DAVOS – In a cruel twist of fate, it was a couple of Canadians who managed to put one over on a sharp looking Canadian team in their first game at the Spengler Cup Championship. The Russian club team Magnitigorsk, coached by former Canadian Olympic team coach Dave King, and a little known Canadian-born netminder, Travis Scott, were key players in a 2-1 shootout victory over Canada. King said it felt strange coaching against a country he has done so much for during his career.
“I don’t know if I’d ever get used to it,” said King. “I have so many great memories with the National Program.”
The two teams went seven deep into a shootout before Alexi Kaygorodov scored what proved to be the winner as he rifled a low shot past Canadian netminder Andy Chiodo. Forward Stacey Roest, taking his second shot of the shootout, had to score to keep Canada alive – but he wasn’t able to beat Scott.
“I thought both shots I took were ok,” said Roest. “But the ice was pretty chippy after we’d played a game and then overtime on it. The puck was a little tough to control.”
There was no scoring in the first period as Canada outshot the Russians 11-5. Dominic Pittis put Canada up 1-0 at 3:39 of the second period before Eduard Kudermetov tied it up for Magnitigorsk at 9:31. That was it for the scoring, although Canada poured 18 shots at Scott in the 3rd period. The final shots on goal were 46-16 for Canada, but they just couldn’t seem to solve the Russian netminder.
“Hand it to him, he played well,” said Roest. “I think if we just keep taking shots we’ll be alright. We
got better as the game went on and I think we have a good team.”
Canada gets right back into the fire on Tuesday as they will face the host club, HC Davos, in game number two. Davos won their opener 5-3 against Sparta Prague.