By Hansruedi Camenisch – Spengler Cup
At their Spengler Cup debut on Thursday afternoon, KalPa from Kuopio won 3-1 against Ocelari Trinec. Alexander Ruuttu dazzled as the first player to shoot 2 goals in one game.
The young Finns from Kuopio and the Czech league leader Trinec provided a typical Spengler Cup match-up – exactly as the spectators love – offensively with lots of tempo and numerous goal opportunities, following the motto “play and let play”. That only 4 goals were scored is primarily thanks to the efforts of the KalPa goaltender Denis Godla. The 23-year old in the Finnish net – who played for Slovakia at the World Championships last season – kept his team in the game with his spectacular saves. He deflected 29 out of 30 shots-on-goal, giving him a defensive quota of 96.67 percent. At times it seemed the Czechs were careless with their goal opportunities.
The first goal was scored by Alexander Ruuttu when he accepted a fantastic straight pass from Jaakko Rissanen (13th minute). The scorer has ice hockey in his blood: his father Christian Ruuttu participated in 663 NHL games. Towards the end of his career, he played for the Grasshoppers in the B National League during the 1996/97 season. When the defender Martin Gernat shot the equalizing goal for the seemingly overpowering Czech team in the 33rd minute, the spell seemed to be broken. But only 53 seconds was needed by Alexandre Texier to take advantage of a defensive mistake by Trinec to counterattack and take the lead 2-1. Ruuttu sunk his personal second goal just 32 seconds into the third period to decide the game.
In an absolutely spectacular game, HC Davos wins against the Thomas Sabo Ice Tigers 3-2 at the Spengler Cup Thursday night. The Germans caught up after falling behind 0-2. The winning goal was shot by the 18-year old defenseman Julian Payr in the sold-out Vaillant Arena. Game winner for HCD was also the outstanding goalie Gilles Senn.
After Davos began its last 3 games under Coach Harijs Witolinsch by falling behind in the first period each time, they started the game against the Ice Tigers powerfully. Their intense concentration in the first period paid off with 2 brilliant goals. Inti Pestoni, elegantly and with lots of speed, skated around Nuremberg’s defenseman Marcus Weber before he left the goaltender Niklas Treutle no chance to deflect (6th minute). Just 64 seconds later Dario Simion completed a textbook combination from Andres Ambühl via Niklas Klasen to sink a direct pass into the net.
Taking advantage of a power play situation at the start of the second period, the Germans found their way into the game. Senn became the focus. He displayed his best defensive maneuvers against Chris Brown and following the end of a penalty also against Chad Bassen, both solo attacks. For HCD Coach Witolinsch it was clear that the time had come, in the 26th minute, for a timeout to bring the Davos team back into the game. The result was a more open, spectacular slugfest with many scoring opportunities for both sides (13-14 shots-on-goal in the second period alone). Brandon Buck scored in a counterattack to reduce HCD’s lead to one (37th minute).
In an enthralling final period, the Olympic silver-medal winner Leo Pföderl increased the intensity of the game by scoring the equalizing goal during a power play situation for the guests (49th minute). Of all the players, it was the youngest on the ice that landed the deciding puck in the net. The 18-year old HCD defenseman Julian Payr scored after receiving a cross pass from Klasen. Senn defended his team’s narrow lead for the remaining time. The HCD goaltender demonstrated his magnificent skills. He deflected 33 shots-on-goal and was selected as Davos’ best player of the game.