Team Canada with convincing performance
Article - Team Canada with convincing performance
In its first appearance Team Canada underlined its ambition to conquer the title of the 93rd Spengler Cup. The Canadians defeated Czech champions Ocelari Trinec 4-1 on Thursday evening. The team from overseas laid the foundation to victory with three goals within the first 26 minutes of play.
Based on past experience the players on Team Canada do not take long to become a unit at the Spengler Cup. Already in their first game they proved to be a compact and ambitious team. And the special teams were clicking. Kris Versteeg, the two-time Stanley Cup champion with a total of 736 NHL games under his belt, put his team ahead on the first powerplay. Kevin Clark made use of the third man-advantage to make it 2-0, unstoppably redirecting a long-range shot by captain Maxim Noreau. Clark, who powers the Rapperswil-Jona Lakers’ offence in the National League, scored the Canadians’ third goal as well, when he found a wide-open net after Ian Mitchell had laid the groundwork.
The Canadians proved to not only be technically superior. They kept up a high tempo that Trinec seemed unable to cope with for two periods. On multiple occasions the Czechs had to resort to fouls to stop their opponents. In the first two periods alone the head referees booked the eastern Europeans with six minor penalties. Trinec’s goaltender Petr Kvaca was constantly under fire. The Canadians registered 29 shots on the Czech net in the first 40 minutes alone. During the same timeframe, Team Canada netminder Zach Fucale was tested only 12 times. But Aron Chmielewski’s marker for the Czechs in the 29th minute kept the game exciting. In the final period Trinec pushed hard to make it a one-goal game, but Fucale prevented that with several solid saves. Clark with his third goal of the game marked the final score 59 seconds before the end of regulation.
While Team Canada will enjoy a day off on Friday following their victory, Trinec will make its second appearance within 24 hours when it takes on HC Davos in the evening.
Ocelari Trinec – Team Canada 1-4 (0-1, 1-2, 0-1)
Eisstadion Davos. – Attendance 6006 – Referees Lemelin/Wiegand (USA/SUI), Kovacs/Progin (SUI/SUI).
Soring: 6. Versteeg (Jeffrey, Tambellini) 0-1. 23. Clark (Noreau, Tambellini/penalty Marcinko) 0-2. 27. Clark (Mitchell, Wiercioch) 0-3. 29. Chmielewski (Musil) 1-3. 59. (58:59) Clark (empty net) 1-4.
Penalties: 6 minors on Ocelari Trinec, 2 minors on Team Canada.
Ocelari Trinec: Kvaca; Doudera, Gernat; Musil, Galvins; Haman, Zahradnicek; Adamek; Stransky, Marcinko, Dravecky; Ondrej Kovarcik, Michal Kovarcik, Martynek; Chmielewski, Polansky, Adamsky; Sztzurc, Novotny, Hrna.
Team Canada: Fucale; Noreau, MacDonald; Grant, Wiercioch; Postma, Maione; Mitchell; Jooris, Desharnais, Winnik; Clark, Jeffrey, Versteeg; Fehr, Maxwell, DiDomenico; Danforth, Tambellini, Upshall; Faille.
Notes: 59. Timeout Trinec. – Trinec with empty net from 58:41 to 58:59
Text: Spengler Cup-Online Foto: Keystone