Hansruedi Camenisch – Spengler Cup
KalPa Kuopio produced the first upset on Friday afternoon at the 92nd Spengler Cup. The young Finns beat Metallurg Magnitogorsk. The only goal was shot by Tommi Jokinen in overtime after 167 seconds.
Pure suspense throughout the last game of the Torriani group. The game was an offensive extravaganza because both teams were well-organized, disciplined and took few risks. In addition, both goaltenders intervened successfully in the rare precarious situations during the regular game time, allowing no goals to be scored. A 0-0 after 60 minutes has not happened at the Spengler Cup in a very long time – not since the introduction of the finals in 1986. Only during overtime – where 3-on-3 players compete – were the Finns able to score the only goal. Otto Leskinen superbly out-maneuvered so that KalPa’s Captain Tommi Jokinen could beat Magnitogorsk’s goalie Artem Zagidulin in the 62:47 minute of the game. The Finn Daniel Manzato was able to celebrate a shutout. The Ambri goalie is assisting KalPa Kuopio at the Spengler Cup due to Jonathan Iilahti being injured.
With this win making them group leader, the Finns qualify directly for the semi-finals on Sunday. Metallurg Magnitogorsk will have to take the indirect route via the quarter-finals on Saturday. The opponent from the Cattini group will be known after tonight’s match-up between Team Canada and the Nuremberger Ice Tigers. The Russians are paying the price for reserving their key players such as Viktor Antipin, Nikolai Kulemin, Matt Ellison, Jewgeni Birjukow and Dennis Rasmussen.
Dante Fabbro scored twice to help power Canada to a 6-2 victory over the Nurnberg Ice Tigers on Friday, capping round-robin play at the Spengler Cup.
Daniel Winnik, Andrew Ebbett, Zac Dalpe and Dion Knelsen scored in a second-period outburst for the defending champion Canadians (2-0-0), who finished first in their group to advance directly to Sunday’s semifinal.
Canada took control of the game in the second period, outscoring Nurnberg 4-1 and outshooting the Ice Tigers 21-4.
Winnik broke a 1-1 tie five minutes into the middle frame and Ebbett gave Canada a two-goal cushion at 11:14. Dalpe followed two minutes later and Knelsen added to the barrage with just over two minutes left in the period.
“This game was an opportunity for our team to improve our chemistry, and I felt that we accomplished that,” said head coach Kevin Dineen. “When you are able to play all four lines continuously it helps generate momentum, and that was a key contributor to our team’s success. We are looking forward to the semifinals on Sunday.”
Fabbro’s first goal opened the scoring 2:21 into the first period and his second gave Canada a 6-1 lead early in the third.
Patrick Reimer and Mike Mieszkowski scored for Nurnberg (0-2-0). Andreas Jenike stopped 33 shots for the German team.
Maxim Lapierre and Dominic Moore chipped in with two assists apiece for the Canadians and Zach Fucale made 19 saves.
“I thought that our team played great,” Fabbro said. “The atmosphere in the arena was incredible, and our team fed off the crowd’s energy. It was a great win for our team heading into the semifinals.”
Canada was coming off a 2-1 victory over HC Davos in the tournament opener Wednesday.
The Canadians play the winner of Saturday’s quarter-final between Metallurg Magnitogorsk and the Ice Tigers on Sunday. Metallurg finished second in its group with three points on an overtime win and an overtime loss.
The final is Monday.
Canada has won the tournament 15 times since first taking part in 1984, including the past three years.