Final thriller – Ambri takes the cup to the Leventina
Article - Final thriller – Ambri takes the cup to the Leventina
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.
Text: Spengler Cup - Onlineredaktion Foto: Keystone