New Glasgow, N.S. native Derrick Walser scored the winner for Canada in its opening game at the 2013 Spengler Cup in Davos, Switzerland on Thursday.
Walser’s goal with less than 10 minutes remaining broke a 4-4 deadlock with Czech side HC Vítkovice Steel in front of just over 6,000 fans.
The Canadians, who all play for various club teams around Europe, entered the third period trailing 4-3 before North Delta, B.C.’s Byron Ritchie leveled the back-and-forth game for the fourth time.
Montreal’s Alexandre Bolduc opened the scoring early in the first period before Toronto’s Glen Metropolit made it 2-1 heading into the first intermission.
Calgary’s Micki Dupont then made it 3-3 after Canada conceded back-to-back second-period goals before eventually trailing heading into the third period, where Ritchie and Walser led the Canadians back.
Canada plays hosts HC Davos on Saturday before the knockout phase of the tournament.
The Canadians won last year’s Spengler Cup in convincing fashion, defeating Davos 7-2 in the final with a host of NHLers in the lineup due to the lockout.