DAVOS, Switzerland – Zach Boychuk (Airdrie, Alta./SC Bern, NLA) and Matt D’Agostini (Sault Ste. Marie, Ont./HC Ambri-Piotta, NLA) scored the goals, sending Canada’s National Men’s Team to a 2-1 win over HC Davos in the opening game for both Wednesday at the 2018 Spengler Cup.
The win means the Canadians will enjoy an off day Thursday before closing out the brief preliminary round against the Nürnburg Ice Tigers on Friday (2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT, TSN 2/5).
The three-time defending champions came out firing in the first period, outshooting Davos 17-6, but could only get one past goaltender Anders Lindbäck; Boychuk had a centring pass from Simon Després (Laval, Que./Laval, AHL) go off his skate and in just 5:24 in.
D’Agostini doubled the advantage 3:43 into the second period, working his way to the side of the net before sneaking a shot underneath the arm of Lindbäck to make it 2-0.
Zac Dalpe (Paris, Ont./Cleveland, AHL) had a glorious chance to extend the lead even more just minutes later when he was awarded a penalty shot, but Lindbäck got a piece of his heavy wrist shot to keep it a two-goal game.
The Swiss side finally solved Zach Fucale (Rosemère, Que./Fort Wayne, AHL) near the end of the middle frame when Thierry Bader counted unassisted, but that would be the lone puck to beat the Canadian netminder.
Canada withstood a Davos push in the third period, with Fucale kicking out his right pad to deny the final scoring chance in the dying seconds and clinch Canada’s record-setting ninth-consecutive victory; it won eight in a row between the 2002 and 2003 tournaments.