BIG FIRST PERIOD SENDS CANADA TO SPENGLER CUP FINAL
JASON LA ROSE
DAVOS, Switzerland – Zach Boychuk (Airdrie, Alta./SC Bern, NLA) scored twice and added an assist and Cory Emmerton (St. Thomas, Ont./Lausanne HC, NLA) had a goal and a helper – all in the first 13 minutes – to help Canada’s National Men’s Team advance to the championship game at the 2018 Spengler Cup with a 4-2 semifinal win over the Nürnberg Ice Tigers on Sunday.
The Canadians will face the winner of the late semifinal between HC Davos and KalPa Kuopio in the final on Monday (6 a.m. ET/3 a.m. PT, TSN3/5), one victory away from a record-tying fourth-consecutive tournament title.
Zach Fucale (Rosemère, Que./Fort Wayne, ECHL) made 15 saves to earn his third win in as many starts.
Emmerton was first onto the scoreboard; Boychuk did the hard work, driving down the right wing before centring for Emmerton, who knocked in the 1-0 goal at 7:06.
The roles were reversed less than three minutes later when Emmerton picked off an errant pass in the Nürnberg zone and fed Boychuk to double the advantage.
Boychuk added a second goal at 12:45, getting his stick on a blast from the point by Maxim Noreau (Montreal, Que./ZSC Lions, NLA) to cap off a dominant first period – the Canadians outshot Nürnberg 14-3 and took a 3-0 lead to the intermission.
The teams exchanged power-play goals in the second period; Chris DiDomenico (Woodbridge, Ont./SCL Tigers, NLA) caught a break when his pass hit an Ice Tigers stick and eluded goaltender Niklas Treutle early in the middle frame, before Daniel Weiss went five-hole on Fucale to get the German side on the board.
Brandon Buck added another for the Ice Tigers with less than five minutes to go, but the Canadians held off the late push to book their spot in final for the 10th time in the last 14 years.
Canada held a one-sided advantage in shots on goal, 33-17.