PIESTANY, SLOVAKIA – Team Canada defeated the home country of Slovakia to win the 2003 Loto Cup, overcoming a sellout crowd and seven power play opportunities against to win the final game of the event 4-3. Canada finished the Loto Cup with a 2-0-1 record.
The Loto Cup, formerly known as the Slovakia Cup, took place in Piestany, Slovakia from December 18-21, 2003. The four team event featured teams from Austria, Slovakia and Switzerland. Canada finished 1st, followed by Austria (2nd), Slovakia (3rd) and Switzerland (4th).
Slovakia opened the scoring and took a 2-1 lead in the second period, when Canada scored three straight goals to take a 4-2 lead after two periods. The turning point of the game was Canada killing a five minute major penalty in the second period and Team Canada’s Jeff Toms scored a shorthanded goal. The scoring summary is available at www.hockeycanada.ca.
Darcy Werenka scored twice for Canada and was named player of the game. Andrew Verner played in goal for Canada, making 28 saves, and was named goaltender of the tournament.
Team Canada’s roster was comprised of players currently playing in four different countries. Hockey Canada’s Vice-president, Hockey Johnny Misley and Team Manager Scott Salmond along with Head Coach Mike McParland put together rosters of Canadian born players playing in Europe, along with the addition of players on loan from NHL and AHL teams. McParland, who coaches in the Swiss National A league was joined by Assistant Coaches Shawn Simpson (Swiss National A league) and Ken Babey, Head Coach of SAIT (Calgary, AB) of the ACAC.
Ten players from Canada’s Loto Cup team will join Canada in Davos, Switzerland for the 77th edition of the Spengler Cup, taking place December 26-31, 2003. Rogers Sportsnet will be broadcasting all of Team Canada’s games at the Spengler Cup (check local listings).
Team Canada announced on Saturday that three forwards have been added to Canada’s Spengler Cup roster
|-||Craig, Mike||6'1||185||06/06/71||London, ON||Vienna (AUS)|
|-||Di Pietro, Paul||5'9||175||09/08/70||Sault Ste. Marie, ON||EV Zug(SUI)|
|-||Trudel, Jean-Guy||6'0||186||10/18/75||Sudbury, ON||Ambri-Piotta(SUI)|