DAVOS, Switzerland – Canada’s margin for error at the Spengler Cup just got smaller.
Former Toronto Maple Leafs forward John Pohl scored the shootout winner to lead host HC Davos to a 6-5 win over Canada in a wild game on Saturday.
Pohl beat Canadian goalie Travis Scott with a nifty backhand move. He was the only player to score in the shootout.
Andres Ambuhl scored twice, while Michel Riesen, Dino Wieser and Janne Niinimaa added goals for Davos, which blew a 3-0 first-period lead.
Hnat Domenichelli, Serge Aubin, Joel Kwiatkowski, Martin Kariya and Jean-Guy Trudel scored in regulation for Canada.
“We expected that they’d come out hard with the home crowd behind them,” said Canadian coach Sean Simpson. “They got a couple of breaks and next thing you know, it’s 3-0.
“The guys really responded well and showed a lot of character to come back and get a huge point.”
Canada has a day off Sunday before facing ERC Ingolstadt on Monday. The German team lost 5-2 to Czech squad Energie Karlovy Vary earlier Saturday.
“We can’t lose,” Simpson said. “We have to win our next two games to get in the final. We have destiny in our hands.”
The tournament’s format basically eliminates any team that loses twice.
Canada defeated Karlovy Vary 3-1 in its tournament opener on Friday, while Davos dropped its opening game 4-1 to Russia’s Moscow Dynamo.
Canada is the defending champion at the prestigious five-team tournament. The top two teams contest the final after a four-game round robin schedule.