Team Canada qualified for the semifinals on Thursday night with a convincing 5-1 victory over HK Mountfield. There the defending champions will face off against Dynamo Minsk on Friday afternoon.
The Canadians set things straight early on. In the opening period they took advantage of two of their four power play opportunities. After no less than 259 seconds it was Andrew Ebbett who put the team from overseas ahead on the first power play. Maxim Noreau, the second “Bernese” on Team Canada, then increased the lead 19 seconds before the first intermission with a snipe from long range. Midway through the game Brandon Gormley made it 3-0 during 4-on-4 play. Shortly before the second intermission Mountfield’s captain Jaroslav Bednar put the Czechs on the board on the power play, thus avoiding the potentially first shutout of the current Spengler Cup tournament. Mason Raymond and Francis Pare added a goal apiece in the closing period to seal the walkover victory for the Canadians. In an absolutely fair game played in a harmless, non-aggressive way, the referees, due to the zero-tolerance interpretation of the rules, handed out 16 minor penalties – ten against Mountfield and six against Team Canada.
In Friday afternoon’s semifinal there will now be a reunion of sorts. Dynamo Minsk and Team Canada already played each other in the first game of Group Cattini on December 26. The Belarusians handily took that matchup 7-4.
Mountfield Kralove – Team Canada 1:5 (0:2, 1:1, 0:2)
Attendance: 6012 – REF Wehrli/Wiegand, Kaderli/Obwegeser.
Scoring: 5. Ebbett (Katic, Raymond/Penalty Planek) 0:1. 20. (19:41) Noreau (DiDomenico, Gormley/Penalty Lhotak) 0:2. 34. Gormley (Ebbett, Raymond) 0:3. 40. (39:20) Bednar (Gregorc/Penalty Gormley) 1:3. 43. Raymond (Flood, Ebbett/Penalty Dietz) 1:4. 44. Pare (Gormley) 1:5.
Penalties: 10 minors against Mountfield Kralove, 6 minors against Team Canada.
Mountfield Kralove: Kacetl; Planek, Cap; Gregorc, Dietz; Stajnoch, Newton; Pavlas, Ehrhardt; Cerveny, Dzerins, Simanek; Bednar, Kukumberg, Dej; Jarusek, Dragoun, Kohler; Lhotak, Knotek, Monnet.
Team Canada: Fucale; Noreau, Gormley; Parlett, Morrisonn; Heshka, Katic; Flood; DiDomenico, Pouliot, Micflikier; Raymond, McIntyre, Ebbett; Pare, Sheppard, Campbell; Spaling, Emmerton, Colby Genoway; Jeffrey.
Notes: Mountfield Kralove without Picard, Team Canada without Vukovic (both healthy scratches).