The Spengler Cup is an underrated annual holiday tournament that typically doesn’t make many headlines. The competition takes place in Switzerland and has Canada and Davos playing four European teams. This year, thanks to the lockout, we get the added bonus of seeing many NHLers take part in the tournament. Not to mention, you get to hear broadcasting legend Paul Romanuk call the action. That’s worth giving it a watch all by itself.
Canada’s roster is packed full of NHL talent in this tournament, so that made Adler Mannheim’s victory all the more stunning on opening day. Mannheim won it 2-1 in overtime after Buffalo Sabres forward Jason Pominville slid the puck past Canadian goalie Jonathan Bernier on a breakaway. Mannheim currently sits on top of the standings in the German Elite League.
The loss was disappointing for Canada who is normally tough to beat at the tourney, and many felt they would be more dominant this time around with a roster that boasts the likes of Ryan Smyth, Matt Duchene, Jason Spezza, Sam Gagner, John Tavares, Jason Demers, Patrice Bergeron, and Tyler Seguin.
The Mannheim squad countered with the aforementioned Pominville, Jochen Hecht, Marcel Goc, and Dennis Sedienberg.
Bergeron found Seguin with a nice cross-ice pass on the power play that the young Boston Bruin deposited for Canada’s only goal.
Mannheim goalie Dennis Endras was excellent and made 34 stops to help his team to a victory.
Canada will have to regroup quickly as they get set to face HC Davos on Thursday.