POWER PLAY PUSHES CANADA INTO SPENGLER CUP SEMIS

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DAVOS, Switzerland – Andrew Ebbett (Vernon, B.C./SC Bern, NLA), Maxim Noreau (Montreal, Que./SC Bern, NLA) and Mason Raymond (Cochrane, Alta./Hockey Canada) all scored on the power play, leading Canada’s National Men’s Team to a 5-1 quarter-final win over Mountfield HK on Thursday at the 2016 Spengler Cup.

The victory sets up a rematch with HC Dinamo Minsk in the semifinals on Friday (9 a.m. ET/6 a.m. PT). Minsk topped the Canadians 7-4 in the tournament opener for both on Monday.

Ebbett, Raymond and Brandon Gormley (Murray River, P.E.I./Albany, AHL) were the offensive leaders for Canada, recording a goal and two assists apiece.

Francis Paré (Lemoyne, Que./KHL Medvescak Zagreb, KHL) was the other Canadian goal scorer, while Zach Fucale (Rosemère, Que./Brampton, ECHL) stopped 19 of 20 to record his second win in goal.

The Canadian power play went to work less than five minutes in, with Andrew Ebbett burying a big rebound off a point shot from Mark Katic (Timmins, Ont./KHL Medvescak Zagreb, KHL) at 4:19.

Noreau doubled the lead very late in the opening frame on another man advantage, getting a wrist shot through traffic and past Mountfield goaltender Ondrej Kacetl with just 19 seconds left.

Gormley made it 3-0 at 13:32 of the second period, finishing off a 3-on-2 with Ebbett and Raymond by knocking in a loose puck in the crease, but Jaroslav Bednar one back for the Czech side with 40 seconds left, hammering a one-timer past Fucale on the power play.

Any momentum Mountfield took into the final 20 minutes didn’t last long; Raymond parked himself at the side of the net and scored on a rebound to restore the three-goal advantage on the power play at 2:24 of the third.

Paré capped the scoring just 37 seconds later, roofing a shot over the glove of Kacetl from in close.

The Canadian power play has clicked at a rate of just over 38 per cent through three games, scoring eight times on 21 chances. More than half of Canada’s goals in the tournament – eight of 13 – have come with the man advantage.

Quotes:

 

Luke Richardson, head coach, Canada’s National Men’s Team:

“We continue to get better as a team, especially with our five-on-five play. The power play continues to be red-hot with three more goals today. Playing with the lead helps our team stay fresh rather than chasing the game. Our goal was to get into the semifinal, and we’re now there – tomorrow will be another exciting day for our team.”

 

Gormley:

“We’re getting better every game and coming together as a group. It’s a great bunch of guys, and we’re all enjoying this opportunity. Special teams continue to give us an advantage with another three power play goals. We’re exactly where we want to be, playing in the semifinal.”

 

Canada has appeared in 11 of the last 15 championship games at the Spengler Cup, winning the tournament in 2002, 2003, 2007, 2012 and 2015. Overall, Canada’s National Men’s Team has won the Spengler Cup 13 times (1984, 1986, 1987, 1992, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2002, 2003, 2007, 2012, 2015) since first taking part in 1984.

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