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Canada’s star-studded lineup wins Spengler Cup


DAVOS, Switzerland — Canada’s Patrice Bergeron silenced the raucous crowd at the Vaillant Arena in the opening minute of the Spengler Cup final.

He then made sure that host HC Davos never recovered.

Bergeron sparked an early rally with his goal in the opening minute and Canada was never threatened in a comfortable 7-2 victory. Bergeron added three assists to help Canada win its first Spengler Cup title since 2007.

John Tavares and team captain Ryan Smyth scored two goals apiece while netminder Devan Dubnyk made 28 saves for the victory.

“We were relentless,” said Smyth. “It’s an honour to put the flag in front of us, I just want to relish it. What a great feeling to be successful for my country again.”

In a star-powered finale featuring Joe Thornton, Patrick Kane and Loui Eriksson playing for the home side, Canada’s depth proved to be too much for the defending champions.

After a 2-1 overtime loss to German club Adler Mannheim to open the tournament, it was unclear whether the newly assembled team could overcome the lack of familiarity they faced at the start. Canada found its rhythm after the defeat and went on to outscore its opponents 17-3 over the final three games.

“It’s great to be rewarded after the adversity,” said Tavares. “We scored early and put the pressure on our opponents in each of our last few games.”

The Canadian roster also included locked-out NHL stars like Jason Spezza, Tyler Seguin and Matt Duchene.

“We played better each and every game and today was our best one,” said Tavares. “It was nice to see it come together, its something I’ll remember forever.”

Bergeron opened the scoring at the 46-second mark by tapping in a rebound with one hand while falling onto the ice. Less than three minutes later, he won a faceoff in the offensive zone and Derrick Walser blasted a point shot past Davos goaltender Leonardo Genoni.

Smyth banged in a rebound to give Canada a 3-0 lead just 9:07 into the game after a vigorous short-handed forecheck by Bergeron forced a turnover in front of the Davos net.

“We were the fresher team and we had to go out there and take advantage of that,” said Bergeron.

HC Davos was playing its fifth game in five days while Canada had two days off before Sunday’s semifinal.

Dario Burgler put Davos on the board late in the first period, but Canada came right back with two second-period goals by Smyth and Tavares to regain a commanding lead.

“We were doing the little things right,” said Smyth, who has also won a world junior title, Olympic gold, a World Cup and two world championships for Canada. “Any time you’re a part of it, it’s awesome.”

Spezza and Tavares added insurance goals in the third period. Rafael Diaz had the other goal for HC Davos.

Canada’s Spengler Cup veterans from the Swiss leagues were also a big part of the team’s success. Walser had two points in the final, Josh Holden provided consistent grit while Byron Ritchie was the hero in Thursday’s win over Davos, scoring two goals.

“You never win with one or two guys,” said Bergeron. “Everyone chipped in and played a part.”

It was Canada’s 12th Spengler Cup title since making its debut at the tournament in 1984.

“It’s a magical tournament and we got to see how much it means to the people of Switzerland,” said Tavares. “There was a unique feeling unlike any other tournament I played in, and this was just a great way to finish.”

 

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