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Canada up against big odds at Spengler

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DAVOS, Switzerland -- If Canada wants to repeat as Spengler Cup champion, it's going to happen the hard way.

Andres Ambuhl scored the winning goal late in the third period as host HC Davos beat Canada 3-2 Saturday.

Canada falls to 1-1 and play the Rochester Americans in a quarter-final today. If they win that, they'll play a semifinal Monday for a chance to advance to Tuesday's final, which takes place at noon local time.

"It looks like Mount Everest, but you just take it a game at a time and inch your way forward," Canada coach Doug Shedden said.

Marcus Paulsson and Peter Guggisberg also scored for Davos, while Mika Noronen made 24 saves.

Darren Haydar and Byron Ritchie had Canada's goals.

 

Guay looking good

BORMIO, Italy -- Aiming for back-to-back victories, Canada's Erik Guay simply wants to maintain his form for today's World Cup downhill on the physically demanding Stelvio course.

The Bode Miller-led U.S. speed team, by contrast, is still looking for its first podium finish of the season -- with the Sochi Olympics only 41 days away.

And if the final training session in Bormio was any indication, things haven't changed much since last weekend, when Guay won the Val Gardena downhill and Miller finished fifth.

Guay, from Mont-Tremblant, Que., also led training Saturday and Miller was fifth again.

"I feel like my racing is in a really good spot -- better than it's ever been," Guay said. "And I know the reason as well, so that's pretty exciting."

Guay won the Val Gardena downhill last weekend but has never finished better than fourth in Bormio.

"Some years I come here and I'm intimidated by the course and I don't feel quite up to it," he said. "This year I'm excited about it and I'm looking forward to the challenge tomorrow."


Fenninger flawless

LIENZ, Austria -- Anna Fenninger of Austria used a flawless second run to win a women's World Cup giant slalom Saturday for her fifth career victory.

Cheered on by a home crowd of 8,500, Fenninger was second after the first run but overtook leader Jessica Lindell-Vikarby of Sweden in the final leg to win in a combined time of 2 minutes, 17.00 seconds. Lindell-Vikarby was 0.50 seconds behind.

"My preparation was good but I didn't believe I could win today," said Fenninger, who has made 19 World Cup podiums over the past three seasons, trailing only Tina Maze (37) and Lindsey Vonn (23).

American teenager Mikaela Shiffrin came 0.51 back in third for her second podium finish in GS after finishing runner-up in Beaver Creek on Dec. 1, and Austria's Kathrin Zettel was the only other racer to finish within a second off the lead, 0.96 behind.

Vonn skipped the race to rest her injured right knee.

 

-- from the news services

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition December 29, 2013 B11

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