Andrew Ebbett of Vernon reflects on Spengler Cup shootout loss

Ebbett had chance to win holiday hockey championship against Finnish team but shot was stopped

It’s a tough way to lose a hockey tournament. Even tougher when you’re the guy with a chance to win it.

Vernon’s Andrew Ebbett, the 15th shooter in the post-overtime shootout, was stopped by goalie Denis Godla as KalPa Kuopio of Finland defeated Team Canada 2-1 in the final of the annual Spengler Cup International Hockey Tournament in Davos, Switzerland New Year’s Eve.

The loss denied Canada a fourth consecutive Spengler Cup title, and also stopped Canada’s record 12-game winning streak during the event.

RELATED: Andrew Ebbett helps Team Canada win Spengler Cup

Ebbett, who turned 36 Jan. 2, was looking for a third straight Spengler Cup title. He tried to slip a backhand through the legs of Godla on his shootout attempt.

“I’m sure I have been in a long shootout like that before. It’s a tough way to lose a tournament, especially when you’re representing Team Canada,” said Ebbett, who played in more than 200 NHL games with six franchises before heading to Switzerland, where he plays professionally with SC Bern.

“I was thinking five-hole the whole way just because of how aggressive the goalie was. I thought I made a good move and there was a lot of room. Unfortunately I just slid it back across the grain too far and his back leg was able to make the save.”

Godla, from Slovakia, was the MVP of the World Junior Hockey Championships in 2015, held in Toronto and Montreal.

The final was scoreless heading into the third period. Former NHL-er Daniel Winnik opened the scoring for Canada but the Finnish club tied it with seven minutes remaining.

Zach Boychuk and Cory Emmerton added goals in the shootout for the Canadians, who had four chances to win their fourth consecutive tournament title but couldn’t find a way past Godla, who finished with 39 saves in regulation and overtime before stopping six of eight in the shootout.

Chris DiDomenico, Boychuk, Zac Dalpe and Emmerton all had the championship on their stick, but it was Jaakko Rissanen who scored the winner, beating Canadian netminder Zach Fucale with a quick shot to the glove side on the 16th attempt.

“This team had a lot of leadership and experience,” said Ebbett, who was named to the Canadian Olympic team that won bronze in Sochi, Russia in 2018, based partially on his play at the Spengler Cup.

RELATED: Czechmate: Ebbett lifts Canada to Olympic hockey bronze

“It was a little different than last year since last year was the last tournament before the Olympic selections. For me, I was able to just enjoy having my family up there with me and have some fun without as much stress as last year.”

Canada beat the hosts HC Davos 2-1 to open the 2018 Spengler Cup, and completed the preliminary round with a 6-2 win over Germany’s Nurnburg Ice Tigers to advance directly to the semifinals. Canada again dispatched the Ice Tigers 4-2 to move to the final.

Ebbett finished the tournament with three points, one goal and two assists, before returning to his club team, SC Bern.

“I’m still having a lot of fun here in Bern,” he said. “I just signed a two-year extension during the Christmas break so I’m very happy. We’re in second place right now. We’ve won (the Swiss A League) two of my first three years here and we’re going to have a good chance at winning a third title in four years.”

Armstrong’s Aaron Gagnon, making his Team Canada debut, played in three of four games at the Spengler Cup, but did not register a point.

Gagnon is third in team scoring with the Langnau Tigers in the Swiss A League with seven goals and six assists for 13 points in 17 games. Gagnon is teammates in Langnau with DiDomenico.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Vernon man grows tomato with an… unusual shape

The man could only conclude that it was a decidedly “male” tomato.

Vernon police look for vehicle that smashed into home

Fencing, landscaping suffer significant damage and minor injury to house on Vernon’s Okanagan Avenue

Busy Vernon roadway to undergo week-long project

The 3600 block of Alexis Park Drive will be worked on from July 29 to Aug. 1

Shuswap air cadet contests Department of National Defence gender policy

Haircut inspires challenge of regulation around male/female identity

Two lightning caused fires in North Okanagan

The fires sparked Monday evening

Vernon-based pop star Andrew Allen is back with a new band

Singer-songwriter Andrew Allen is bringing his new band home for a concert this Friday

B.C. wine industry legend Harry McWatters dies

Among his accomplishments, McWatters founded the province’s first estate winery, Sumac Ridge Estate

Provincial health body refuses to release full findings of cancer triage system audit

Information and Privacy Commissioner asked to review redactions

Southern resident killer whale died of blunt trauma, likely from ship

J34 was found more than two years ago near Sechelt, but the necropsy findings have now been released

$250,000 worth of property stolen from Okanagan storage

Police are investigating after a possible theft on the weekend

Supportive housing first step to healing: BC Housing CEO

Shayne Ramsay explains changes to Rutland’s McCurdy development

Central Okanagan motorcycle crash causes two impaired driving investigations

The driver’s injuries, although serious, are not believed to be life-threatening in nature

B.C. rail crossing death highlights risks for people in wheelchairs: watchdog

Transportation Safety Board points to ‘persistent risks faced by persons using assistive devices’

Kelowna baby snatcher pleads guilty

Harold Giffen Clarkson Nyren is sentenced to two years probation

Most Read