KREFELD, Germany (CP) - Mike Maneluk, Chris Herperger, Greg Leeb and Mike Green scored as Canada defeated Germany 4-1 Wednesday in a tuneup for this weekend's Hungarian Cup hockey tournament.
Veteran Corey Hirsch got the win in goal for Canada. Head coach Marc Habscheid was pleased with the effort given that the Canadian team - made up of European-based Canadian skaters - was playing its first game together. Most of the players are from the German and Swiss leagues.
"We started a little slow, but that was to be expected with a new group of guys together again," Habscheid said. "But we played hard as a group and got better as the game went on."
Once again, Hockey Canada stayed away from using locked-out NHLers who are playing in Europe. It's all about scouting players in case NHLers aren't allowed to play at the Turin Olympics next February.
"We stayed with what we've done all year," Habscheid said. "We're trying to evaluate some players, give them opportunities. You always want to win but at the same time we're also looking towards Turin and want to make sure we're evaluating and taking a look at guys in case we need them going into the Olympics."
Canada has gone 7-3-1 overall in the Deutschland Cup, Loto Cup and Spengler Cup leading into the Hungarian Cup, often facing other teams stacked with NHLers.
"That's just a credit to the depth of Canadian hockey," Habscheid said. "There's a lot of good players in Canada and a lot of good players who aren't playing in the NHL. They're really proud to wear the jersey and we're giving them the opportunity and they're grateful."
Canada opens the Hungarian Cup on Friday against the host country before taking on Germany on Saturday and Slovakia on Sunday.
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Brad Pascall Vice-President, Hockey Operations