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 ordered to reinstate terminated firefighters caught having sex at work

City believes arbitration board erred, exploring options

Vernon man arrested following disturbance

Suspect seen fleeing home, tracked down by Vernon RCMP officers

Updated: Scene cleared after accident near Ellison Lake

An accident near Ellison Lake near Kelowna and Lake Country is causing traffic delays

Vernon dust advisory continues

Dusty conditions are mainly caused by road traffic stirring up winter traction materials that have accumulated over winter months.

‘The whole city has changed:’ Okanagan woman in New Zealand reacts to mosque attacks

An expatriate and Muslim students at UBC Okanagan deeply affected by white supremacist shooting

Penticton resident baffled about welcome mat theft

Security footage shows a woman and her dog taking the mat from the property on March 13

Bat signal lights up Vancouver sky for ‘Batwoman’ TV series

The art gallery has been transformed into XX of Gotham City

Trans Mountain court hearing: B.C. says it won’t reject pipelines without cause

Canada says the proposed amendments to B.C.’s Environmental Management Act must be struck down

Okanagan dancers kick up heels for spring

PHOTOS: Spring Fling sees more than 60 converge in Vernon from as far as Okanagan Falls and Salmon Arm

Carfentanil found in 15% of overdose deaths in January: B.C. coroner

Carfentanil is 100 times more powerful than illicit fentanyl and used to tranquilize elephants

B.C. father fights for his life after flu turns into paralyzing condition

Reisig has lost all motor skills with the exception of slight head, shoulder and face movements.

Prescribed burns to start this month in the Okanagan

The Lower Similkameen Indian Band with partners are starting a multi-year burn on Crater Mountain

New highways maintenance contractor begins work April-May

Acciona Infrastructure Maintenance Inc. to service Shuswap, North and South Okanagan

Lack of bus service leaving residents stranded

Ministry’s Health Connections solution visits Salmon Arm just twice per week, once west, once south

Most Read