Spengler Cup/World Juniors Recap Day 5

It’s Semifinal Friday at the Spengler Cup in Davos, while the round robin games continue in Calgary and Edmonton.

SPENGLER CUP DAY 5

Semifinal Game 1: HC Davos vs. HC Vitkovie Steel

This is a rematch of the game on Tuesday, where Davos defeated Vitkovice. What happens today? Let’s find out. Gregory Sciaroni opens up the scoring for Davos to make it 1-0 just over 4 minutes in. Vitkovice would tie it up about 7 minutes later, the equalizer by Ondrej Sedivy. Early in the second, Nathan Walker gives Vitkovice their first lead of the day. But a couple of minutes later, Petr Taticek ties the game 2-2. About midway through the period, Pavel Brendl gives Davos the 3-2 lead. A number of players on both squads had some great opportunities to score, but were all foiled. In the final minutes of regulation, an empty net goal for Davos puts the icing on the cake, scored by Petr Sykora (not to be confused with the Devils’ player of the same name) sending Vitkovice packing in a 4-2 decision. Davos is off to the Finals on New Years Eve.

Semifinal Game 2: Dinamo Riga vs. GA Wolfsburg

The winner of this game will play Davos on Saturday. Here are the highlights. Benedict Kohl opens up the scoring for Wolfsburg about 11 minutes in. A few minutes later, Riga’s Maris Bicevskis would tie the game up. Early in the second, Wolfsburg is caught with too many men, giving the powerplay to Riga. That penalty is killed, but Wolfsburg subsequently goes back down a man, and as a result, Riga scores on the man advantage, goal by Martins Karsums. 2-1 Riga. Nearing the midway mark of the period, Riga would go up 3-1, goal scored by Karsums, his second of the game. With 20 minutes to go, Wolfsburg needed a major push or else they’ll find themselves out of the running. A penalty shot was awarded to Wolfsburg and it gave Hoheleitner a chance to cut the deficit to one. He misses, and Riga remains up by 2. Jamie Lundmark seals the deal with an empty netter to make it 4-1 and Riga is on their way to the Finals to play Davos.

The championship game on New Years Eve takes place at high noon Davos time (6:00 am ET, 3:00 am PT) so for all you night owls or early risers, get ready for the showdown, to see if a Russian Super League/Kontinental Hockey League team will take the Spengler Cup for the fourth straight year.

WORLD JUNIORS DAY 5

Game 13: Czech Republic vs. United States

It started out very disastrously for the Czechs. Just 2:21 into the game, Petr Straka receives a 5-minute boarding major and a game misconduct. On the major powerplay, the Americans strike first on a goal by TJ Tynan. 9 minutes in, Tomas Hyka receives a hooking call, but the Czechs manage to kill it off. They tie it up with just over 8 minutes to go in the period, scored by Tomas Filippi. Late in the period, the Czechs suffer a double minor high sticking call, sending Petr Zamorsky to the box. The Americans started the second period on the powerplay, but do not capitalize. Midway through the period, the Czechs are called for too many men, and the Americans strike on the powerplay, Bill Arnold getting the go-ahead goal to make it 2-1. Three minutes later, Tomas Hertl ties it up 2-2. Midway through the third, Josh Archibald is taken down and unable to fire a shot on Petr Mrazek, and a penalty shot is awarded. Archibald misses on the penalty shot, and with 7:34 to go in regulation, Petr Holik gives the Czechs their first lead of the game. With under 3:00 to go, Filippi makes it 4-2. And with less than 90 seconds to go, Holik scores the empty netter to make it 5-2, and shock the Americans with a major upset.

Game 14: Slovakia vs. Sweden

It was the Sweden Show. 4:40 into the game, Erik Thorell scores to make it 1-0. Marek Tvrdon ties it 1-1. Late in the period, Max Friberg breaks the tie to take the lead for good. In the second, Friberg would take an early 2 and 10 for checking to the head/neck area. Sebastian Collberg makes it 3-1 4:15 into the period, and Johan Sundstrom closes the period with 90 seconds to go. Sweden explodes in the third with goals by Mika Zibanejad (4:50), Rickard Rakell (8:06), Joakim Nordstrom (11:28), Collberg (a 5-on-3 goal at 13:42), and Thorell again (with 1:18 to go). Sweden wins 9-1.

Game 15: Denmark vs. Finland

The United States’ hopes of making it to the medal round rely on some really badly needed help, and boy do they need it! It’s not helping them that Miikka Salomaki scores 8:36 into the contest to give the Finns a 1-0 lead on the Danes. Jani Hakanpaa makes it 2-0 at 10:25. Ville Pokka makes it 3-0 at 11:41. It’s 4-0 at 4:09 of the second with Mikael Kuronen scoring. Patrick Bjorkstrand puts Denmark on the board with a penalty shot goal at 13:39. Over a minute later, Finland restores the four-goal lead when Salomaki scores his second of the game. The Finland scoring machine continued in the third. Joel Armia makes it 6-1 on the powerplay 97 seconds into the period. Teemu Pulkkinen scores four times in the third. They came at 4:14, 8:26, 17:48, and 19:56. Finland wanted an eleventh goal at the buzzer but the puck went in after the clock hit all zeros. Finland wins 10-1.

Game 16: Latvia vs. Switzerland

The final round robin game of the night. Christoph Bertschy makes it 1-0 for the Swiss on a powerplay goal scored at 8:45. That’s the way it would be as the teams entered the second period. A little over 2 minutes into the second, Gaetan Haas breaks the tie, putting the Swiss in fron 2-1. At 8:26, Toms Andersons puts Latvia on the board, cuting the Swiss lead to 2-1. Late in the period, Bertschy restores the 2-goal lead. 2:23 into the third, Nikia Jevpalovs cuts the Swiss lead to 3-2. Latvia ties it with under 8:00 to go, equalizer by Vitalijs Hvorostinins, but 22 seconds later, Gaetan Haas breaks the tie making it 4-3 Swiss, and finally Christian Marti makes it 5-3. Latvia tried to makes it closer with an extra attacker but it was not enough. Switzerland wins 5-3.

On New Years Eve, the round-robin wraps up with Finland taking on the Czechs, Switzerland vs. Slovakia, the United States vs. Canada, and Sweden vs. Russia.