DAVOS, Switzerland - Second-period goals from defencemen Yannick Tremblay and Andre Benoit lifted Canada to a 6-2 victory over host Davos on Thursday at the Spengler Cup hockey tournament.
Canada, which defeated Pardubice of the Czech Republic in a shootout on Wednesday, leads the round robin portion of the five-team tournament with a 2-0 record.
"It was pretty exciting," said forward Yves Sarault of Valleyfield, Que., who had two assists. "We knew they'd be desperate because they lost their last game and they had to win to stay in the tournament." Defenceman Mike Siklenka of Meadow Lake, Sask., opened the scoring nine minutes into the first period, but the Swiss club roared back with goals from Winnipeg native Mike Maneluk and Andres Ambuhl.
Tremblay, of Montreal, tied it with an unassisted effort eight minutes into the second frame and Benoit, of St. Albert, Ont., got the go-ahead goal three minutes later.
Dale McTavish of Eganville, Ont., also scored in the second period, while Ryan Keller of Saskatoon and Serge Aubin of Val d'Or, Que., added goals in the final three minutes of the game.
"Once we took the lead 4-2, they pretty much slowed their pace down and we played a solid defensive game in the last 10 minutes," said Sarault, who left the NHL to play in the Swiss league six years ago.
"We play with four lines here. Anybody that's up goes on the power play. It's nice. Everyone's fresh when they get on. It's a lot of fun." Former Pittsburgh Penguin Sebastien Caron of Amqui, Que., played in goal.
Canada's next game is Saturday against Russian club Salavat Ufa, which blitzed Pardubice 5-0. Salavat Ufa features former NHL defenceman Oleg Tverdovsky and forwards Stanislav Chistov and Alexander Perezhogin.
"That'll be a good one," added Sarault. "From my understanding, they're supposed to be the favourite in the tournament."
"We'll have our hands full, but if we play solid like we did in the first two games, we'll be OK. We'll only get better as we go along in the tournament. It's only our second game together." The arena was packed to see Davos, led by former NHL winger Alexandre Daigle, take on a Canadian team made up mostly of players from European clubs - several with NHL experience - plus some NHL prospects.
Canada, which closes the round robin Sunday against Adler Mannheim of Germany, has not won the Spengler Cup since it took the annual Christmas week event in 2002 and 2003.
Sarault was a member of the Davos club when it won last year, but didn't play due to a shoulder injury. He moved to the Swiss club Basel this season.