HC Davos began their 2015 Spengler Cup on a sour note, with Avtomobilist Yekaterinburg blowing out the home team 5-1.
Unlike in the early afternoon game that saw Adler Mannheim and Helsinki Jokerit combine for four goals in the first 20 minutes, the evening game didn’t have the same amount of offense on Sunday. Fortunately for the sold-out crowd at Vaillant Arena in Davos, there was certainly no lack of action thanks to some back and forth action. Jakub Kovar was busy in the first half of the period, making five stops after Davos used their speed to create chances early.
At the other end, Leonardo Genoni, playing in his final Spengler Cup tournament as a member of HC Davos, looked very solid in the opening period. Avtomobilist made sure to keep him busy in the second half, taking all nine of their shots with the period nearing its. Unfortunately for him, a great pass by Petr Koukal to Alexei Mikhonov on the power play found the back of the with 47 seconds remaining in the first, giving Avtomobilist Yekaterinburg the surprise 1-0 lead.
Davos’ defense was really struggling in the second, leading to an easy goal to make it 2-0 before the period hit the halfway point. Anatoli Golyshev, the top scoring player on Yekaterinburg at 20-years-old, would double the lead after Koukal fed him a great pass on the 2-on-1 to make it 2-0.
It looked Davos was in a very deep hole, but a goal a minute later gave the host team a bit of hope. After Samuel Walser’s shot proved to be too much for Kovar, who couldn’t handle the shot with his glove, former San Jose Sharks star Devin Setoguchi was right near the crease to tap in the puck between the legs of the Yekaterinburg’s goalie to make it 2-1.
With seven minutes left in the middle frame, Davos found themselves trailing by two once again. This time, a give-and-go between Golyshev and Sergey Yemelin resulted in a 3-1 lead for Yekaterinburg thanks to an empty cage shot by Yemelin. Then, with Davos absolutely falling apart in their own zone, Andrei Alexeyev tipped in a shot from Nikolai Timashov with two minutes left in the period to give the Russian squad the 4-1 lead heading into the second intermission.
Yekaterinburg would get an extra goal from Andrei Alexeyev late in the game to help the team take the 5-1 victory, a game that was clearly one-sided from the early going. They did pull their goalie while up four goals with three minutes left, hoping to get another goal to help their total for a potential tiebreaker in the end, but they didn’t end up being successful. It didn’t matter though, as Davos couldn’t find the back of the net to allow Yekaterinburg to hold on to their big win.
Davos will need to win against Canada at 9:00 am EST on Monday to avoid the potential of coming last in their own group. Every team will move on to the next round, but a win for Canada could give them a perfect record to earn a bye to the semi-finals. For Davos, a win would mean that all three teams in the Cattini group would finish with a win, with goal differential deciding who comes first in the group.
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