Spengler Cup finalists set for fresh showdown

Swiss hosts HC Davos to meet defending champions Canada after both teams down Czech rivals Vitkovice by five goals.

    Dino Wieser, left scores for the hosts in their 5-1 drubbing of Vitkovice  in Davos, Switzerland [EPA]
    Dino Wieser, left scores for the hosts in their 5-1 drubbing of Vitkovice in Davos, Switzerland [EPA]

    Swiss hosts HC Davos have thrashed their Czech opponents HC Vitkovice Steel in the Spengler Cup - the oldest invitational ice hockey tournament in the world.

    Davos, who were beaten finalists last season, had a great start to their campaign in their home town in the eastern Alps region of Switzerland on Friday, with goals from Beat Forster and Dino Wieza in their 5-1 victory.

    Davos play defending champions Team Canada on Saturday.

    Canada beat the Steelers  5-4 on Thursday in the opening game of the annual tournament, which runs from December 25 to January 1.

    Captain and former NHL player Glen Metropolit had a goal and an assist, while Byron Ritchie, Micki DuPont, and Alexandre Bolduc also scored for Canada.

    Rudolf Huna, Peter Huzeka, Roman Szturic and Lukas Kucsera scored for Vitkovice.

    Ex-NHL veteran's fierce form

    Vitkovice's Filip Sindelar was the busier of the two goaltenders, stopping 37 of 42 shots in the losing effort. Canada's Chris Mason made 18 saves.

    After Ritchie's goal tied the game at 4-4 in the third period, Walser beat Sindelar off passes from Anthony Stewart and Metropolit to pull Canada ahead for good.

    Bolduc opened the scoring with an unassisted goal at 2:30 of the first period, but the lead was short-lived as Kucsera responded with a goal for the Czech club team.

    Canada took the lead again on Metropolit's goal, and Vitkovice replied to take a 2-2 tie into the first intermission.

    The second period proved costly for Canada when a turnover gave Vitkovice a 4-3 lead 11 seconds after DuPont tied the game 3-3 on a power play.

    The victories of Canada and Davos set the scene for a spectacular showdown on Saturday, especially given the fierce form of 39-year-old Metropolit, the oldest player on Canada's Spengler Cup roster.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


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