Ambri-Piotta and Sparta Prague move into semifinals
Article - Ambri-Piotta and Sparta Prague move into semifinals
With a 7-3 win over IFK Helsinki, HC Ambri-Piotta secured the top spot in Group Torriani and as such the berth in Friday’s semifinals. The second Wednesday game, too, ended in a blowout – 9-2 for Sparta Prague over HC Davos.
The Ticinesi already had a 3-0 lead after 23 minutes. The Finns punished themselves with individual mistakes. An errant pass by an IFK defenseman set up scorer Inti Pestoni for Ambri’s go-ahead goal. The third goal, finished by Filip Chlapik, was the result of a disorganized defense.
Two long-range goals by Johan Motin and Otso Rantakari brought IFK Helsinki, which held a 21-17 shots-on-net advantage, back into the game. On the scoreboard, however, it trailed 4-2. The offensive fireworks on both sides of the ice continued in the final period as well to the delight of the spectators. The result was the highest-scoring game of the 94th Spengler Cup so far: 7-3 – a blowout victory for Ambri.
Instead of qualifying for the semifinals, HC Davos suffered a 9-2 fiasco at the hands of the high-performing Sparta Prague. Davos was chasing a deficit already 83 seconds into the game. Michal Kempny took advantage of complete disorder in the hosts’ defense to score from long range. After that, Davos had trouble against the feisty, headstrong, and confident Czechs, who played assertively and increased their lead on a redirect by Ostap Safin. A hard pass by Michael Fora set up Matej Stransky who cut the lead to 2-1 shortly before the first intermission.
But that marker did not lead to the hoped relief for Davos. Instead, they conceded a short-hander by Kempny on the first powerplay. In the 33rd minute, the Czechs then exploited the lack of orientation in Davos’ defense to score twice within 43 seconds.
Prague continued their power display in the final period. Davos’ second goal by Andres Ambuhl 20 seconds before the final buzzer was no more than a bitter consolation prize. Sparta Prague served Davos the highest Spengler Cup loss in 38 years. On December 30, 1984, Davos suffered a 13-2 rout against Dukla Jihlava.
Text: Spengler Cup - Onlineredaktion Foto: Keystone