Canada finds its offence to blank host HC Davos
Oilers goaltender Dubnyk gets shutout in Spengler Cup matchup
DAVOS, Switzerland • If there were any doubts about Canada’s scoring touch at the Spengler Cup, they were emphatically put to rest Thursday.
Byron Ritchie scored two secondperiod goals to lead Canada to a convincing 5-0 win over host HC Davos. Canada (1-1) took better advantage of its offensive chances against the defending tournament champion than it did in its opener, a stunning 2-1 OT loss Germany’s Adler Mannheim.
“None of these guys were happy about losing last night and they certainly showed it in their play tonight,” said head coach Doug Shedden. “We put a system in place in the neutral zone that wouldn’t let Davos play its style of hockey.”
John Tavares, Ryan Smyth and Jason Williams had the other goals for Canada, whose roster is a mix of NHLers and national team veterans. Players such as Jason Spezza, Sam Gagner and Patrice Bergeron line up alongside Ritchie, who is in his fourth season of playing in Europe.
“If you ask anyone in the dressing room, it doesn’t really matter who scores,” said Ritchie, who plays with Bern of the Swiss league and has also suited up in Sweden and Belarus. “We’re here as a team and we have one goal in mind, and that’s to win the tournament.”
Edmonton Oilers goalie Devan Dubnyk, earning the start ahead of Jonathan Bernier, stopped 25 shots for the shutout in his first taste of game action since last April.
“I just wanted to make sure I was being intense. My positioning was right and I stayed patient,” Dubnyk said. “The guys were great defensively. Davos is such an explosive team and we did a good job countering and capitalizing on opportunities.”
Despite having little to cheer about, the home crowd remained loud until the final buzzer in a snug 6,000 seat Vaillant Arena.
“To lose the first two games would have been devastating,” Shedden said. “The longer it goes the better we should get, and all the guys know that.”
Ritchie and Berra were named the players of the game for their teams.
Canada is off Friday when Davos and Mannheim square off. If the host team wins that contest, the Canadians will finish first in their division and get a bye to the semifinal round Sunday. But if the German side wins, then Canada would take second in the conference and play a quarter-final contest Saturday. In the other game Thursday, Salavat Yulaev Ufa edged HC Vitkovice Steel 5-4 in overtime. The quarter-finals victors will advance to the semifinal against the two first-place squads Sunday, with a championship game played Monday.