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Canada defeats HC Lugano, captures Spengler Cup for second-consecutive year

After starting the tournament with a crushing defeat at the hands of Dinamo Minsk, Canada found their form and rattled off four-straight victories en route to a second-straight Spengler Cup title.
via Spengler Cup/YouTube

via Spengler Cup/YouTube

Team Canada has captured the Spengler Cup for the 14th time in the tournament’s 90-year history, and have now won consecutive titles for the sixth time at the tournament.

On Saturday, the Canadian side faced off against HC Lugano, marking the second straight year the two clubs have met in the tournament final. And much like the 2015 tournament, it was the Canadians who came out on top, this time in much more convincing fashion than the previous year’s 4-3 victory.

Despite the end result, though, it looked as though Canada was in for a long outing early in the game. It took all of 31 seconds for Lugano to get on the board as Dario Bürgler wired a shot that beat Canadian netminder Zach Fucale.

However, from that point on, Canada took the contest over.

First came a marker from Chay Genoway at the six-minute mark of the first frame, followed by an early second period tally by Marc-Antoine Pouliot and shorthanded goal — and eventual game-winning goal — by Cory Emmerton before the second period scoring was capped off by Andrew Ebbett. Lugano would eventually get one back with Burgler netting his second of the game with 16 minutes remaining in the outing, but Nick Spaling iced the game for Canada with mere seconds remaining, making the final 5-2.

Canada boasted a strong roster which included the likes of Spaling, Mason Raymond and Gregory Campbell, but few would have expected them to be standing atop the podium after their shaky start to the event. In the opening game, Canada was downed 7-4 by the KHL’s Dinamo Minsk before narrowly edging host HC Davos 4-3 in the second game of the competition’s short round robin.

The Canadian squad heated up come the elimination round, however, starting with a convincing 5-1 defeat of Czech side Mountfield HK and a 3-2 victory over Minsk in the semi-final before taking home the title with a fourth-straight win on Saturday.

The back-to-back tournament victories are impressive from the Canadian club given the makeup of the team changes somewhat dramatically each year, but this is far from the best run of success Canada has had at the Spengler Cup. From 1992 to 1998, Canada won five titles in seven years, including a run of four straight titles beginning with the 1995 tournament.

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