Geneve Servette and Team Canada victorious

Geneve Servette and Team Canada victorious

26 Dec 2013 | Alan Ilijic

Geneve Servette rallied over the Rochester Americans 5-0 to open their Spengler Cup campaign, while Canada snapped a win over Vitkovice in a hard fought battle, 5-4.


Servette - Rochester 5-0

Servette and the AHL invitees Rochester Americans opened the 2013 Spengler Cup in Davos with a clash in Vaillant Arena. Easier than expected Servette were triumphant.

Servette started strong and wanted to take the advantage of home ice - bigger than the American sizes. From early on they stretched the opponents all over the rink, leaving them much space in the middle, as the Amerks couldn't get used to huge ice.

Servette played very well throughout the game and they had especially good penalty killing unit, not allowing a single goal and creating chances right in front of Matthew Hackett. Just to set an example of how good their special teams were, Kaspars Daugavins sent the puck home to get Servette up front at 11:41 after a nice breakaway and then a double pass back and forth with Matthew Lombardi to kick Hackett out of balance.

It could have been double if Roland Gerber had taken the defensive giveaway in the slot alone with Hackett two minutes before the end. And the pressure continued.

Second period, the Americans started good - with two occasions going down to in numbers trying to crash the net, but Tobias Stephan was focused. The play was very fast exchanging both ends, though no one was able to score. Especially interesting was Servette's third line with ex-NHLers Kaspars Daugavins and Matthew Lombardi and alongside them Inti Pestoni - they created chance after chance while on the ice.

That's why Matt Lombardi scored two goals and added an assists, while Daugavins was 1+1 and Pistoni 0+1 at the game's end. At 38:49 Lombardi scored his first on a powerplay, even though the shot came from the spot by Garett Stafford and Lombardi just tipped it in.

Going into third with somewhat comfortable lead regarding how they've played, didn't suit Servette perfectly. They went for more.

At 45:11 Matthew Lombardi adds his second of the day while a minute and a half later Goran Bezina shows his veteran anticipation and sends a long cross-ice pass through the middle only to find Juraj Simek who had sneaked past the defence and beats the goalie one-on-one.

At 3:24 Cody Almond seals the deal with the strike from the slot after a feed from behind the net by Alexandre Picard.

Tobias Stephan kept the scoresheet clean denying all 23 shots aimed at him.

Team Canada - Vitkovice 5-4

Just take a glance at the result. Nothing more has to be said. What a hockey night by either team!

Just five minutes into the game and the announcement was made. The scoreboard already read 1-1. At 2:33 Alexandre Bolduc gives the edge to the Canadians on the assist from Travis Erhardt. Lukas Kucsera wouldn't agree and beats Mason in net after an assist from Michal Hlinka at 4:20.

And then a peculiar set of events. At 09:46 a pass was sent to behind the net for Glen Metropolit who tried to receive the puck and stop it at the right post and was about to exit on a wrap around. But instead, the puck bounced off his stick and hit the skate of the unlucky Czech goalie, crossing the line and the referees signaled for a goal.

The goal parade continued as things were levelled once again when at 17:05 Richard Stehlik fired from a spot with Vitkovice holding the player advantage 4-on-3 and shot through the five-hole, leaving Mason helpless on the line.

Both teams continued into the second period in the same manner. After Darren Heydar hit the steel coming off the right wing, Rudolf Huna led his team in front again as Vitkovice now were in the lead for the first time. At 33:38 Micki Dupont racks up the tying goal from the blue.

The first, and the second period even more were marked by brawls, usually around the goalies. Both teams were crashing the net, though the Canadians went really harsh on the goalies, and the Czechs just wouldn't put up with it.

The rule today said: "Stay out of the penalty box". Both teams scored a goal on the powerplay, and both on unnecesary penalties.

At 33:49, 11 seconds later (!) Vitkovice are back up front. Michael Vandas gets the feed into the slot, finds Peter Huzevka who didn't hesitate much to put the puck behind the goalie.

Team Canada opened a 2-0 period with a huge miss, Byron Ritchie missed the mark from just outside the crease and the empty net picking up a deflection a minute and a half into the game.

At 47:55 Anthony Stewart, who had an assist, slides the puck in for Alexandre Giroux but he couldn't score what seemed to be a sure goal, allowing Filip Sindelar to pull of a save of the game.

And then the Canadians showed how persistance pays off. At 48:02 Byron Ritchie slides the puck past Sindelar to tie the game. He hit a one-timer in the slot.

At 53:49 Doug Shedden sends his first line on the ice, and they return with a game-winner. Glen Metropolit, the captain and the oldest on the roster, and Anthony Stewart set the puck up for Derrick Walser as Stewart was going for the wrap around but spotted Walser alone in the slot.

Late in the period Vitkovice were called for interference, Tomas Pastor had to pay a visit to the box. Team Canada needed this crucial penalty kill, that could and did change the game events. Team Canada killed it and managed to hold until the very end to win their opening game in the quest to defend the title.

Tomorrow CSKA Moscow will play Rochester Americans at 15:00 CET, 09:00 EDT and at 20:00 CET, 14:00 EDT the hosts HC Davos will skate on the ice to play Vitkovice, who are ready to put up another fight like today, probably furious after such a loss.

Group Torriani


Group Cattini
 1Team Canada 11005-4

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