AMERKS TAKE ON TEAM CANADA IN QUARTERFINAL ROUND OF SPENGLER CUP TONIGHTNews | 12/29/2013 6:43:17 AM | ROCHESTER AMERICANS
Tonight’s Game: The quarterfinal round of the 2013 Spengler Cup gets underway tonight when the Rochester Americans take on Team Canada at 8:15 p.m. (2:15 p.m. EST) at Vaillant Arena in Davos, Switzerland. The contest will again be televised live across Europe via Eurosport and in Canada on TSN.
SPENGLER CUP FAN GUIDE
Amerks Notes: Rochester enters this evening’s matchup looking for its first win of the tournament following a 4-3 setback to CSKA Moscow in the second round of the preliminaries Friday afternoon. It was the second straight loss for the Amerks, albeit a much stronger performance for Rochester, which received a pair of goals from Luke Adam and two points (1+1) from Phil Varone behind a 34-save effort from goaltender Matt Hackett. Rochester, along with the Vitkovice Steel of the Czech Republic, remain the only two teams in the tournament to be held without a win. With his two-goal showing against CSKA Moscow on Friday, Adam ranks tied for second in the tournament in goals, while he and Varone are also tied for seventh in overall scoring with two points in two games. Adam also has the best shooting percentage in the Spengler Cup, scoring two goals on two shots on goal for a 100% shooting efficiency. Hackett, whose appeared in both games for the Amerks thus far, shows a 4.55 goals-against average and a .880 save percentage while leading all netminders in both saves (66) and minutes played (119). The Amerks remain without three of their top veteran forwards in Jamie Tardif and Mike Zigomanis, who missed the trip due to injury, and captain Matt Ellis, who remains on NHL recall with the parent Buffalo Sabres.
Hockey Canada: Team Canada is coming off a 3-2 loss to tournament host HC Davos last night at Vaillant Arena. The Canadians currently boast a 1-1 record in the competition and sit in second place in Group Cattini. Hockey Canada, which looks to repeat as Spengler Cup champions after winning the international event in 2012, enters a team into the tournament each year, typically made up of Canadian players who are playing professionally in Europe. The Canadians’ offense is paced by forward Byron Ritchie’s team-high three points, placing him tied for third in scoring among the tournament’s top point-getters.
AHL Stars Among Team Canada: Among the Canadians fortunate enough to grace this year’s squad includes forward Jacob Micflikier, who played parts of six seasons (2006-12) in the American Hockey League, including one with Rochester during the 2008-09 campaign. In 39 games with the Amerks, the Winnipeg, Manitoba, native registered 16 points on four goals and 12 assists before going onto play the next three seasons with Albany, Charlotte and Hershey, respectively.
In addition to Micflikier, the list of former Amerks skating for Team Canada also features 28-year-old Anthony Stewart, who brings over 260 NHL games of experience to the fold. A former first-round pick of the Florida Panthers in 2003, Stewart played three seasons (2005-08) with the Amerks, recording 63 points (28+35) in 120 career games in Rochester. Despite playing in his first Spengler Cup, Stewart has represented Canada at the international level on several occasions. Stewart has represented Canada internationally in two World Junior Championships, in the 2003 IIHF World U-18 Championships, and twice in the ADT Canada-Russia Challenge. He was the leading goal scorer for Team Canada when they won the World U-18 Championships. In the 2004 World Junior Ice Hockey Championships, in which Canada won a silver medal, Stewart tied for the tournament points lead. In the 2005 World Junior Ice Hockey Championships, he helped Team Canada win a gold medal.
Rounding out the list of former American Hockey League All-Stars representing Team Canada is former AHL MVP and two-time Calder Cup champion Darren Haydar. Haydar, who’s currently in his first season in the German Elite league following a decade in the AHL, remains one of the most decorated players in AHL history, having amassed an astounding 778 points (292+496) in 780 career games with Milwaukee, Chicago, Grand Rapids and Lake Erie. As a member of the Chicago Wolves during the 2006-07 season, Haydar set an AHL record for the longest scoring streak at 39 games, collecting 79 points over that span, before finishing the campaign with 122 points (41+81) in 73 games en route to earning the Les Cunningham Award as the AHL’s Most Valuable Player. Haydar also owns the AHL record for playoff scoring, notching 143 points (63+80) in 110 career postseason appearances.
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.
The Competition: The Amerks will spend the holiday season in Switzerland taking on a variety of opponents from various elite leagues all over the world, as this year’s tournament includes entrants from Canada, Switzerland, Russia and the Czech Republic.
Up Next: Rochester’s next opponent will be determined depending on outcome of this evening’s game. The Spengler Cup is being televised live across Europe via Eurosport and in Canada on TSN.