The quarterfinals at the Spengler Cup in Davos, Switzerland began this morning after three games of exciting round robin action. Fribourg Gotteron skated to a 5-2 victory against Adler Mannheim in the first of two quarterfinal match-ups on the schedule. HC Davos played host to Salavat Yulaev UFA in the other semi-final.
Adler Mannheim was forced to play the quarterfinal match-up after losing 6-3 yesterday to HC Davos. The loss to Davos left the team in a clear state of fatigue and Fribourg controlled the balance of play throughout the first period. Although Mannheim forced Fribourg to take a penalty early in the game, the team conceded a short-handed goal to Gregory Maudlin on the ensuing power play. With the early goal (just 2:57 into the game), Mannheim gave Fribourg a lead that it never gave up.
Early in the second period Fribourg went up 2-0 when Benjamin Plüss took a beautiful pass from Andrei Bykov in front of the Mannheim goal and put the puck into the top-right corner of the net. Mannheim finally scored a goal at 9:18 of the second period when Frank Mauer redirected Yanick Lehoux’s shot from the blue line between the legs of Fribourg goaltender Banjami Conz. The game remained tied for little more than five minutes because Maxime Talbot took advantage of some excellent work in the Mannheim defensive zone by linemates Maudlin and David Desharnais to put Fribourg back up by two goals. Spinning around from out of heavy defensive coverage, Talbot put the puck under the arm of Mannheim goaltender Felix Bruckmann.
Mannheim’s energy improved as the game wore along. The balance of play stopped leaning so heavily in favour of Fribourg and Mannheim managed to generate more scoring opportunities later in the game, especially early in the third period. At the 5:29 mark, Adam Mitchell surprised Conz with a quick slapper from in front of the Fribourg net to make the score 3-2. For a brief period of time, it appeared that Mannheim would tie the game but any momentum the team generated was nullified by an untimely penalty assessed to defenseman Florian Kettemer midway through the period.
Kettemer was sent off the ice for holding at the 7:24 mark of the third period and Fribourg took full advantage of the blunder by monopolizing the puck for most of the ensuing power play. With sixteen seconds left in the penalty, Christian Dube redirected a pass from Desharnais into the lower left-hand side of Mannheim’s net. With the score now 4-2, the wind went out of Mannheim’s sails, and its momentum was stalled. Towards the end of the period, Julien Spunger put the nail in Mannheim’s coffin with the final goal of the evening, which eliminated Mannheim from the tournament.
Fribourg is now scheduled to play Team Canada in the semi-final on Sunday. That game is scheduled to take place at 7 AM Mountain Time at Vailliant Arena. TSN will air the game on TV at 1 pm.
 Who played for the Philadelphia Flyers last season.
 Maudlin finished the game with a goal and an assist for Fribourg.