CSKA Moscow v Rochester Americans 4-3
A much improved effort from the AHL team in this encounter but the team from Moscow had too much class in the end for them and found the extra gear when required.
CSKA were into their stride early, moving Rochester around and Hackett yet again had to be at his best to deny Namirovsky.
The Russian team would open the scoring on the second power play of the game with Grigorenko tapping home a rebound in front after a shot from the point.
It looked like Rochester would trail leading into the second frame but after some great work to keep the puck alive, a broken play fell nicely to Phil Varone to tie the game up and give Rochester their first goal of the tournament.
Just 28 seconds into the second and the Amerks were in dream land. A swift passing movement ended with Luke Adam tipping in a perfect feed from Varone to give his team a 2-1 lead.
The lead would only last three minutes as Grigorenko fed the puck to the tape of Radulov’s stick and he made no mistake beating Hackett blocker side.
Grigorenko was proving a constant threat and he would ring a shot of the base of the post at the midway marker of the game but there would be no more scoring in the second frame.
Rochester would survive a too many men penalty early in the third period but you can’t keep taking penalties against a team as good as CSKA.
With Gillies in the box for high sticking the Russians took advantage and it was a beautifully worked goal. Zaitsev finding Prokhorkin who tipped in past Matt Hackett for a 3-2 CSKA lead.
Lots of effort from Rochester upon trailing but there best chance to tie the game would come when given a man advantage opportunity with seven minutes remaining.
Unable to convert, CSKA made them pay as soon as the play was back to even strength.
Yet again it was the Radulov and Grigorenko show with the latter finding the net for his second goal of the game.
With time running down Rochester would throw everything they had at the KHL side and they’d be rewarded with a very late goal from Luke Adam who managed to jam the puck home.
With that marker recorded at 59:59 there was no time for a comeback and CSKA took the victory 4-3.
Best Player of the game:
Rochester – Luke Adam
CSKA – Alexander Radulov
HC Davos v Vitkovice Steel 5-1
Two periods of domination paved the way for the host team Davos to open their account in this years Spengler Cup.
Randegger would go close early for Vitkovice but Genoni got enough of a piece of the shot to send it trickling wide.
That was a good as it would get as with lees than three minutes on the clock Davos scored the opening goal. With Vitkovice puck watching, Guggisberg found Forster wide open in front for an easy finish.
Davos would double their lead 21 seconds with yet more questionable defensive coverage by the Czech team. Von Arx providing the cross ice feed for Weiser to score.
It was to be the same story early in the second frame as Davos jumped on Vitkovice early, with Rene Black jamming home a loose puck in front that ended up floating past Roman Malek in net.
Davos would take a 4-0 lead on the first power play marker of the game.
Despite a fine save from Malek going post to post, Davos kept up the pressure and Vitkovice gave far too much time and space to Hofmann who lined up his wrist shot from the slot in off the post past Malek’s blocker.
The only reprieve Vitkovice would receive in the period would be Strapac almost finding the net but his shot could only find the crossbar with Genoni looking beaten.
Vitkovice coach Peter Oremus must have been tearing his hair out come the start of the final period as his team yet again started badly. This time taking a pair of penalties, which Davos took advantage of.
Finnish defenseman Koistinen with a hard low show from the point making it a 5-0 lead for the hosts.
A let-up from Davos let Vitkovice on the board just 38 seconds later. Szturc receiving a fine pass, he worked a fake around a defenseman and fired home a nice shot past a partially sighted Genoni.
Despite out-shooting Davos 13-7 in the final frame, Vitkovice couldn’t find themselves another goal to perhaps work a miracle comeback
Best Player of the game:
HC Davos – Andres Ambuhl
Vitkovice Steel – Roman Szturc
Today’s games are as follows:
Genève Servette v CSKA Moscow
Team Canada v HC Davos
The latter will be an intriguing game as it’s the match up of last year’s final when Team Canada beat the host team 7-2 to take the Spengler Cup.