Ottawa Citizen

Canada finds its of­fence to blank host HC Davos

Oil­ers goal­tender Dub­nyk gets shutout in Spen­gler Cup matchup

- MITCH GOLDENBERG

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.

 ?? SAL­VA­TORE DI NOLFI/THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS ?? Team Canada’s Sam Gag­ner, left, vies for the puck with Davos player Joe Thorn­ton Thurs­day in Davos, Switzer­land.
SAL­VA­TORE DI NOLFI/THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS Team Canada’s Sam Gag­ner, left, vies for the puck with Davos player Joe Thorn­ton Thurs­day in Davos, Switzer­land.

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