CANADA BLANKS TRINEC, WINS SPENGLER CUP FOR 16TH TIME
JASON LA ROSE
DAVOS, Switzerland – Zach Fucale (Rosemère, Que./Orlando, ECHL) made 26 saves for his second-straight shutout and Dustin Jeffrey (Sarnia, Ont./Lausanne HC, NLA) scored twice, leading Canada’s National Men’s Team to a 4-0 win over HC Ocelari Trinec in the championship game Tuesday at the 2019 Spengler Cup.
It is the fourth title in five years and 16th overall for the Canadians, which breaks a tie with host HC Davos for the most in tournament history.
Canada simply dominated from start to finish; it outscored its opponents 19-2 in four games, setting an all-time mark for fewest goals allowed in a single tournament.
Fucale was a big reason why. The goaltender gave up just a single goal in three starts, ended the tournament with a 151:29 shutout streak and finished with tournament-leading marks in goals-against average (0.33) and save percentage (.986). He is a remarkable 10-0-1 in three appearances at the Spengler Cup.
After a scoreless first period, the Canadians rode their special teams to a big lead in the second.
Jeffrey finally broke through nine minutes into the middle frame on the power play, finishing a tic-tac-toe passing play with a back-door tap-in off a set-up from Adam Tambellini (Edmonton, Alta./MODO Hockey, Allsvenskan).
Trinec continued its march the penalty box and Canada continued to take advantage, scoring a pair of five-on-three goals just 89 seconds apart.
Ian Mitchell (Calahoo, Alta./University of Denver, NCHC) made it 2-0 at 11:40, whipping a wrist shot past the glove of goaltender Jakub Stepanek, and Kris Versteeg (Lethbridge, Alta./HK Nitra, SVK) roofed a shot from the side of the net at 13:09 to put Canada in complete control.
In all, the Canadians scored three power-play goals in a span of 4:07 to take a big lead to the intermission.
Trinec pushed in the third period to get back into the game, but Fucale was there each and every time. He made more than half of his stops – 14 in total – in the final 20 minutes.
Jeffrey capped the scoring early in the final stanza, taking a long stretch pass from captain Maxim Noreau (Montreal, Que./ZSC Lions, NLA) and banging his own rebound past Stepanek. Prior to the game, Fucale, Noreau and Kevin Clark (Winnipeg, Man./SC Rapperswil-Jona, NLA) – who led the tournament in goals (six) and points (eight) – were named to the tournament all-star team.