The icing on the anniversary cake | Spengler Cup Davos

The icing on the anniversary cake

Article - The icing on the anniversary cake


The Spengler Cup’s 100-year anniversary this Boxing Week was an ice hockey festival bonanza for everyone. HC Davos’ 5-3 final victory over the Czech championship leader Dynamo Pardubice was the icing on the anniversary cake.

‘So much joy all around. That is a good indicator’, Marc Gianola sums up the 95th edition and 100th anniversary of the tournament with great satisfaction yet not euphoria, but in a factual manner that is typical for him. The Spengler Cup CEO is glad that ‘everything worked out, as we took on quite some risk.’ By that he refers to Loft 23, the new, sustainable structure in the hospitality section relying solely on wood from Grisons and natural resources, or the new caterer.

Sold out and out-marketed
Even before the detailed numbers are available, it is clear that this Spengler Cup tournament was a huge economic success. All 11 games – as well as all partnerships in the sponsoring department - were officially sold out with 6,267 in attendance for the first time since 2012, when the event was held under the special circumstances of the NHL lockout. ‘We increased the quality’, is Gianola’s dry remark regarding the fact that since 2015 HCD markets the major event itself. He sees the recipe for the Spengler Cup’s success 100 years after it first took place in various factors. ‘The television coverage is very good. It takes place between Christmas and New Year – a time when many people are off work. Davos is often associated with vacations anyway. And the world class level of play is of crucial importance. In addition, there is something offered for everyone.’

Hard-fought games
Speaking of the quality of the games – that was very high overall. Most games were hard-fought. The semifinals, which were both only decided in the final moments, were indicative of that. Dynamo Pardubice came back in a sensational manner when, in the 57th minute of play, they turned a 3-1 deficit against Team Canada into a 4-3 win with three goals in 197 seconds. HCD’s 4-3 game-winner over Frolunda Gothenburg even only came in overtime. And the final was a battle as well. Pardubice tied the game at 2-2 with two back-to-back goals shortly before the end of the second period. Davos then decided the game in its favour scoring three goals in 207 seconds between the 39th and 43rd minute of play. HCD won its own tournament for the first time since 2011 and the 16th time overall.

‘Like a dream’
‘This is like a dream’, is how HCD captain Andres Ambuhl puts it, after hoisting the winner’s trophy. ‘We had a dry stretch the past few years. That’s why it feels extremely good to win the Spengler Cup once again.’ After 2004 and 2006, it was the third Spengler Cup victory for the long-time Davos player and six-time Swiss champion. ‘Every title is special in its own way. This one makes you hungry for more’, says the 40-year-old.
‘I finally did it; I was still missing this one’, beams Marc Wieser, whose passes lead to three goals in the final, as he poses with the trophy together with his wife and kids. With the exception of three seasons with EHC Biel, he has worn Davos’ yellow and blue jersey his entire life. He has won the Swiss championship with Davos three times. Now, at 36 years of age, the winger can add a Spengler Cup victory to his resume.

Quelle: HCD-Onlineredaktion Foto: Keystone