CALGARY - Team Canada opens play Friday in the annual Deutschland Cup hockey tournament in Stuttgart, Germany, Canadian Hockey announced.
Canada's National team takes on Slovakia in their tournament opener, while the host German club plays Italy in the other opening-day game of the four-nation tournament. It's a straight round-robin competition; the team with the best won-lost record wins the event.
Canada will play Germany on Saturday and complete the tournament on Sunday with a game against Italy.
The Nats tuned up for the tournament with 6-5 exhibition victory over Mannheim, a German club team, on Tuesday night, before travelling on to Stuttgart. George Zajankala, of North Delta, B.C. and Dean Evason of Calgary each scored twice for Canada in that game, while Xavier Majic of Fernie, B.C., and Jason Young of Rayside-Balfour, Ont., added singles.
Mannheim, one of the strongest teams in the German Elite League, is undefeated in league play so far this season.
Team Canada, under head coach Andy Murray and associate coach/general manager Mike Johnston, has started its 1996-97 season well, with an 8-1-0 won-lost-tied record. Next weekend, Team Canada travels to Oslo, Norway to play in the Rimi Cup.
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