Last year’s finalist Lugano has successfully started into the 90th edition of the Spengler Cup. The Ticinesi defeated Avtomobilist Yekaterinburg 4-2 in the opening game on Monday night.
Lugano’s reinforcement James Wisnewski put his team ahead with a precise shot from a distance on the first power play. The man advantage lasted for only seven seconds. Dmitry Monya capped a fine solo effort with a slick finish to tie it up for the Russians. The Ticinesi decided the game in the middle period with two goals within 71 seconds. First, Raffaele Sannitz redirected a long-range shot by Ryan Gardner into the net. Then, the 38-year-old Ryan Gardner showed his continued reliability in front of the net of Avtomobilist keeper Vladimir Sachatzky, who had replaced Ivan Lisutin after the second goal against. On the power play, Aryom Gareyev then brought his team back into the game with a goal twelve minutes before the end of regulation time. Yet, Lugano’s solid goaltender Elvis Merzlikins prevented to equalizer. Linus Klasen put the game away for good with an empty-netter 20 seconds before the end.
Lugano, thanks to its opening game victory, will get the day off Tuesday, while Avtomobilist Yekaterinburg will face off against HK Mountfield in the second game of Group Torriani in the afternoon.
Lugano – Avtomobilist Yekaterinburg 4:2 (1:1, 2:0, 1:1)
6300 spectators (sold out). – REF Fonselius/Wehrli, Kovacs/Obwegeser.
Scoring: 10. Wisniewski (Klasen)/Penalty Kivisto) 1:0. 18. Monya (Tshessalin) 1:1. 32. (31:24) Sannitz (Wilson, Wisniewski) 2:1. 33. (32:35) Gardner (Fazzini) 3:1. 49. Gareyev (Shtshitov/Penalty Hirschi) 3:2. 60. (59:40) Klasen (Lapierre, Martensson) 4:2 (empty net).
Penalties: 6 minors for Lugano, 5 minors for Yekaterinburg.
Lugano: Merzlikins; Wisniewski, Wilson; Chiesa, Furrer; Ulmer, Heinrich; Hirschi, Ronchetti; Bürgler, Zackrisson, Hofmann; Walker, Lapierre, Sannitz; Vesce, Martensson, Klasen; Fazzini, Gardner, Reuille.
Yekaterinburg: Lisutin (33. Sochatzky; Shtshitov, Megalinsky; Vasilevsky, Caykovsky; Timashov, Kivisto; Schuravlyov, Turbin; Michnov, Koukal, Gareyev; Tshistov, Ticar, Simakov; Monya, Tortshenyuk, Tshessalin; Buchtele, Gubin, Golyshev.
Notes: Lugano without Brunner, Kparghai, Vauclair, Morini, Fontana (all injured), Bertaggia, Sartori, Riva, Romanenghi (healthy scratches). 60. (59:25) Timeout Yekaterinburg, from 59:01 to 59:40 without goaltender.