CANADA INTO SPENGLER CUP FINAL

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Maxim Noreau had a goal and an assist and Maxim Lapierre added three helpers, sending Canada to another Spengler Cup final with a 5-2 semifinal win over Mountfield HK. © KEYSTONE/Melanie Duchene

DAVOS, Switzerland – Maxim Noreau (Montreal, Que./SC Bern, NLA) had a goal and an assist in the third period, sending Canada’s National Men’s Team to another championship game at the Spengler Cup after a 5-2 semifinal win over Mountfield HK on Saturday.

The Canadians are into the final for the third year in a row, and will look to win a third-consecutive title on Sunday (6 a.m. ET/3 a.m. PT) against the winner of the HC Davos-Switzerland semifinal.

Maxim Lapierre (Brossard, Que./HC Lugano, NLA) added three assists for the Canadians, who got 26 saves from Kevin Poulin (Montreal, Que./KHL Medvescak Zagreb, EBEL).

It took just four minutes for Canada to grab an early lead; David McIntyre (Pefferlaw, Ont./EV Zug, NLA) found a loose puck at the side of the net and beat Mountfield netminder Patrik Rybar.

Jay McClement (Kingston, Ont./EHC Olten, NLB) doubled the advantage at 15:09, beating Rybar with a quick shot from the high slot, but Lukas Cingel walked out of the corner and stuffed the puck past Poulin just 14 seconds later to get the Czech side on the board.

Cody Goloubef (Oakville, Ont,/Stockton, AHL) restored the two-goal advantage at 3:16 of the second period, whipping a wrist shot under the glove of Rybar, only for Michal Dragoun to convert on a shorthanded breakaway late in the middle frame to make it a 3-2 after two.

Mountfield came close to equalizing midway through the third period when Petr Koukal raced away on another shorthanded break, but Poulin stretched to deny the backhand and preserve the Canadian lead.

Zach Boychuk (Airdrie, Alta./HC Slovan Bratislava, KHL) added insurance for Canada with less than five minutes to go, knocking in a rebound just six seconds into a power play for a 4-2 advantage.

Noreau banked in a shorthanded, empty-net goal from 200 feet to finish the scoring in the final seconds.

Quotes:

 

“We expected a tight game going in. We thought that we might have an advantage on the energy level [since] they played an extra game. But they kind of surprised [us]; they played hard. They’re a good team. I knew they were a good team, they played hard against us the first time, and I thought we were a little bit fortunate to win that game the first time, so it didn’t surprise me that they played well.”

Head coach Willie Desjardins on the semifinal against Mountfield HK

 

“We came out better than the last couple games. We had a lot more confidence. I think the guys are catching their wind up here at the altitude – it’s been a tough transition for a lot of guys, and the big ice. We’ve tried not to make a lot of excuses but it’s always at the back of your mind. So I think today was a lot better. We got a day’s rest yesterday which was huge for us. And we have a lot of composure in the room right now. We never really panicked in the room whether we were up or down. It was a good all-around effort.”

Maxim Noreau on the team’s adjustments through the tournament

The Canadians are one win away from a record-tying 15th Spengler Cup title. A victory Sunday would mark the second time Canada went back-to-back-to-back at the invitational tournament; it won four in a row from 1995-98.

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