CANADA OPENS TITLE DEFENCE WITH WIN AT SPENGLER CUP
JASON LA ROSE
DAVOS, Switzerland – David McIntyre (Pefferlaw, Ont./EV Zug, NLA) scored the game-winning goal shorthanded with just over six minutes to go, and Canada survived a frantic finish to earn a 5-3 win over Mountfield HK in its opening game Tuesday at the 2017 Spengler Cup.
With the Canadians nursing a one-goal lead late and the Czech side pushing for the equalizer, McIntyre picked up a loose puck in the neutral zone and wired a shot over the blocker of Patrik Rybar to make it 4-2.
Mountfield got one in the dying minutes to get within one again, but P-A Parenteau (Boucherville, Que./Avtomobilist Yekaterinburg, KHL) found the empty net with 33.6 seconds left to secure the win for Canada.
Five different players scored goals for the Canadians, who got two assists apiece from Jay McClement (Kingston, Ont./EHC Olten, NLB) and Maxim Noreau (Montreal, Que./SC Bern, NLA) as it opened defence of its 2015 and 2016 titles with a win.
It was Mountfield who struck first midway through the first period when Lukas Vopelka beat Canadian netminder Barry Brust (Swan River, Man./HC Fribourg-Gottéron, NLA) up and over the shoulder, but a point shot from Victor Bartley (Maple Ridge, B.C./Örebro, HK, SHL) banked off the end boards, off the skate of Rybar and in to tie the game less than five minutes later.
Curtis Hamilton (Kelowna, B.C./SC Rapperswil-Jona, NLA) gave Canada the lead in the final minute of the opening frame, redirecting in the 2-1 after pretty passing from Jeremy Davies (Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue, Que./Northeastern University, HE) and McClement.
Oskars Cibulskis tied it for the Extraliga team 4:03 into the second period, banking a centering pass off a Canadian defender and past Brust, but a point shot from Noreau hit the pants of Mason Raymond (Cochrane, Alta./SC Bern, NLA) and eluded Rybar for a power-play goal and a 3-2 lead after 40 minutes.
Mountfield had an 11-4 advantage in shots on goal in the third – and 33-28 overall – but couldn’t get closer than one goal.
The win means Canada will enjoy an off day Wednesday before facing tournament host HC Davos to wrap up the preliminary round on Thursday (2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT).