METTALLURG MAGNITOGORSK 8 - CANADA
By Paul Romanuk
DAVOS – Mettallurg Magnitogorsk scored just over one minute into
the game and rode the momentum to an 8-3 crushing of Canada in the Championship Game of the 2005 Spengler
Cup. It was Canada’s worst showing in a Spengler Cup final since 1990, when they were defeated by another
Russian club team, Spartak, 8-3.
Magnitogorsk, coached by ex-Canadian Olympic coach Dave King, seemed to have the jump on Team Canada from the
opening face off. Ruslan Nurtdinov fired a shot from the right wing, just inside the blueline, that Canadian
goalie Andy Chiodo only managed to get a piece of. The puck trickled across the goal line at 1:09 to put
Magnitogorsk up 1-0. Former NHLer Dmitri Yushkevich scored at 13:14 and Evgeny Gladskikh made it 3-0 for
Russia at 18:11. Brett Skinner got one back for Canada late in the period on a nice set up from Jeff
In the second period Canada appeared to get things on track as they started to crowd the area in front of
Magnitogorsk’s Canadian-born goalie Travis Scott. Dale McTavish set a beautiful screen in front of Scott on a
Canadian power play that allowed defenseman Cory Murphy to find the back of the net at 6:57. However, any
spark the team had was snuffed out in the span of about two minutes in the second half of the period. Ravil
Gusmanov fired a shot towards the Canadian goal from in tight and it bounced of the outside of Canadian
defenseman Zenith Komarniski’s skate in behind a helpless Chiodo. That was was followed, 1:15 later, by a
Russian power play marker that went in off of Canadian forward Yves Sarault’s stick. It was 5-2 Magnitogorsk
and the game was, for all intents and purposes, over.
Canada gambled in the third period, trailing 6-3, when they went on the power play and then pulled the
goaltender for a two man advantage. Denis Platonov scored into an empty net at 18:12 to make it 7-3. Yuri
Dobryshikin finished the scoring off at 18:52.
“They got off to a quick start and that really put us back on our heals,” said Team Canada coach Marc
Habscheid. “We thought maybe we had things starting to roll there in the second period, we were starting to
do some of the things we wanted to do, but those two goals [the deflections] really put us back.”
King, who won a Spengler Cup championship during his days behind the Canadian bench as the National Team
coach, felt a little uncomfortable with the win.
“It just seemed very strange to be in a championship game going against Canada,” said King. “I had a job to
do, our team had a job to do, but I’m still a Canadian and it just didn’t feel quite right.”
Magnitogorsk is one of the top teams in the Russian league. Many expect that, under King, they should be able
to win a championship in the playoffs this spring.