuniemi, Parssinenm, Nurmi; Suoranta, Karvonen, Lehtinen; Kuru.
Game notes: Pajuniemi hit goal post (52.).