The next uprising of the outsiders? | Spengler Cup Davos

The next uprising of the outsiders?

Article - The next uprising of the outsiders?


Group Torriani houses trio of exciting underdogs. Can Ambri-Piotta, Orebro or IFK Helsinki follow in the footsteps of KalPo Kuopio, the surprise champion of 2018?

Since the mid-1990s the Spengler Cup has been firmly in the hands of three dominators: record winner Team Canada (12 titles since 1995), host HC Davos (5), and the teams from the multinational Kontinental Hockey League (KHL, 4). Variety was provided in 1999 by the Kölner Haie, 2013 and 2014 by Genève-Servette HC and KalPaKuopio in 2018. The Finn’s triumph was likely the biggest surprise in recent tournament history. Under later Lugano coach Sami Kapanen KalPa demonstrated how much can be achieved with a compact defense and a hard-nosed, determined style of play even at the Spengler Cup.

For IFK Helsinki, somewhat of a successor of KalPa, the coup from back then could serve as an inspiration. The Finns are traveling with an armada of protagonists, who are well known in Swiss ice hockey: the coach is Ville Peltonen, as a player a former champion with Lugano and coach for Lausanne HC until 2020. His assistants are Cory Murphy, the former defenseman for Gottéron and the ZSC Lions, as well as Samuel Tilkanen, who had acted as the video coach under Kari Jalonen in Bern. The powerplay is orchestrated by Otso Rantakari, who had filled in for the injured Magnus Nygren on HCD a few years ago. And up front Julius Nattinen, the top scorer of the Finnish Liiga in 2020, played in Ambri-Piotta for one year.

On December 27 or 28 there will a reunion with his former teammates. Ambri-Piotta first took part in 2019 and revealed itself as such an enrichment that the team from the Leventina was also invited to the cancelled tournaments in 2020 and 2021. Athletically Ambri has made great progress since 2019 – also thanks to the new Gottardo-Arena. In the championship the team under coach Luca Cereda, with its sacrificing style of play and the markedly increased quality, has in the meantime become an uncomfortable opponent for everyone. The big question: How often will the victory hymn “La Montanara” sound at the Spengler Cup?

The group is rounded off by Ambri’s initial opponent, Orebro HK. Since its promotion to the SHL in 2014 the club has progressively improved. Aside from several exciting young players the main attraction is called Mathias Bromé. The winger, in 2021/2022 while with HCD one of the best, most dynamic players of the National League, is returning to his former workplace with Orebro.

Quelle: Spengler Cup Davos  Foto: Keystone