Sparta Prague and Ambri-Piotta are in the final
Article - Sparta Prague and Ambri-Piotta are in the final
Sparta Prague, with a 4-3 win over Orebro, and HC Ambri-Piotta, winning 5-0 against HC Davos, have qualified for the final of the 94th Spengler Cup.
30 minutes into the game, the Czechs trailed the Swedes 3-0, then scored four consecutive goals before the second intermission.
Orebro had the better start to the game. The logical consequence was an early 1-0 lead through Mathias Brome. Contrary to their quarterfinal against Team Canada, when the Scandinavians retreated deep into their own zone and defended their lead with patience and a cement wall after scoring the go-ahead goal, they resorted to consistent forechecking to break down the play already in the offensive zone.
In the second period Sparta Prague managed to increase the pressure on the Swedish net. A spectacular game developed. Kristian Nakyva and Rasmus Nissanen added to the lead for a seemingly decisive 3-0 advantage with fine, lightning-like long-range markers. Only 31 seconds later, David Dvoracek’s goal brought back the suspense with Sparta Prague’s first goal. Following that, the Czechs showed impressive efficiency on the finish. In the middle period they scored four goals on eleven shots – within nine minutes.
Sparta Prague can now become the first Czech team since 1984 to win the Spengler Cup.
HC Ambri-Piotta may have a word to say about that. The Ticinesi are in the Spengler Cup for the first time. Ambri appeared fresher and livelier in the semi-final game against HCD. Not surprisingly. The Ticinesi were playing their third Spengler Cup game in five days, while it was the fourth matchup in 72 hours for Davos. Nonetheless, the team from Grisons had their chances – but could not get by Ambri’s goalie Janne Juvonen. The guests, on the other hand, struck during a two-man advantage. Dario Burgler’s shot from the slot left HCD goaltender Sandro Aeschlimann no chance. Davos was misfortunate twice before the intermission. First Aleksi Saarela hit the post on the powerplay, and shortly thereafter Andres Ambuhl hit the crossbar on a penalty shot.
The play was even in the middle period. The guests had an 18-17 shots-on-net advantage after 40 minutes. Strength-wise Davos was at its limit. This was exemplified on the third goal, when the puck was coughed up on the powerplay – Filip Chlapik took advantage and beat Anschlimann on the breakaway.
Davos had a chance to get on the scoreboard when they had a two-man advantage 100 seconds into the final period. Saarela hit the post, but no goal resulted. On the other side, Ambri forward Nando Eggenberger’s 4-0 marker in the 48th minute sealed the deal. Ambri’s 5th goal came on an empty-netter by Inti Pestoni.
Text: Spengler Cup - Onlineredaktion Foto: Keystone