All it took was 4:07 in the second period for the Canadian National Men’s Team to take care of business against HC Ocelari Trinec in the 2019 Spengler Cup Final from Davos, Switzerland Tuesday morning. After losing to Finland’s KalPa Kuopio in a shootout in 2018, Canada made sure to finish the job in this year’s final.
Goaltender Zach Fucale was sensational once again, picking up his second-straight shutout in stopping all 26 shots that came his way. Team captain Max Noreau had three assists, Dustin Jeffrey had two goals and one assist, while Winnipeg product Kevin Clark added a power play assist.
For Canada, it was their 16th Spengler Cup title and fourth in the past five years. Although many players travelled overseas to represent Canada and participate in the annual spectacle, the larger ice surface did not seem to be an issue for the Canadians in any of their four tournament games.
Led by Clark, Team Canada went 4-0, putting up 19 total goals for, while only allowing two goals against all tournament. Clark led the tournament with eight points, while teammates Jeffrey and Noreau also finished amongst the leaders in points and goals. Clark, Noreau and Zach Fucale were named to the tournament All-Star Team.
Tuesday morning’s contest featured a rather undisciplined Czech team that saw themselves in the penalty box five times, all of which occurred in less than a 10-minutes span in the second period.
Jeffrey opened the scoring for Canada 9:03 into the second period, capitalizing on a mid-period power play. With Kevin Clark causing a distraction in front of the Trinec net, Kris Versteeg and Adam Tambellini put together a perfect cross-ice passing play, setting up Jeffrey who redirected a shot-pass, backdoor past Trinec netminder Jakub Stepanek.
Just moments later on a five-on-three, 20-year-old Ian Mitchell stepped in from the point and roofed a wrist shot high glove side, off of a setup play from Clark and Noreau. Less than two minutes later, Versteeg got his second of the tournament, cleaning up on a missed opportunity by Noreau in the slot, giving the Canadians yet another goal on a two-man advantage.
Canada’s three goals in 4:07 blew the game wide open, ultimately sealing the deal for the winningest team in Spengler Cup Finals history. Canada added one more in the third period as Max Noreau found Jeffrey on a breakaway for his second of the game, putting the cherry on top with the first even-strength goal of the game in a 4-0 shutout victory.
After travelling to Switzerland to represent their country nationally in a week not soon to be forgotten, Winnipegger Kevin Clark and Winkler native Eric Fehr will return to their respective teams to carry on with the 2019-20 hockey season. Clark sits in the top-10 in NLA scoring with 16 goals and 28 points for the SC Rapperswil-Jona Lakers, while Fehr will return to Genève-Servette HC also of the NLA, where he has nine goals and 19 points in 31 contests.