Spengler Cup Day 1 Review

Rochester Americans v Genève Servette 0-5

Rochester were given a European hockey lesson by Genève Servette, but the final result could have been different had the Amerks taken their chances.
An elongated opening ceremony meant the players had to wait to get their skates wet, but once the Genève Eagle had flown down from the stands to deliver the puck (no I’m not kidding) it was Rochester who carved the first chance.
A giveaway from the Swiss team allowed the Amerks a couple of opportunities in front but they failed to capitalise.

Genève would respond and a breakout pass found Hollenstein and with just Hackett to beat his shot found the iron.
Midway through the period it would be the Swiss team who broke the deadlock with a shorthanded marker. A tic tac toe play between Daugavins and Lombardi on a 2 on 1 break lead to the former opening the scoring.

A couple of half chances early in the second period must have given the Amerks some hope but on a power play of their own, shortly after successfully killing a Genève man advantage, it started to go downhill.
Luke Adam given five and a game misconduct after laying an elbow to the head of Daugavins, meant Rochester lost a crucial offensive player.
A rash of penalties followed as the game became a little ill tempered.
Ironically Rochester’s best chance would come shorthanded with Hutchings denied on a breakaway.

It was no surprise that the next goal would come on the power play for Genève Servette, with a blast from Garrett Stafford finding the net with Hackett well screened.

Two goals just 1:35 apart early in the third period would kill the game as a contest.
Lombardi given too much time and space down low, would jam in his own rebound for a 3-0 lead.
A pass from Marti sent Simek in alone and his backhand finish would be too much for Hackett to handle and beat the net minder’s glove hand.

Frustration was getting the better of the Amerks and the game would become even more ill disciplined after a poor looking hit from Roy.

The scoring would be finished by Almond who took a nice feed from Picard before executing a beautiful forehand to backhand move to find the net.

The drama wouldn’t be finished however as Roy stupidly got involved in nonsense late on. With the clock ticking down he went on a rampage, cross checking everything that moved before finally being called by the officials. Like a red rag to a bull he completely lost the plot. Taking on anyone within screaming distance before petulantly throwing his helmet across the ice upon being ejected from the game. He then proceeded to wreck havoc down the tunnel where upon nothing was safe from being broken or launched. It’ll be interesting to see if he plays again during this tournament after such childish behaviour.

Vitkovice Steel v Team Canada

The first game of the tournament may have been a blow out but the second made up for it with nine goals shared and both teams holding the lead at different stages of the game.
It only took just over two and a half minutes for Team Canada to open the account as Bolduc sneaking down low wasn’t picked up by the Vitkovice defense and Erhadt’s pass to him was perfect, allowing a simple tip in.
The Czech side would respond just two minutes later to tie the game up.
A perfect cross crease pass by Hlinka found Kucsera who rammed the puck home at the second attempt.
A fast start to the time and there was no let up in the scoring as the two sides would share another pair of goals before the period end.
A pass around the back of the net found Metropolit who somehow stuff the puck in short side at the midway marker of the period.
With three minutes remaining we had the first power play tally as Vitkovice kept it simple with a 4 on 3 and Stehlik blasted home from the point with traffic in front.
Vitkovice should have taken a lead into the second frame, blowing a 2 on 1 break, but they would go their first go ahead goal of the game eleven minutes into the period.
After watching Haydar hit the cross for Team Canada, a fantastic stretch pass from Svacina sent Huna in on goal and he beat Mason upstairs.
The lead would only last two minutes as Team Canada registered on the power play with Dumont’s perfectly placed shot through bodies in front tied the game at three.
A mere eleven second seconds later and Vitkovice retook the lead after a series of horrible defensive errors gifted Huzevka possession in the slot and he made Team Canada pay dearly.

Canada almost tied the game ninety second into the third period but Ritchie was absolutely robbed by the Vitkovice net minder.
The Czech team then had a power play opportunity but failed to cash in and give themselves a cushion.
Team Canada seemed to take momentum from the kill and Stewart almost scored but his crashing to the net yet again brought another fine save.
Thirty seconds late and Canada had a goal waived off with a premature whistle stopping the play far too early in their eyes.
Their luck would change as a lucky bounce in the offensive zone would fall to Beaudoin who would dish to puck to Ritchie to even things up.
There looked to be only one winner from this point on and Team Canada would score the game winner with six minutes remaining. A pass from behind the net found defenseman Walser stealing into the play and his 5-hole finish was worthy of winning any game.

With those two results, Friday’s games are as follows:

CSKA Moscow v Rochester Americans
HC Davos v Vitkovice Steel




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