31.12.2018 16:10

KalPa Kuopio wins the final of the 92nd Spengler Cup against Team Canada 2-1 after a dramatic penalty shoot-out.

KalPa Kuopio has written Spengler Cup history this New Year’s eve. They are the first Finnish team to win this world-famous club tournament. The deciding goal of this high-class thrilling game was only reached in the penalty shoot-out by Jaakko Rissanen in the 15th attempt.

The experienced Canadians and the young Finns delivered a high-class and suspenseful final game. The North Americans largely dominated the flow of the game. It sometimes seemed that they put on a display of fireworks on this New Year’s eve. However, their opponent – who captivated with their exceptional skating skills during the entire tournament – demonstrated their superior match organizational qualities. In addition, Denis Godla the Finnish goaltender was extremely reliable and a calming force. In the first 2 periods alone, the 23-year old – who was the 3rd goalie for the Slovakia team at the last world championships - deflected 27 shots-on-goal. The Finns were not only on the defense. With speedy attacks they forced dangerous situations but the Canadian goalie, Zack Fucale, successfully defended against 13 opponent attempts in the first 40 minutes of the game.

In the first attack of the last period, Alexandre Texier failed to sink the go-ahead goal. A goal was achieved – but by the opponent. Daniel Winnik scored on a rebound in the 46th minute. The Finns reacted fiercely. Eetu Luostarinen promptly equalized the game just 6 minutes later. The suspense reached new heights in overtime because both teams passionately sought the deciding goal. The result was only one goal post shot by the Canadian Zac Dalpe.

In the final penalty shoot-out both teams once again increased the suspense. In the first 3 attempts, Zack Boychuk and Corry Emmerton were successful for the defending champion while Ville-Vesa Vainiola sunk the puck for the Finns. The next attackers all failed against the excellent goaltenders. Only with the 15th penalty attempt was Jaakko Ruuttu able to beat Fucale again. Thereafter, Ebbett failed against Godla and the sensational triumph for KalPa Kuopio was achieved. This Spengler Cup title is without a doubt a big highlight for Sami Kapanen. The ex-NHL star is not only the coach of KalPa Kuopio, but also its owner.

Team Canada – KalPa Kuopio 1-2 (0-0, 0-0, 1-1, 0-0) after penalty shoot-out

Vaillant Arena, Davos – 6,300 spectators (sold-out). – REF Watson (Ka)/Wiegand (Sz), Progin/Wüst (both Sz).

Scoring: 46. Winnik (Mitchell, Cracknell) 1-0. 52.Luostarinen (Lappalainen, Nuutinen) 1-1. – Penalty shoot-out: Boychuk 1-0, Vainiola 1-1; Lapierre -(mishandled), Texier 1-2; Emmerton 2-2, Luostarinen - (high); Texier - (held), DiDomenico - (held); Vainiola - (held), Boychuk - (held); Ruuttu - (held), Dalpe - (held); Texier - (missed), Emmerton - (held); Rissanen 2-3, Ebbett – (held).

Penalties: each 5 times 2 minutes.

Team Canada: Fucale; Fabbro, Quincey; Bieksa, Wiercioch; Noreau, Despres; Curran; DiDomenico, Ebbett, D‘Agostini; Boychuk, Emmerton, Micflikier; Dalpe, Moore, Lapierre; Mitchell, Winnik, Cracknell; Knelsen.

KalPa Kuopio: Godla; Wilson, Leskinen; Fairchild, Seppala; Grondahl, Makinen; Nousiainen, Lappalaianen; Ruuttu, Rissanen, Texier; Nuutinen, Luostarinen, Klemetti; Jokinen, Sebok, Kononen; Pipponen, Vainiola, Knuutinen.

Notes: 63rd minute - goal post shot by Dalpe.