Canada's Byron Ritchie

Walser lifts Canada to victory at Spengler Cup

DAVOS, Switzerland — Glen Metropolit hasn’t played an NHL game since 2010, but on Thursday, the oldest player on Canada’s Spengler Cup roster showed why he’s the captain of the Canadian squad. After nearly scoring on his first shift of the game, the 39-year-old Metropolit — who’s played for Lugano in the Swiss league the past two seasons — picked up a goal in the first period and assisted on Derek Walser’s game winner in the third as Canada opened up the Spengler Cup with a 5-4 victory over the HC Vitkovice Steel of the Czech Republic.

DAVOS, Switzerland — Glen Metropolit hasn’t played an NHL game since 2010, but on Thursday, the oldest player on Canada’s Spengler Cup roster showed why he’s the captain of the Canadian squad.

After nearly scoring on his first shift of the game, the 39-year-old Metropolit — who’s played for Lugano in the Swiss league the past two seasons — picked up a goal in the first period and assisted on Derek Walser’s game winner in the third as Canada opened up the Spengler Cup with a 5-4 victory over the HC Vitkovice Steel of the Czech Republic.

“Even at his age, on the blue-line and in the offensive zone, he’s still one of the best players in the game in Switzerland so that’s where he’s going to be really good for us,” head coach Doug Shedden said. “He’s played for me before and that’s why I made him captain. This could be his last Spengler Cup and his children are here visiting from Florida.

“It’s just something that gets him excited about playing.”

Byron Ritchie, Micki DuPont, and Alexandre Bolduc also scored for Canada in a back-and-forth offensive game that saw leads slip away between both teams four times. Rudolf Huna, Peter Huzeka, Roman Szturic and Lukas Kucsera scored for Vitkovice.

Vitkovice’s Filip Sindelar was the busier of the two goaltenders, stopping 37 of 42 shots in the losing effort. Canada’s Chris Mason made 18 saves.

“We were outshooting them pretty good all night,” Shedden said. “We really carried the play against them.”

Ritchie’s goal tied the game at 4-4 at 7:58 of the third period, and Walser beat Sindelar off passes from Anthony Stewart and Metropolit at 13:47 to pull Canada ahead for good.

Bolduc opened the scoring with an unassisted goal at 2:30 of the first period, but Kucsera responded with a goal for the Czech club team less than two minutes later.

Canada took the lead again on Metropolit’s goal, and Vitkovice replied to take a 2-2 tie into the first intermission.

The second period proved costly for Canada when a turnover gave Vitkovice a 4-3 lead 11 seconds after DuPont tied the game 3-3 on a power play.

Shedden said the mistake could be chalked up to unfamiliarity between his players, who’ve had just one practice and one morning skate together before their first game.

“The problem was we gave up some easy scoring chances off some miscues and that’s going to happen with guys who haven’t played together, and it happens every night anyway if you have played together.” Shedden said. “I thought their goalie really kept them in it because we really crashed the net all night, and it showed the heart of the Canadians.

“We were down going into the third period and we thought we were playing well enough, we just had to keep at it and we did that. You work hard enough eventually you’re going get rewarded with a couple goals.”

Just Posted

Red Deer property taxes to go up 2.15 per cent in 2019

City council approves $369.8 million budget

Sylvan Lake council approves concept plan for new park

Pogadl Park will eventally be home to numerous ball diamonds and sports fields

One person dead after collision on Highway 2A

Pickup truck and grain truck collided on Highway 2A south of Carstairs

Updated: Trial stalls for man accused in fatal Canada Day 2016 crash

Defence lawyer argued relevant information received only hours before trial to begin

Trudeau says politicians shouldn’t prey on Canadians’ fears

The Prime Minister was speaking at a townhall in Ontario

UPDATE: B.C. boy, aunt missing for three days

The pair are missing from Kamloops

Liberal bows out of byelection after singling out Jagmeet Singh’s race

Karen Wang says she made comments online that referenced Singh’s cultural background

Shooter pleads guilty to manslaughter in Stettler

A Stettler man charged with second-degree murder has pleaded guilty to manslaughter.… Continue reading

Kentucky canoe outfit borrows photo of Trudeau family to market business

They are in a red canoe, all clad in life jackets, and Sophie Gregoire Trudeau and Ella-Grace are waving

Police chief confirms all three Ottawa bus victims were on board when it crashed

OTTAWA — All three people killed in last week’s deadly bus accident… Continue reading

Theresa May wins no-confidence vote after Brexit deal rejection

UK PM can keep her job, after House of Commons voted 325-306

Alberta doctor accused of sexual assault asked to voluntarily give up practice

College says Dr. Barry Wollach should discontinue his practice, given the seriousness of the allegation against him

Speedy acceptance of Saudi shows refugee system’s flaws

Who would not wish Rahaf Mohammed well? The 18-year-old Saudi wants to… Continue reading

Most Read