DAVOS, Switzerland – Canada picked up the win it needed Monday at the Spengler Cup, and now faces a showdown with Moscow Dynamo for a berth in the final.
Jeff Toms scored twice in a 5-2 victory over ERC Ingolstadt to keep the defending champions alive heading into Tuesday’s pivotal contest with the Russian club.
“It might have been easy to look past this game at the Russians (Tuesday), but we didn’t,” said Canadian head coach Sean Simpson. “The guys had real good focus on tonight’s game because we need every point.”
Rico Fata, Dale Clarke and Randy Robitaille also scored for the Canadians, who improved to 2-0-1 at the annual five-team tournament.
A victory against Moscow Dynamo would guarantee Canada a spot in the final, although they could still advance if Ingolstadt (0-3) upsets host HC Davos (2-1) on Tuesday.
Simpson isn’t interested in the latter scenario.
“We don’t want to rely on anybody else, we want to keep it in our own hands,” he said. “A win (Tuesday) will put us in the final, that’s what we’re looking for.”
The two top teams in the standings move on to the final, with Moscow Dynamo and HC Davos also in the mix with Canada.
The Russian club features former NHLers like Alexei Zhitnik, Peter Cajanek and Dmitri Afanasenkov in its lineup.
“Canada-Russia is always an attractive game,” said Simpson. “These Russian teams are highly financed now and they have a lot of ex-NHLers on it.
“They’ll be strong but if we play our game, I like our chances.”
Canada rebounded well from a 6-5 shootout loss Saturday to Davos by controlling the game from start to finish Monday.
Jason Holland and Tobias Draxinger scored third-period goals for Ingolstadt once the game had already been decided.
“If you want to categorize it I thought it was a comfortable win for us,” said Simpson. “Even though they got a couple of late goals it was comfortable for us.”
Daren Machesney, who made 17 saves, received plenty of offensive support in goal, as Fata and Toms connected about four minutes apart late in the first period.
Clarke made it 3-0 two minutes into the second and Robitaille extended the lead to 4-0 six minutes into third before Holland broke the goose egg for Ingolstadt.
Draxinger and Toms traded goals later in the frame.
Former NHLer Jimmy Waite made 33 saves for Ingolstadt.