1) The Spengler Cup is a hockey tournament held annually in Davos, Switzerland.
2) The first Spengler Cup was in 1923. Dr. Carl Spengler organized the original tournament and at first it was a way to help teams from German speaking Europe gain popularity after WW1 ended.
3) It is generally a tournament that teams from all over Europe compete in but international teams join in as well. Team Canada is often very well represented and Team USA has made appearances, even Team Japan competed to promote the Sapporo Olympics!
4) The games were played outside until 1978. Now all of the games are played inside the Vaillant Arena but the outside rinks are still going on strong and next time you are in Davos Switzerland maybe go see if you can enjoy a public skate on the rink.
5) The very first team to win the Spengler Cup was Oxford University. Sounds unusual right? A team from England winning a hockey tournament? When I think English sports I think football, tennis and pub crawling. Hockey doesn't really jump out to me but upon further research I discovered that the team from Oxford University that won was actually a team made up of Canadians studying overseas!
6) Lastly the Spengler Cup is always held during the holidays between Christmas Day and New Years. There are only ever six teams that compete and HD Davos always hosts.
This year Canada was able to reclaim the Cup with a 7-2 win over HC Davos in the Final. It was the first win for Canada since 2007. HC Davos did win in 2011 however.
The six teams that competed this year were HC Davos, Canada, Adler Mannheim, HC Vitkovice Steel, Salavat Yulaev Ufa and HC Fribourg-Gotteron. Team Canada had a handful of NHLers playing including Edmonton Oilers goalie Devan Dubnyk and forward Sam Gagner, plus Oilers veteran Ryan Smyth, LA Kings backup goalie Jonathan Bernier, Detroit's Carlo Colalacovo, Ottawa Senator hotshot Jason Spezza, Boston Bruin teammates Tyler Sequin and Patrice Bergeron, plus the one and only John Tavares. Team HC Davos had Canadians Joe Thornton and Rick Nash (both won Gold with Team Canada at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics) and American Patrick Kane (who won Silver at the same Olympics) and Loui Eriksson playing for the host team. Team Adler Mannheim had Buffalo Sabre Jason Pominville lacing up. And finally the only Canuck to suit up for the tournament was the one and only Cory Schneider who played for HC Fribourg-Gotteron.
In the bronze medal game Team Russia beat Team Canada Russia ended overtime early with a goal by Valeri Nichushkin. This was the first time since 1998 Team Canada has not brought a medal home but Russia was able to bring home bronze on home turf.
Some interesting facts about the World Juniors:
1) The tournament started unofficially in 1974 and was won by the Soviet Union for 3 years. Then it became official and was won by the Soviet Union for another 4 years.
2) Sweden beat Finland in 1981 and for the first time the Soviet Union did not win. Sweden did not win another Gold Medal til 2012.
3) Canada has won Gold medals the most, 15 total! Ten of the those gold medals came in 1993-97 and 2005-2009.
4) The next World Juniors will be held in Malmo, Sweden.