Unbeaten Davos Defeat Giants In Switzerland
HC Davos continued their undefeated run in this year’s Champions Hockey League with a 5-1 victory over the Belfast Giants in Switzerland on Friday evening.
A four-goal blitz from the hosts in the opening period triggered a switch in goal for Adam Keefe, as Peyton Jones took over from Jackson Whistle, before Ciaran Long found the Giants’ only goal midway through the second.
Despite protests from the bench, Mark Cooper’s opening faceoff hit on Sven Jung behind the Davos goal did not draw a penalty. Instead, Davos found themselves on the kill as Enzo Corvi sat for a roughing call on Ben Lake on the same phase of play after 19 seconds.
Early tensions between the sides spilled over into a series on penalties early in the period, but a Davos power play, a Davos 5 on 3, a spell of 4 on 4 and eventually just under one minute of Giants power play left the score locked at 0 through the opening ten minutes.
Belfast rallied on a much-improved power play when Chris Egli sat for cross checking at 10:05, but Chad Butcher could only ring the crossbar.
However, the game was turned on its head by a sustained flurry from Davos, who tallied four goals in just under four minutes. Michael Fora took advantage of Joakim Nordstrom’s screen in front of the net to open the scoring at 13:19, Enzo Corvi crossed the blue line to double the score at 15:45, Raphel Prassl roofed it nearside for a third at 16:56 and a stretch pass to Chris Egli was sniped for four at 17:08. (1-0, 2-0, 3-0, 4-0)
Belfast began the middle period with a change in goal, as Jackson Whistle gave way to Peyton Jones.
Adam Keefe’s message at the break had clearly made an impact, as David Goodwin crossed the blue line on the right, cut into the middle and fed Ciaran Long for an impressive wrist shot goal from the left circle at 26:26. (4-1)
A much-improved Belfast killed off a pair of penalties mid-period, before battling through a spell of 4 on 4, and a 4 on 3 Davos power play. It could have been 4-2 when Mark Cooper left a puck in the zone for Ciaran Long to fire from the mid slot, but Davos goalie Gilles Sen was wise to the move.
Frustratingly for Belfast, the one thing still evading them throughout this Champions Hockey League campaign has been a power play goal, as a slashing penalty from Prassl went begging at 37:21.
Sam Ruopp’s high sticking penalty at 45:48 provided HC Davos with their first power play goal of the game. Shortly after Leon Bristedt struck Peyton Jones’ post, he was the man to set up top scorer Matej Stransky who finished high blocker at 47:44. (5-1)
Colby McAuley drew a roughing penalty from Davos goalie Gilles Senn in his crease at 49:57, followed by Joakim Nordstrom for a cross check at 56:01. Despite having to weather these penalties, Davos were content to simplify for the remainder of the game and see out a comfortable victory.