Day: December 31, 2022

Final thriller – Ambri takes the cup to the Leventina

Source: Spengler Cup

Ambri-Piotta wins the 94th Spengler Cup 3-2 against Sparta Prague. After Prague tied the game at 2-2 in the third period, the game advanced to become an overtime and shootout thriller!

With that, HC Ambri-Piotta wins the Spengler Cup for the first time. Inti Pestoni scored on the decisive shootout attempt.

After a cautious start on both sides, the final really took off with the first penalty. Alex Formenton used the powerplay to give Ambri the lead. Spengler Cup top scorer Spacek registered his fifth assist on that goal. Sparta Prague reacted to the deficit immediately. Only 50 seconds later David Tomasek finished his solo effort with a smooth, well-placed wrist shot for the equalizer.  Thereafter, the game was controlled by both defenses for the rest of the first period.
The Czechs dominated the second period early on. But the Swiss found success in ice-cold counterattacks. On the first penalty kill, Tim Heed found Formenton, who hesitated long enough on the breakaway to leave Sparta keeper Jakub Kovar no chance. With the Ticinesi’s renewed lead, the game was spectacularly launched to the delight of the 6,287 spectators in the sold-out ice palace. From that point on Prague pushed the offense, while Ambri remained dangerous on the counterattack.

The third period continually developed into one-way hockey directed at Ambri’s goal. And the Czechs were rewarded for their offensive efforts in the 54th minute. Roman Horak scored on a pass by Erik Thorell to make it 2-2. Because Formenton and Spacek in all alone both failed to beat Kovar, the result was a final shootout. There, Dario Burgler scored for the Swiss and Thorell for the Czechs before Inti Pestoni secured Ambri the victory on the tenth shootout attempt overall. For the Ticinesi this Spengler Cup win is the most prestigious success in club history.

Head of the organizing committee Marc Gianola spoke of the “best Spengler Cup of all time” in his closing statement. Overall, the on-ice performances were very good. Eight of eleven games in the completely renovated Eisstadion were played in front of a sell-out crowd.

Sparta Prague and Ambri-Piotta are in the final

Source:  Spengler Cup

Sparta Prague, with a 4-3 win over Orebro, and HC Ambri-Piotta, winning 5-0 against HC Davos, have qualified for the final of the 94th Spengler Cup.

30 minutes into the game, the Czechs trailed the Swedes 3-0, then scored four consecutive goals before the second intermission.

Orebro had the better start to the game. The logical consequence was an early 1-0 lead through Mathias Brome. Contrary to their quarterfinal against Team Canada, when the Scandinavians retreated deep into their own zone and defended their lead with patience and a cement wall after scoring the go-ahead goal, they resorted to consistent forechecking to break down the play already in the offensive zone.

In the second period Sparta Prague managed to increase the pressure on the Swedish net. A spectacular game developed. Kristian Nakyva and Rasmus Nissanen added to the lead for a seemingly decisive 3-0 advantage with fine, lightning-like long-range markers. Only 31 seconds later, David Dvoracek’s goal brought back the suspense with Sparta Prague’s first goal. Following that, the Czechs showed impressive efficiency on the finish. In the middle period they scored four goals on eleven shots – within nine minutes.

Sparta Prague can now become the first Czech team since 1984 to win the Spengler Cup.

HC Ambri-Piotta may have a word to say about that. The Ticinesi are in the Spengler Cup for the first time. Ambri appeared fresher and livelier in the semi-final game against HCD. Not surprisingly. The Ticinesi were playing their third Spengler Cup game in five days, while it was the fourth matchup in 72 hours for Davos. Nonetheless, the team from Grisons had their chances – but could not get by Ambri’s goalie Janne Juvonen. The guests, on the other hand, struck during a two-man advantage. Dario Burgler’s shot from the slot left HCD goaltender Sandro Aeschlimann no chance. Davos was misfortunate twice before the intermission. First Aleksi Saarela hit the post on the powerplay, and shortly thereafter Andres Ambuhl hit the crossbar on a penalty shot.

The play was even in the middle period. The guests had an 18-17 shots-on-net advantage after 40 minutes. Strength-wise Davos was at its limit. This was exemplified on the third goal, when the puck was coughed up on the powerplay – Filip Chlapik took advantage and beat Anschlimann on the breakaway.

Davos had a chance to get on the scoreboard when they had a two-man advantage 100 seconds into the final period. Saarela hit the post, but no goal resulted. On the other side, Ambri forward Nando Eggenberger’s 4-0 marker in the 48th minute sealed the deal. Ambri’s 5th goal came on an empty-netter by Inti Pestoni.

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