Source: Spengler Cup
HC Ambri-Piotta opened the 94th Spengler Cup with a 5-2 win over tournament newbie Orebro. The Ticinesi decided the game in the middle period, scoring twice within 28 seconds to make it 3-1.
Sellout crowd, attractive game, many scoring opportunities
Orebro HK illustrated the famous Swedish ice hockey qualities: good organization and strong puck control. However, it was vulnerable to counterattacks. Alex Formenton, beautifully assisted by Tim Heed, moved past the last Swedish defenseman and left Jhonas Enroth no chance to make it 1-0. Josh Jooris finished a counterattack set up by Dominik Zwerger and Inti Pestoni in the second period making it 2-1. Only 28 seconds later, Brandon McMillan increased the lead.
33-26 shots on goal in favour of the Swedes
Christopher Mastomaki scored Orebro’s first goal, levelling it at 1-1 with a precise shot. The Swedes also had some bad luck, hitting the post before the end of each the first and second periods, before Linus Oberg moved the Scandinavians within one. Darion Burgler re-established Ambri’s two-goal lead on yet another counterattack. Burgler won the Spengler Cup with HC Davos in 2011. Already nearly 3 minutes before the final buzzer, Orebro pulled its goaltender and Ambri made it 5-2 with an empty netter for the final score – for the many Ambri fans this was the cue to sing their victory hymn “La Montanara”.
Already on Tuesday afternoon Orebro’s players will already have their next appearance when they face IFK Helsinki.
Sensational Sparta Prague downs Team Canada
Upset in the evening game: Sparta Prague beat defending champion and tournament favourite 3-2.
Sparta Prague and Team Canada engaged in a spectacular battle of attrition. The Czechs were in no way inferior to the Canadians, known and liked for their great spirit. Its confidence showed in the calm defensive work. Although the team from overseas optically seemed to have a slight advantage in the first period, it was Sparta Prague that went into the intermission with a 2-0 lead. Michal Repik on a counterattack and Daniel Pribyl scored within 40 seconds in the 19th minute of play. Repik further extended the lead with the first power play goal of the 94th Spengler Cup.
The Canadians, hurt in their pride, increased the tempo and offensive pressure massively, encouraged in part by Brett Connolly, who scored for Team Canada a mere 80 seconds after conceding the 3-0 goal. In the middle period alone, the Canadians fired twelve shots on net. Team Canada largely remained the dominant team in the third period as well. The Czechs missed their fourth goal on their brief, few chances. With the biggest save of the night, Korenar prevented the equalizer 188 seconds before the final buzzer, denying Carr on a breakaway. With its win, Sparta Prague earned itself a day off on Tuesday.