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Team Canada: Best of Both World's

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by Paul Romanuk

One of the most unique things about the Spengler Cup tournament is the setting - a picturesque ski village in the midst of the Swiss Alps.  Another of the great things about the tournament is the extent to which Hockey Canada goes to make it “family friendly”.  They will arrange to bring in, and look after, a player’s wife, kids, girlfriend, parents.....you name it.  The best of both of those worlds was combined on Saturday afternoon as the team held a light practice, followed by a family skate on one of the spectacular outdoor rinks in front of the Davos Ice Stadium.

It was easier to enjoy the day in the wake of an opening night 3-2 win over Germany (represented by the Krefeld Penguins).   Canada displayed what has become a normal pattern in most international tournaments - a slow start, followed by increased confidence and, by the third period, a feeling that things are coming together.  Goaltender Jamie Hodson (St. John’s Maple Leafs - AHL) was spectacular as he stopped a couple of breakaway chances and generally held his team in the game during a first period that featured frequent defensive breakdowns.  Yves Sarault scored the winner for Canada 2:07 into the final period when he converted a beautiful pass from defenceman Chris Belanger.  The other two Canadian goal scorers, Jean-Guy Trudel and Jame Pollock,  were both making their Spengler Cup debut.

Canada’s next test will be Sunday night (8:45pm local time) against the powerful Finnish club team Jokerit.  The Jokers feature former NHLers Sami Helanius(Calgary, Colorado, Dallas), Glenn Metropolit (Washington) and Todd Warriner (Toronto, Tampa Bay, Vancouver). 

Canadian coach Gary Green juggled his game one  line combinations around during practice.  He should have a few more options for game two.  He was a couple of forwards short and was forced to move defenceman Matt Kinch up front.  Team captain Jan Alston was down with the flu and Mike Craig was still with his club team in Vienna, Austria.  Both players will be in the line up for Sunday’s game.  It is expected that veteran goaltender Wade Flaherty (Islanders, San Jose) will make his Team Canada debut against Jokerit.

 

For more information:

André Brin
Director, Communications
Hockey Canada
403-777-4557
abrin@hockeycanada.ca

Francis Dupont
Manager, Media Relations/Communications
Hockey Canada
403-777-4564
fdupont@hockeycanada.ca

Jason LaRose
Manager, Content Services
Hockey Canada
403-777-4553
jlarose@hockeycanada.ca

Kristen Lipscombe
Coordinator, Communications
Hockey Canada
403-284-6427
klipscombe@hockeycanada.ca

Keegan Goodrich
Coordinator, Media
Hockey Canada
403-284-6484
kgoodrich@hockeycanada.ca

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