AMERKS OPEN 87TH SPENGLER CUP THURSDAY AGAINST GENEVE-SERVETTENews | 12/25/2013 4:16:02 PM | ROCHESTER AMERICANS
Today’s Game: The Rochester Americans take to the international stage this afternoon as they take on the Swiss-A league’s Geneve-Servette in the opening round of the 87th Spengler Cup at Vaillant Arena in Davos, Switzerland. The 3:00 p.m. contest will officially commence the annual tournament, which will be televised live in over 50 countries throughout Europe via Eurosport and in Canada on TSN.
The Spengler Cup: The Spengler Cup is an annual ice hockey tournament held in Davos, Switzerland. First held in 1923, the Spengler Cup is often cited as the oldest and one of the most prestigious invitational ice hockey tournaments in the world. The tournament’s magic formula is a mix of its location in the Swiss spa town of Davos, the unique arena, the timing between Christmas and New Year’s, the coming together of various ice hockey philosophies and its longstanding tradition. The event is hosted by the Swiss team HC Davos and played each year in Davos, Switzerland, between Christmas (December 25) and New Year's Day. All games are held at the historic Vaillant Arena, situated appropriately between the Swiss Alps.
Back in Switzerland: The Amerks are no strangers to the international event, having competed in the 1996 tournament, where they finished third only behind Team Canada and host club HC Davos. Rochester also has the distinction of being the sole North American participant to ever partake in the 90-year history of the Spengler Cup.
Geneve-Servette: Based in the famous Swiss city of Geneva, and, like HC Davos, plays in the Switzerland’s top professional league. The team is coached by Canadaian Chris McSorley, who played four seasons in the American Hockey League with New Haven and Springfield. Headlining this year’s squad is nine-year NHL veteran Matthew Lombardi, who signed with the club during the offseason. Originally a seventh-round selection (215th overall) by the Edmonton Oilers in 2000 and later a 2002 draft pick by the Calgary Flames, the 31-year-old Lombardi is currently in his first season with Geneve-Servette, leading the team with 13 goals and 26 points in 31 games. A native of Montreal, Quebec, Lombardi brings over 500 NHL games to the pitch with Calgary, Phoenix, Nashville, Toronto and Anaheim. Geneve-Servette also boasts a trio of players with considerable AHL experience in forwards Kaspars Daugavins and Alexandre Picard and goaltender Robert Mayer. Daugavins, a 2013 NHL All-Star with the Ottawa Senators, helped the Binghamton Senators to their first-ever Calder Cup championship in 2011, while Picard guided the Norfolk Admirals to the same AHL title a year later in 2012 and was part of a historic run that saw the Admirals set an AHL-record 28-game winning streak and win 15 of 18 postseason contests, including back-to-back four-game sweeps in the Eastern Conference Finals and Calder Cup Finals. Mayer, meanwhile, is presently in his fourth season with the AHL’s Hamilton Bulldogs, where he shows a 3-6-2 record with a 3.05 goals-against average and a .896 save percentage in 11 games with Bulldogs in 2013-14.
Up Next: Depending on the outcome of this afternoon’s game, the Amerks will face CSKA Moscow on either Friday, Dec. 27 or Saturday, Dec. 28 in the second round of the pre-semifinals in a 3:00 p.m. matinee at Valliant Arena. The game will again be will be televised live across Europe via Eurosport and in Canada on TSN.