Rangers legend Mark Messier, now Special Assistant to President and General Manager Glen Sather, made his debut as a head coach on the international hockey scene over the weekend and came away with a 1-1-1 record for Team Canada at the Deutschland Cup in Munich, Germany.
The third-place Canadians ended the four-team tournament on a high note on Sunday, beating Slovakia 3-2 in an overtime shootout as forward Adam Mitchell, a former college star at Colgate who now plays for Hannover of Germany's elite league, scored the lone shootout goal.
|Rangers legend Mark Messier got his first taste of experience coaching former NHL players at the 2010 Deutschland Cup in Munich, Germany. |
Canada's other goals on Sunday came from former NHL players Lee Goren, who scored at 4:28 of the first period for a 1-0 lead, and Craig MacDonald, who scored at 2:28 of the second to make it 2-1. Goren played 67 NHL games with Boston, Florida and Vancouver, while MacDonald saw action in 233 games with seven NHL teams.
Canadian goaltender Jean-Sebastian Aubin, another former NHLer who played in nine seasons with Pittsburgh, Toronto and Los Angeles, made 34 saves and was perfect in the shootout for the win.
The Slovak team included Marcel Hossa, a former Rangers forward, who scored a goal to force overtime at 13:12 of the third.
In earlier games at the Deutschland Cup, Canada lost its opener to the host Germans 4-3 on Friday -- despite 23 saves from former NHL goalie Fred Brathwaite -- and fell to Switzerland 2-1 in overtime, a game that saw Brathwaite stop 31 shots.
Team Canada included several former NHL players who now compete in European leagues as well as players like Mitchell, who went straight to Europe after concluding their North American careers.
Germany beat Switzerland 2-1 in Sunday's finale to win the Deutschland Cup with a 2-0-1 tournament record.
Messier will coach the Canadians at one more international tournament next month when he leads his country into the Spengler Cup, which begins Dec. 26. Team Canada will face squads from the Swiss league, the KHL and Czech league at the Spengler Cup, which is the world's oldest professional international hockey tournament.