Zach Boychuk scored a late power-play goal and Maxim Noreau added an empty-netter as Canada defeated Mountfield HK 5-2 in semifinal play Saturday at the Spengler Cup.
“We came out better than the last couple games. We had a lot more confidence. I think the guys are catching their wind up here at the altitude – it’s been a tough transition for a lot of guys,” Noreau said.
“We’ve tried not to make a lot of excuses but it’s always at the back of your mind. We got a day’s rest yesterday which was huge for us and we have a lot of composure in the room right now. We never really panicked whether we were up or down. It was a good all-around effort.”
Canada will go for its third straight Spengler Cup title on Sunday against Switzerland at Vaillant Arena.
David McIntyre, Jay McClement and Cody Goloubef had the other Canadian goals and Maxim Lapierre had three assists.
Goaltender Kevin Poulin made 26 saves.
“We expected a tight game going in. We thought that we might have an advantage on the energy level [since] they played an extra game. But they kind of surprised [us]; they played hard,” said Canadian head coach Willie Desjardins.
“I knew they were a good team. They played hard against us the first time and I thought we were a little bit fortunate to win that game the first time, so it didn’t surprise me that they played well.”
Lukas Cingel and Michal Dragoun tallied for the Czech side.
Switzerland defeated HC Davos 8-3 in the other semifinal.
Hockey Canada is using the six-team tournament as a final evaluation before deciding on its Olympic roster next month.