Article - KalPa Kuopio
The incredibles are back
The biggest surprise winner of the past decades returns to the place of its greatest triumph in club history. The first Finnish Spengler Cup champion KalPa, which won the tournament in 2018, is the sixth participant at the 95th Spengler Cup in 2023.
It was on December 31, 2018, at 2.44pm when Jaakko Rissanen buried the 15th penalty shot of the final game behind Canadian keeper Zach Fucale, completing the biggest upset at the Spengler Cup in the past decades. KalPa turned heads not only in the final; the team from Kuopio had traveled to Davos as the big underdog, before defeating the Czech top team Ocelari Trinec, KHL giant Metallurg Magnitogorsk, host HC Davos and record title holder Team Canada in order. The names of their opponents prove that the Finns may have won the tournament surprisingly, but by no means undeservedly. In the 100-year history of the tournament it was the first and, so far, only triumph of a Finnish team.
In the recently concluded season, KalPa finished the Finnish Liiga in fifth place, therefore securing the sixth and final spot at the 95th Spengler Cup. The tournament participation wakes emotions in club mainstay and leading figure in the surprising 2018 title victory, Jaakko Rissanen. ‘We have fantastic memories of Davos. So far that was the only title for me and the club. Those days were special and amazing for the team, the families, but also the entire city of Kuopio”, says the 33-year-old forward. The players are also reminded of this milestone daily during practice sessions or home games. Since January 2019, a banner dedicated to the Spengler Cup triumph is being displayed in their home stadium Olvi Areena.
Quelle: Spengler Cup-Onlineredaktion Foto: Keystone