Canada was blanked 5-0 by Russian club Khimik on Friday. “The guys that have been here before said sometimes you have a stinker. Well, we had ours today,” said Canadian head coach Pat Quinn.
Still, a win over EHC Eisbaren Berlin in the final round-robin game Saturday (check local listings) and Canada (2-1-0) clinches a berth in the championship final Sunday. The top two teams in the five-club tournament meet in the final.
“Tomorrow we can solve it,” said Quinn. “We win and we’re in, simple as that, and we’ll be ready to do that. I think we’ll be a much better team.”
Former Ottawa Senators winger Peter Schastlivy capped a three-goal first period with a goal at 19:00 and Khimik never looked back. Canada’s starting goalie, Devan Dubnyk of the ECHL’s Stockton Thunder, was replaced by former Chicago Blackhawks goalie Adam Munro to start the second period as Justin Pogge, the winner in Canada’s two previous games, was given the day off.
“It wasn’t goaltending,” said Quinn. “We weren’t a sharp team.”
The former Toronto Maple Leafs and Vancouver Canucks head coach wondered if a day off in the Swiss Alps may have slowed his team down.
“Maybe it’s because it was family day (Thursday) and a lot of distractions,” said Quinn. “No skate this morning.
“We honestly had trouble getting going today. They beat us to the puck, they outnumbered us at the puck and, quite frankly, played better one-on-one hockey.”
Canada, a 6-3 winner over HC Davos and a 4-3 shootout winner over Morak IK in its two previous games, launched 41 shots at 22-year-old Russian goalie Konstantin Barulin. But Quinn wasn’t impressed by his team’s play.
“We played on the outside,” said Quinn, who coached Canada to Olympic gold in 2002. “We were quite a solo team – a whole bunch of guys playing by themselves and not playing very well.”
Canada, made up of European-based pros and AHL players, dropped to second place in the standings despite being even at six points with HC Davos (2-1-0), the host team having a better goal differential. EHC Eisbaren Berlin (1-1-0) played Mora IK (1-2-0) in the late game Friday.
HC Davos wraps up its round-robin schedule Saturday against Khimik (1-2-0).