FROM THE POINT
What a game. Canada battled back from a 2-0 deficit, tied it at 2-2, played through five minutes of sudden death overtime – and then went through 8 shots in a shoot out before finally defeating Davos 3-2.
Randy Robitaille, who normally plays for the Atlanta Thrashers, popped the winner for Canada in the shootout. It was his second go round in the shoot out.
“On my first shot I thought I’d go for the five hole, but the ice was so chippy that I had trouble controlling the puck,” said Robitaille. “On the second one I wasn’t really sure what I was going to do; so I waited just an extra second to see what the goalie was going to do. He started to go down and I fired it high.”
Canadian Assistant Coach Sean Simpson, who coaches Zug in the Swiss League, chose who would go in the shootout.
“He knows all the guys,” said Head Coach Marc Habschied. “He sees them all the time.”
“I told the guys to go high on him (Swiss netminder Jonas Hiller)”, said Simpson.
As it turned out, both Canadian goals scored during the shootout went up top.
Canada started slowly when Sandro Rizzi broke in alone while his team was shorthanded. Columbus Bluejackets’ star Rick Nash, playing this season for Davos, put the host club up 2-0 before the end of the first period.
“I think in the first we were watching them a little,” said Habscheid. “By the second and third periods we were taking the play to them more. We played really well.”
Canada was having trouble solving Hiller, who stopped shot after shot through most of the first two periods. Robitaille finally started things rolling for Canada with a power play goal at 19:54 of the second period. Jamie Pollock tied the game up at 6:08 of the third period when he pounded a shot towards the net that found it’s way through a crowd and in behind Hiller.
Canada is 2-0 in the tournament after back to back wins over two of the toughest teams – Mettalurg Magnitigorsk (Russia) and Davos (Switzerland). They have a day off before playing against Sparta Prag (Czech Republic) on Wednesday.
“You know, every team in this tournament is a good one,” Habschied reflected after the game. “We knew that Russia and Davos would be tough. Did we think we’d be 2 and 0? We tried not to think that far ahead. Are we happy to be 2 and 0? Absolutely.”
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Brad Pascall Vice-President, Hockey Operations