Doug Shedden says Canada played its best game at the Spengler Cup on Monday. Unfortunately for the Canadians, so did opposing goaltender Tobias Stephan.
Stephan made 50 saves and HC Geneve-Servette capitalized on its chances in a 6-5 semifinal win over defending champion Canada.
"To me, you lose this game on two words, and that's Toby Stephan," Canada coach Shedden said after the game. "We threw 55 shots at him, and we were all over him with quality chances, and there's no question he was the difference in the game.
"Unfortunately that's the game of hockey sometimes. A hot goalie can steal a game, especially in a one-game series."
Conversely, Geneva-based Geneve-Servette made the most of their chances, beating the Canadian tandem of Allen York and Matthew Hackett six times on 24 shots.
"Geneva really capitalized on the limited chances they got," Shedden said. "It seems like every shot they had was a seeing-eye shot, like under the bar or five-hole ... they were a sharp-shooting team today.
"I'm not blaming the goalies one bit. It just seems that every chance they got they made the best of it."
Alexandre Giroux, Travis Roche and Jacob Micflikier, Darren Haydar and Jason Williams scored for Canada.
Former NHL veteran Matthew Lombardi led Geneva with two goals and two assists.
Denis Hollenstein, Intio Pestoni, Arnaud Jacquement and Daniel Vukovic scored for Geneva.
Canada was trailing 6-3 midway through the third period, but they poured on the pressure and goals at 16:10 from Haydar and 18:18 from Williams made it a one-goal game with time winding down.
Stephan, who made 21 of his 50 saves in the third, would not be beaten a sixth time
"I thought we had our best game by a mile," Shedden said. "Unfortunately like a hot pitcher in baseball (goaltenders) can beat you some nights."
Geneva will play CSKA Moscow in Tuesday's final. Moscow edged host HC Davos 5-4 earlier Monday.