KalPa and HCD start into the tournament | Spengler Cup Davos

KalPa and HCD start into the tournament

Article - KalPa and HCD start into the tournament


On the second tournament day, KalPa Kuopio and HCD will make their first appearances at the 95th Spengler Cup. The Finns will take on Ambri-Piotta on Wednesday at 3.10 pm. In the evening game, Davos will host Frolunda HC at 8.15pm.
In 2018, KalPa (Kalevan Pallo) made for one of the biggest surprises in Spengler Cup history. Entering as an underdog, the hockey team from Kuopio won every one of its games. After a 2-1 shootout victory over Team Canada in the final, KalPa took home the winner’s trophy as the first Finnish club ever. Because the best non-Champions League participant from the Finnish Liiga gets to participate at the Spengler Cup, KalPa now gets to defend its title (with some delay). It currently sits in fourth place of the Liiga standings and again travels to Davos as an underdog. KalPa’s roster features veteran team leaders but it is also considered a typical development club. So, the merely 21-year-old Juuso Maenpaa leads team in scoring. Goaltender Jatkola is the same age. And Oliver Kapanen, an NHL second round draft pick by the Montreal Canadiens, is even one year younger.
In its first game in “Group Torriani”, KalPa will go head-to-head with Ambri-Piotta. The Ticinesi lost their starting game against Dynamo Pardubice 3-2 in overtime after holding an early 2-0 lead. Against KalPa, mostly Ambri’s offence will be challenged after it was unable to produce much against the Czechs. The Ticinesi’s chance to successfully defend their title is still intact.

In the evening game, Josh Holden will make his Spengler Cup debut as HCD head coach. He has experienced four tournaments as a player for Team Canada (winner in 2012). And last year Holden was the assistant coach for the Canadians. After a mediocre first half of the season, HC Davos gained some momentum before the Christmas break with wins over Biel-Bienne and the Rapperswil-Jona Lakers. Its last tournament victory came twelve years ago. The first appearance at the 95th Spengler Cup on Wednesday evening will already give some insight into how they measure up. Despite the 4-0 loss to Team Canada, opponent Frolunda displayed Swedish qualities (with exception of scoring efficiency) – solid individual puck control, structured play, and also some true grit with powerful checks. HCD and Frolunda last faced off in the semifinals of the Champions Hockey League in January 2016. The team from Gothenburg moved on to the final, which it later won 2-1 over Finland’s champion Karpat Oulu, after a 5-1 win in Davos and 1-1 tie at home.

Quelle: Spengler Cup-Online Redaktion   Foto: Keystone