Serge Aubin and Dale McTavish scored in a shootout to lead Canada past HC Pardubice 4-3 on Wednesday in Davos, Switzerland in the opening game of the Spengler Cup hockey tournament for both teams.
"You always get that excitement because with a shootout, you never know which way it's going to go," said Aubin. "For us, having Cujo (former NHL player Curtis Joseph) in net, we feel fine and we're confident in every shooter that we have.
"Hopefully (on Thursday), we won't need to do the shootout again."
Joseph was especially strong in the shootout, stopping HC Pardubice's first two shots before Aubin cemented the victory by scoring on Canada's third shot.
McTavish opened the shootout with a goal before Yannick Tremblay fired Canada's second shot off the crossbar.
Aubin said the Canadian team was intent on opening the tournament on a winning note.
"It's critical, especially with the level of opponents we have here," he said. "To get that first one out of the way now, it's big.
"The way we did it tonight wasn't pretty but it was also good. I think now we know whatever adversity we're going to face, we can always pull it off. You just have to keep working as a group."
The Canadians had to play catch-up after falling behind 2-0 by the two-minute mark of the second. But Canada countered quickly, scoring three straight goals in a nine-minute span later in the period.
"The first period we kind of tried to find a way to get to know one another a little bit," Aubin said. "At first, we didn't get the puck in deep like we wanted to.
"It took us a little bit to get going but once we got back to our Canadian game, which is typically getting it deep, things went right."
Ric Jackman, Kirby Law and J.P. Vigier scored in regulation time for Canada. Vigier's goal at 13:00 of the second period put Canada ahead 3-2 but HC Pardubice scored a power-play goal in the third to force overtime.
In other action Wednesday, Adler Mannheim edged HC Davos 3-2.
Aubin and his teammates don't have much time to enjoy the win. They're right back at it Thursday against HC Davos, which Aubin says is fine with the Canadian players.
"We're all excited and everyone's pumped to play for their country," he said. "If it was up to the guys, I think we'd go outright now.
"We're happy and excited to be here and we're ready to go again."