Spengler Cup 2013
Genève Servette v CSKA Moscow 4-3 OT
This was the best day of play yet in the Spengler as both games had plenty of drama and were tight affairs.
Basically this match-up was to decide who had a rest day tomorrow, with the losers facing a quarter final tie against Vitkovice Steel.
CSKA would take the early initiative with Frolov throwing a hopeful pass across the crease that found the net via the skate of Garrett Stafford.
Despite their dominance of puck possession at times, Genève would out-shot their Russian opponents 17-10 in the first frame and tie the game up with eight minutes on the clock
Some sloppy defensive work allowed Hollenstein time and space and his shot beat Proskuryakov far side.
A period that started at a fast pace and both teams exchanging chances ended in a grind as the coaches probably got their wish.
The Russian net minder would play a huge part in his team taking the lead in the second frame.
A great poke check from him with his defense awol sent Radulov away all alone as Genève had too many men in front of the puck. Radulov would roof his backhand and then draw the first penalty of the game for his team shortly afterwards.
With traffic in front the great Sergei Fedorov playing at the point, picked his spot and sent his wrist in off the post to give his side a 3-1 lead at the midway point of the game,
To Genève’s credit they responded well and would claw a goal back just three minutes later.
A nice passing play, including a threading the needle effort from Pestoni, ended with Daugavins adding the finishing touch.
CSKA seemed to sit on their lead in the final frame, firing just five shots at Robert Mayer.
A rash of penalties dominated the play but neither side could take advantage of the extra man.
Genève upped their work rate as the time ticked down and they were finally rewarded with 3:23 remaining. Picard making up for being denied earlier with a neat finish in front to tie the game at three.
It was off to overtime and Genève would be presented with the perfect chance to win the game as Rylov headed to the box to hand them a 4 on 3 man advantage.
Despite Mercier missing a gilt edge chance before the power play, Genève weren’t put off and a blast from Daugavins in the slot gave them a well deserved win and a day off on Sunday.
Best Player of the game:
Genève – Denis Hollenstein
CSKA – Alexander Radulov
Team Canada v HC Davos 2-3
Davos ended up taking a well deserved victory but they were made to hang on in a nail biting finish.
The first period would end scoreless, mainly in part to near misses and excellent goaltending from Canada net minder Allen York.
Davos engineered the opening chance of the game while shorthanded with Wieser and Von Arx not taking advantage of the 2 on 1 break.
A stretch pass would send Koistinen away but York would turn his effort aside.
The next to go close would be Guggisberg, should have done better with a tipped effort.
Wieser had the last chance of the period on yet another breakaway but York stood tall once more.
Team Canada started the second frame much better, moving their feet and finally trying to impose their game on the hosts.
Yet again though it was Davos creating the best chances and Wieser yet again being denied by York despite a nifty backhand effort.
It would take two Swede’s to break down Canada and it was a piece of individual brilliance that led to the opening goal. Paulsson spinning away from his man and taken the puck out of the air in one movement gave him a 2 on 1 break. He would exchange passes with Persson before firing home himself.
It was all one way traffic again and York could only keep out Davos for a further four minutes before they doubled the lead.
Guggisberg was allowed time to cruise from the backboards to the side of the goal before finding the far side of the net.
After being outplayed through forty minutes, Canada needed an early spark in the third period to get them going. It’d take just four minutes for that spark to arrive courtesy of Darren Haydar. Williams would see his shot turned aside but Ritchie smartly picked up the rebound behind the net, feeding the puck to Haydar out in front who did the rest.
Canada would earn themselves a power play almost immediately following the goal but failed to take advantage.
All their momentum would be nullified by taking three straight penalties and on the last of those Davos would strike. Upon receiving a long outlet pass, Ambuhl would dart in between two defensemen before sending a seeing eye shot upstairs which gave York no chance.
That looked to be the game with under three minutes left on the clock but a late power play would give Canada some hope. Coach Shedden would call a timeout and pull his net minder from the net and with 1:57 remaining a shot from the point would be tipped in by Noreau.
Cue even more drama as great work from Metropolit set up Ritchie but he could only fan on his effort with half the net to aim at.
A goalmouth scramble would led to Davos taking a delay of game penalty with 27 seconds to play.
During that penalty the officials would fail to call a blatant hooking call on a Canadian which would have led to a 6 on 3 advantage for around 15 seconds or so but Davos would avoid that and hold on to the victory.
As mad as Doug Shedden may have been with the officials he must be wondering why his side couldn’t play the whole game like they had in the final throes.
Best Player of the game:
Canada – Allen York
Davos – Marcus Paulsson
Tomorrow’s quarter finals will be contested as follows:
CSKA Moscow v Vitkovice Steel
Team Canada v Rochester Americans