With a 4-0 win over the Czech Republic’s HC Oceláři Třinec, Team Canada picked up its tournament-record 16th championship at the Spengler Cup in Davos, Switzerland on Tuesday, and the Red and White owed a great deal of their success at the 2019 tournament to their goaltender, Solar Bears netminder Zachary Fucale.
The native of Laval, Québec – representing his country for the third time in his career at the annual invitational holiday tournament hosted by Swiss club HC Davos – was nothing short of spectacular. Fucale gave up only one goal while winning each of his three starts, posting an eye-popping 0.33 goals-against average and a save percentage of .986, thanks to saves like this:
Fucale is now a dominant 10-0-1 in his career at the Spengler Cup, after leading Team Canada to victory in 2016 and falling in a shootout in the championship game last winter.
Canada’s roster, assembled by former NHL netminder Sean Burke, was comprised of a blend of former NHLers such as Eric Fehr, Scott Upshall and Kris Versteeg, career minor-leaguers playing in Europe and a smattering of players still in North America – and the end result was a roster whose performance was described by TSN analyst Doug Honegger as having put on a “clinic” against the competition.
Solar Bears head coach and general manager Drake Berehowsky is no stranger to the Spengler Cup, having participated in the tournament during his final season as a player in 2005-06, when he suited up for German side Eisbären Berlin.
“It was a wonderful experience, my whole family got to go to Davos, the fans there are incredible. It’s a loud atmosphere and the hockey’s great,” Berehowsky said. “I had a lot of fun there, it was unfortunate that we didn’t win that year, but it was amazing to be able to play at that high level again and Davos is magical in the wintertime.”
Berehowsky was not surprised to see Fucale once again be tabbed to lead Canada in the Spengler Cup.
“I talked to [Burke] and he really liked the way Fucale played last year, and it always helps when you’re familiar with somebody. His numbers and performance speak for itself this year, and we’re thrilled to have one of our goalies over there – I think it’s a real tribute to this organization and him that he’s gotten this opportunity.”
Fucale echoed the elation of being able to represent his country on the international stage while being able to celebrate with his countrymen.
“It’s great to see such a big group come and support us – we had over 170 family members and friends here for the tournament. It’s so cool to live the experience in Davos – up in the Alps, it’s pretty unreal.”