Happala shoots HCD into the final | Spengler Cup Davos

Happala shoots HCD into the final

Article - Happala shoots HCD into the final


In a wild game at the Spengler Cup against Frolunda Gothenburg on Saturday afternoon, HC Davos qualified for tomorrow’s final. Henrik Haapala scored the game-winner 51 seconds into overtime.

The crowd of 6,267 at the sold-out Davos’ ice palace - which has been the case in every game this Spengler Cup - experienced an emotional rollercoaster. HCD began the game determinedvand strong. Calle Andersson scored to make it 1-0 already in the fifth minute of play. But soon the Swedes found to their game as well. Erik Borg consequently tied it up (15 th minute of play). To start the second period, Frolunda’s forward Carl Klingberg tore through Davos’ entire defense. He put his team ahead with a wrap-around. The hosts reacted forcefully. Only 90 seconds later, Dennis Rasmussen tied it up at 2-2. The HCD-Swede had already scored twice in the preliminary round matchup against Frolunda four days earlier. The hosts were in absolute control of the middle period with a shots-on-net differential of 15-3 in their favour. However, Enzo Corvi’s 3-2 marker with a precise wrist shot (36 th minute) was a modest yield considering the on-ice dominance.

That nearly cost them, as Davos then acted too cautiously – almost even passively - in the third period. After Malte Stromwall tied the game on the powerplay (53 rd minute), Frolunda energetically pushed for the go-ahead against the now almost timid hosts. Only the post stopped a shot by Linius Oberg (54 th minute). And later HCD goaltender Sandro Aeschlimann made a save with his head taking a shot off the mask (58 th minute).

In overtime, which is played with 3-on-3 skaters, Henrik Haapala took advantage of the added space to score Davos’ game-winner. Coming in from the side, he beat the strong Frolunda keeper Lars Johansson for the win. For the 29-year-old, only 1.75-metre-tall Finnish winger this goal must have been especially satisfying; he started the season at Geneve-Servette but was often a healthy scratch as the spare foreign player. He then transferred to Lausanne where he has not played regularly in the past weeks either. Lausanne made Haapala available to HCD for the Spengler Cup.

HCD has moved into a Spengler Cup final for the first time since 2012. Its opponent will be determined in the second semi-final matchup between Dynamo Pardubice and Team Canada on Friday night.

Quelle: Spengler Cup-Online Redaktion   Foto: Keystone