Ah, the Spengler Cup. Lying in the dust of the World Junior, Davos, Switzerland holds the invitation-only tournament that first started in 1923. The teams representing the 2013 edition are:
HC Davos – Play in the Swiss National League A, and also host the Spengler Cup every year.Team Canada – Made up of Canadians playing in Europe, and the American Hockey League (AHL). Won the tournament in 2012 thanks to locked-out NHLers.
Rochester Americans – The Sabres’ AHL-affiliate represent the AHL, and will compete in the tournament for the second time since 1996.
Geneve-Servette HC – Also compete in the Swiss National League A.
HC Vitkovice Steel – Representing the Czech Extraliga.
HC CSKA Moscow – Representing the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL)
Geneve-Servette HC, HC CSKA Moscow and the Rochester Americans, make up the Torriani group, whereas HC Davos, Team Canada, and HC Vitkovice Steel, make up the Cattini group. The name of the groups come from Swiss hockey players Richard ‘Bibi’ Torriani and the Cattini brothers, Hans and Ferdinand.
Servette trounced the Americans 5-0 in the first game, thanks to two goals from former NHLer Matthew Lombardi, with fellow former NHLers Kaspars Daugavins and Cody Almond also getting on the scoresheet.
Team Canada defended their title with a 5-4 victory over HC Viktovice Steel in Game Two. Goaltender Chris Mason, a former NHLer, now playing in Italy, got the win in a squad that includes Alexandre Bolduc, Glen Metropolit and Jim Vandermeer. All of which have applied their trade in the National Hockey League during their career.
Game Three and the Rochester Americans give a much better performance, but still go down 4-3 to HC CSKA Moscow. CSKA, lead by multiple Stanley Cup Champion, Sergei Fedorov, Team Captain and former Nashville Predator, Alexander Radulov, and former NHLer Oleg Saprykin.
Game Four, and the hosts HC Davos, start their campaign with a 5-1 win over Vitkovice. Finalists from 2012, Davos will play Team Canada to see who will top their group in a rematch of the 2012 final.
The other game before the final round begins, will be Geneve-Servette HC, taking on HC CSKA Moscow.
It may not be the World Junior, but it is broadcast on TSN, so you Canadians have no excuse for missing it.