Yanick Lehoux and Canada's team at the Spengler Cup is now going to have to take the long road to the tournament final.
Gregory Sciaroni's goal midway through the second period held up as the winner as HC Davos edged Canada 3-2 on Tuesday. With the victory, Davos (2-0) finished atop Pool B to clinch a semifinal berth.
The loss was the first of the tournament for Canada (1-1), which will face Sparta Prague — the third-place finisher in Pool A — in quarter-final action Wednesday. The Canadians opened with a 6-1 win over Spartak Moscow on Monday.
Sciaroni put Davos ahead 3-1 at 10:24 of the second before Travis Roche pulled Canada to within a goal at 14:15. But the Canadians couldn't get any closer in the third period as Lehoux said trying to beat a Davos team that plays together all season long was tough.
"The little habits and little instinct plays are easier for them," Lehoux said. "They're a well-tuned hockey team and when you play against a team like that, it's hard.
"With a one-goal lead like that, they're going to shut it down. It's tough to crack it and we tried. We had a couple of chances at the end but couldn't bury it. That's part of hockey, now we've just made it a little bit harder to go all the way."
Lehoux finished with a goal and an assist for Canada and took a philosophical outlook on having to play Sparta Prague. He said the Canadian team certainly could benefit from having more ice time together.
"Maybe the only thing that we lack is we've never played with each other," he said. "One extra game can only be good for us to get our systems down because other than that I don't think we have any holes or have anything missing on this team.
"It's a really, really good hockey team and we just got to get used to playing with new linemates and new systems. Once we do that I think we'll be golden."
Sandro Rizzi and Petr Taticek had the other goals for Davos.
St. Petersburg beat Sparta Prague 4-1 in the early game Tuesday.