94th Spengler Cup promises high-calibre tournament
Article - 94th Spengler Cup promises high-calibre tournament
In 22 days the first puck will be dropped at the 94th Spengler Cup in Davos. An outstanding ice hockey spectacle with high-calibre sport is expected.
The national championships are in full swing and the Spengler Cup teams are getting increasingly stronger. They will all be traveling to Davos with the same goal, a victory at the prestigious tournament. Especially exciting is the Swedish team Orebro HK, which will be celebrating its Spengler Cup premiere, but also IFK Helsinki from Finland or the two-time Spengler Cup champion HC Sparta Prague, one of the oldest, most famous and popular ice hockey clubs from the Czech Republic. Once again Ambri-Piotta and host HC Davos will provide a goosebump feeling. Defending champion Team Canada will energetically strive for its 17th title.
Davos gets three forward reinforcements, Ambri-Piotta a defenseman
Host HC Davos as well as Ambri-Piotta announced their reinforcement players yesterday. Aleksi Saarela, Marc Michaelis (SCL Tigers) and Andrew Rowe (Rapperswil-Jona Lakers) will be on attack for Davos and add additional power to the offensive fireworks that the fans are expecting. Just like they are currently doing for their respective teams in the championship. The Finn Saarela has already gathered 23 points for Langnau and is the top scorer with 14 goals. Michaelis, who has played for Germany at three world championships and came from North America to join the team from Emmental this season, is the fourth-leading scorer of the league with 26 points. The American Andrew Rowe is a team pillar of the Rapperswil-Jona Lakers and is anxiously awaiting his Spengler Cup premiere. Ambri also announced a reinforcement player in Finnish Tigers defenseman Vili Saarijavieinen.
Alston is excited to pass on his experiences
It looks promising that Jan Alston will finally make his Spengler Cup debut as the general manager of Hockey Club Davos. He won the tournament with Team Canada in 2002 and 2003 and played in a total of six Spengler Cups – with Team Canada (four times), Adler Mannheim and HC Davos. “To me the Spengler Cup is an unbelievable tournament. I am incredibly happy to finally pass on the experiences from my time as a player”, he raves. He and athletic director Fredi Pargatzi expect a high level of play in an atmosphere which has been unfazed throughout the corona pandemic. “We want to play nice, fast-paced, attractive hockey, have lots of fun, stay in contention for the title as long as possible and if possible win it all.” It would be the first time since 2011 that the hometown team won the trophy.
Ambri-Piotta feels challenged
The most popular voice of the Spengler Cup live broadcasts was Ville Peltonen of IFK Helsinki. In 2009 he also won the Spengler Cup as a player on Dynamo Minsk. He is now the head coach for IFK Helsinki. Not many individuals have been able to win the tournament as both a player and head coach, but Ville Peltonen will have that opportunity. Yet that is not at the forefront for him: “We want to perform well and will take one step at a time.” Ambri coach Luca Cereda understands his team will be challenged in the group stage: “The Swedish and Finnish game stands for fast-paced and well-organized hockey. We will be challenged in the group stage but will learn a lot from those games.” And Jaroslav Hlinka, athletic manager of Sparta Prague, hopes that his club will win the prestigious tournament for the third time: “At Sparta Prague we want to play modern hockey. We will try to continue the history of Sparta Prague and its two previous victories.”
In the new stadium for the first time
The Spengler Cup will take place in the new stadium for the first time. Standing room for 900 people was converted to seating. “Nonetheless, it is advisable to book your tickets early if you want to be a part of this year’s event”, according to Marc Gianola (president of the Spengler Cup organizing committee), who is delighted by the interest in the tournament. This year, nothing should stand in the way of the tournament. “I am quite optimistic leading up to this tournament that it will pass medically sound as well”, says Walter Kistler (head doctor of Davos’ hospital and HC Davos’ team physician).
First Spengler Cup podcast
At the press conference Jan Zurcher introduced the newest innovation, the Spengler Cup podcast “Pre-Game”. On December 24 and then daily as of December 26 the moderator will host conversations with international hockey players, sports stars, and other personalities at 11am.
These are the Teams of 2022
Group Torriani: Ambri-Piotta, Orebro HK (Sweden), IFK Helsinki (Finland)
Group Cattini: HC Davos, Team Canada, Sparta Prague
The Spengler Cup will traditionally be started on Boxing Day. The final is played on New Year’s eve.
Quelle: Mediarelease Spengler Cup Davos Foto: Jana Putzi