Micki Dupont (Calgary, Alta.), Brett McLean (Comox, B.C.) and Josh Holden (Calgary, Alta.) scored the goals for Canada, which outshot SKA St. Petersburg 38-25. McLean’s goal pulled Canada to within one at 3-2 with 82 seconds left, but an empty net goal sealed the win for the Russian side. Holden scored with two seconds remaining to round out the scoring.
Canada advanced to the championship game with a 4-0 win over HC Davos (SUI) in Thursday’s semifinal. In the preliminary round, Canada finished second in Group Cattini, which included a 6-1 win over Spartak Moscow (RUS) and a 3-2 loss to Davos, and beat Sparta Prague (CZE) 4-3 in Wednesday’s quarter-final thanks to an overtime winner from Dupont.
Following the game, goaltender Jeff Deslauriers (Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Que.) and defenceman Travis Roche (Grande Cache, Alta.) were named to the tournament all-star team, joining defenceman Goran Bezina (Genève-Servette) and forwards Dan Fritsche (Genève-Servette), Reto von Arx (HC Davos) and Alexei Yashin (SKA St. Petersburg).
Canada’s roster is mainly comprised of Canadian-born players currently playing in Europe. The team was selected by Brad Pascall, Hockey Canada’s executive vice-president of hockey operations/national teams, and Mark Black, Hockey Canada’s manager of hockey operations/national teams, along with head coach Mark Messier (Edmonton, Alta.) and assistant coaches Doug Shedden (Wallaceburg, Ont.) and Bill Moores (Edmonton, Alta.).
Canada has now appeared in nine of the last 11 championship games, winning the Spengler Cup in 2002, 20. Overall, Canada’s National Men’s Team has won the Spengler Cup 11 times (1984, 1986, 1987, 1992, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2002, 2003, 2007) since first taking part in the tournament in 1984.
The Spengler Cup, held annually since 1923, is the oldest professional international hockey tournament in the world.