HC Lugano qualified for the final of the 90th Spengler Cup with a 4-0 win over HC Davos on Friday evening. There they will face defending champion Team Canada – same as a year ago - at 12pm on New Year’s Eve.
The convincing final score may not accurately depict the on-ice performances – the shot totals were 35-33 in favour of Davos -, but Lugano was clearly the more efficient team on the finish, not least due to being fresher. And that for good reason. While Davos played its fourth tournament game within 74 hours, it was only the third for the Ticinesi and - thanks to a first-place finish during the group stage - also following a day off. In the opening period Linus Klasen scored the go-ahead goal thanks to his persistence: he beat HCD goaltender Melvin Nyffeler on the third attempt. Dario Bürgler with a power play goal (32.) and Alessandro Chiesa with the 3-0 (36.) dealt the final blow in the second period. Alessio Bertaggia scored in the 46th minute for the final score. Lugano goaltender Elvis Merzlikins notched the first shutout of the 90th Spengler Cup.
In a rematch of last year’s final, HC Lugano and Team Canada will face off in the final at noon on New Year’s Eve. Then the Canadians captured the trophy with a 4-3 victory. Now the Ticinesi will get a chance for payback.
Lugano – Davos 4:0 (1:0, 2:0, 1:0)
Attendance: 6300 (sold out). – REF Fonselius/Vinnerborg, Kaderli/Wüst.
Scoring: 17. Klasen (Wisniewski, Martensson) 1:0. 32. Bürgler (Vesce/Penalty Marc Wieser) 2:0. 36. Chiesa (Walker, Lapierre) 3:0. 46. Bertaggia (Hofmann/Penalty Fazzini!) 4:0.
Penalties: 8 minors, plus 10 minutes (Lapierre) against Lugano, 7 minors, plus 10 minutes (Rahimi) against Davos.
Lugano: Merzlikins; Chiesa, Furrer; Wisniewski, Wilson; Ulmer, Heinrich; Ronchetti, Hirschi; Bürgler, Zackrisson, Hofmann; Walker, Lapierre, Sannitz; Vesce, Martensson, Klasen; Fazzini, Gardner, Bertaggia.
Davos: Nyffeler; Forrer, Forster; Jung, Rahimi; Schneeberger, Paschoud; Kindschi; Marc Wieser, Kousal, Ruutu; Simion, Walser, Ledin; Sciaroni, Corvi, Dino Wieser; Ambühl, Jäger, Kessler.
Notes: Lugano without Brunner, Manzato, Kparghai, Vauclair, Morini, Fontana (inured), Reuille, Sartori, Riva, Romanenghi (healthy scratches), Davos without Axelsson, Du Bois, Jörg, Aeschlimann, Egli (injured), Lindgren (ill), Van Pottelberghe, Eggenberger, Portmann (U20 World Championships), Hall, Shore, Heldner (healthy scratches). 29. Sciaroni left game with possible concussion. 58. Walker hits crossbar.