Adler Mannheim and Helsinki Jokerit opened up the second day of the Spengler Cup with Mannheim taking the 5-3 victory after originally falling behind by two goals.
Mannheim had high hopes for their game against Jokerit after blowing a 3-0 lead against Lugano yesterday. Surely, they’d have to have a better game on Sunday, right? It didn’t start off too well, with a tremendous passing play between Juhamatti Aaltonen and Peter Regin resulting in the first goal of the contest. Regin would get the final shot after making four passes with Aaltonen in the offensive zone, with the former Chicago Blackhawks forward firing it over Dennis Endras for the 1-0 lead after 11:46 of play.
Not even 30 seconds later, Jokerit would get a very similar goal to extend their lead. This time, Brandon Kozun, Tim Kennedy and Jere Sallinen would all contribute to the play, making about three passes before Sallinen got the shot away through traffic to make it 2-0 Jokerit.
Mannheim would find a way to cut into the lead about two minutes after that. Glen Metropolit, at 41-years-old, would get his second point of the tournament after Brent Raedeke sent the puck out to the former NHLer, who waited long enough to get Riku Helenius down on the ice before firing it in. It was Metropolit’s 19th point at the Spengler, tying him with Andres Ambuhl of Davos for sixth all-time in tournament scoring history.
With about two minutes left in the period, another former NHL prospect found a way to tie the contest. Mathieu Carle, not to be confused with current NHLer Matt Carle, got an easy one after beating Helenius with a knuckleball from far out, going right under the bar after the goaltender went down too early to tie things up at two heading into the first intermission.
Mannheim had all the momentum heading into the second period and that helped them take the lead for the first time in the game. Great passing play goals seemed to be the trend on Sunday, with former Buffalo Sabres star Jochen Hecht making an initial strong pass from behind the net to Kyle Wilson. From there, Wilson sent a pass out to Ryan MacMurchy in front of the net who ripped it past Helenius for the 3-2 goal to get his third of the tournament and his team’s third of the contest.
With 4:52 off the scoreboard in the middle frame, Jokerit was able to tie things up again. Topi Jaakola would take a shot from the point, but it would be former NHL forward Niklas Hagman in the right spot at the right time to tip the puck over Endras for the tying goal with most of the game still to go.
With just over ten seconds left in the period, Mannheim got a late goal to put Jokerit down a goal heading into the final period. Hecht would find himself grabbing another point after making a beautiful pass in front, with, of course, MacMurchy there to fire home his fourth goal in just two games to make it 4-3 Mannheim. Endras would stand tall in the net for the rest of the game, holding on for a perfect third period while Kai Hospelt was able to score an empty netter to give Mannheim the big 5-3 victory.
With the win, Mannheim, who lost the last nine games they played in between league and Spengler Cup action, will get their rest day on Monday before gearing up for their upcoming quarter-final battle on Tuesday. Jokerit still has one more round-robin game to go, with a meeting with day one winners HC Lugano set for 9:00 am ET set for Monday. Jokerit hasn’t won a game at the Spengler Cup since 2003 when they beat Krefeld Pinguine 4-2, going without a win in a disappointing performance a year ago.
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