Former Vernon Laker Glen Metropolit scored once and assisted on Derek Walser’s winner as Canada brushed back HC Vitkovice Steel 5-4 to open the Spengler Cup Thursday in Davos, Switzerland.
The 39-year-old Metropolit has played for Lugano in the Swiss league the past two seasons. The Toronto product racked up 43 goals, 117 points and 92 penalty minutes for the 1994-95 Lakers.
“Even at his age, on the blueline and in the offensive zone, he’s still one of the best players in the game in Switzerland so that’s where he’s going to be really good for us,” head coach Doug Shedden told Canadian Press. “He’s played for me before and that’s why I made him captain. This could be his last Spengler Cup and his children are here visiting from Florida.”
Also scoring for Canada against the Czech Republic-based Steel were Byron Ritchie, Micki DuPont and Alexandre Bolduc.
Countering for the Czechs were Rudolf Huna, Peter Huzeka, Roman Szturic and Lukas Kucsera.
Canadian netminder Chris Mason posted 18 saves for the win. Filip Sindelar made 37 stops for Vitkovice.
Canada, featuring former Vernon Viper Ryan McMurchy, played host HC Davos on Saturday.