Source: Spengler Cup
Örebro HC clinched their first win in their second game in Spengler Cup history. The Swedes defeated IFK Helsinki 5-2 on Tuesday afternoon.
The two Scandinavian teams, who are actually known for their puck control and patience in attacking play, delivered a surprisingly offensive exchange of blows – much to the delight of the spectators. This resulted in four goals and 24 shots on goal (13:11 for IFK Helsinki) in the first third alone. Örebro got off to a better start and used the first two powerplay opportunities thanks to his precise passing game to take a 2-0 lead. Elias Ekström opened the scoring with a precise Hocheck long-range shot (6th). The Swedes combined to make it 2-0 so long and so quickly that Filip Berglund was able to shoot in from the side (12th). However, Örebro’s third power play failed. Micke Aston reduced the deficit with a man down (14′). And 135 seconds later Kasper Halttunen equalized for IFK.
The Finns dominated the game in the middle third. However, they were not cool enough and precise in the end, or they failed because of the excellent Örebro goalie Jonas Arntzen. It took revenge: Oliver Eklind completed an exemplary counterattack with the 3:2 for the Swedes (32,). And with only the fifth shot on the Finnish goal in the middle section, Örebro’s captain Rodrigo Abols even increased the advantage with a man down (39′). Despite total commitment, the Finns were unable to turn the tide in the last third. Instead, William Wikman made it 5-2 with an Emtpy Netter 93 seconds before the end of the game.
While Örebro is without a game on Wednesday, IFK Helsinki meets HC Ambri-Piotta in the afternoon game. The Swiss can even lose against the Finns by two goals and still win their group.
HC Davos defeated Team Canada 2-1 at the 94th Spengler Cup in its first tournament on Tuesday evening. After 115 seconds, he was already 2-0 up thanks to goals from Andrew Rowe and Leon Bristedt. HCD goalie Sandro Aeschlimann then became the match winner with several big saves.
How much Team Canada was looking for reparation after their surprising 2:3 defeat against Sparta Prague and how the Canadians still wanted to seize their last chance to win the group was revealed in the goalie selection. Your goal against HC Davos was guarded by Canadian-Swiss dual citizen Connor Hughes of Fribourg-Gottéron. Only ten days ago he made his debut for the Swiss national team against the Czech Republic. Hughes supposedly only traveled to the Spengler Cup as a replacement because Michael DiPietro’s goalkeeper equipment had not yet arrived in Switzerland due to flights being canceled due to the winter storms.
The game started badly for Hughes though. Before he held the first puck, his team was already 2-0 down. After 51 seconds of the game, “Rappi’s” loanee Andrew Rowe converted an ideal pass from Enzo Corvi to make it 1-0. And 84 seconds later Leon Bristedt doubled up after preparatory work by Dennis Rasmussen. It took the Canadians some time to recover from that false start. They really put HCD goalkeeper Sandro Aeschlimann to the test shortly before the first break with their first power play. Otherwise, the hosts had the game under control in the first third.
In the middle section, too, the Davosers managed to prevent the opponent from launching an orderly attack with speed and aggressive forechecking. At halftime, the hosts even missed the third goal during a period of pressure. But then the guests got into the game better and better. HCD goalie Aeschlimann took center stage. 164 seconds before the second break, however, he was no longer able to prevent the goal when his view was blocked. Brett Connolly hit the target with a long shot.
In the final third, the tension was palpable in the sold-out Davos Ice Stadium. HCD missed the redeeming third goal with two power play opportunities. Hughes miraculously cleared against Marc Wieser (50th), Matej Stransky (55th) and Andres Ambühl (56th). However, his opponent advanced to the match winner. Aeschlimann kept his calm and overview, even in the last two minutes of the game, when the Canadians with six field players vehemently aimed for an equalizer. The HCD goalie saved 28 shots throughout the game. He deservedly received an award as HCD’s best player after the end of the game.
Davos now has it in their own hands or on their own sticks to win the group. That requires a win against Sparta Prague on Wednesday night. The Canadians, on the other hand, have to go to the quarter-finals as the last in their group. But she shouldn’t write off for a long time. From the same starting position, Team Canada still secured group victory in 2016.