Here we are, the Swiss Cup Final will be played this Sunday, February 2nd 2019. Rapperswil and Zug will face each other! Can Rapperswil win the title for a second consecutive year? Or rather, can Zug finally win a title again for the first time since 1997?

Well, we’ll have the answers soon enough!

On paper, this final is like David versus Goliath. David – namely, Rapperswil – is currently at the bottom of the NLA table and lost 32 of its 40 games of the season. Goliath – namely, Zug – instead, is currently second placed and is arguably the one who’s playing the most attractive hockey of the league.

Then again, the magic of the cup can turn the tables. We’ve seen that already so many times… Even Rapperswil proved that right against Zug not so long ago! More precisely they proved that last season, on November 21st 2017, at the quarterfinals stage. That is, the only time these two teams have faced each other in the context of the Swiss Cup so far.

On that day, always at the St. Galler Kantonalbank Arena, the Lakers (back then a NLB side) earned a 5-1 win against the Bulls (!) thanks to the goals scored by Jared Aulin, Josh Primeau, Michael Hügli, Joren Gähler and Leandro Profico. Only Viktor Stalberg scored for Zug but when the hosts were already 4-0 ahead in the score.

THE FINAL

SC Rapperswil-Jona Lakers – EV Zug

Sunday, February 2nd 2019 – Time: 14:45

The road to the final…

1/16  / EHC Dübendorf – SC Rapperswil-Jona Lakers 0-5

1/8 / EHC Olten – SC Rapperswil-Jona Lakers 1-3

1/4  / HC Davos – SC Rapperswil-Jona Lakers 3-4 (OT)

1/2 / SC Rapperswil-Jona Lakers – SCL Tigers 3-2

Swiss Cup Top Scorer

Dion Knelsen – 5 points (3G, 2A)

The Final

Rapperswil have nothing to lose and will play this second consecutive Swiss Cup final almost without pressure in front of their own fans. Jeff Tomlinson’s troops, however, are improving a lot. Over the last games – especially at home – they were a tough nut to crack. Moreover, they won 3 of their last 4 home games. The only defeat came right against… Zug.

The key player

Melvin Nyffeler

One would think immediately about Danny Kristo, Casey Wllmann and the newest import Kevin Clark. The truth is, however, that in such games it’s crucial to have a reliable goalie like Melvin Nyffeler. Even though he had some ups and downs – due mostly to the fact that Rapperswil are at the bottom of the table – Melvin proved to be an excellent goalie also able to inspire confidence in his teammates.

Trivia

Rapperswil feel quite comfortable when it comes to the Swiss Cup. In fact, the Lakers have been undefeated in this competition since October 25th, 2016. That is, since the day the suffered a 1-2 overtime home defeat against Lausanne at the 1/8 final stage. Back then, the Lions Vaudois took the lead with Federico Lardi, Dion Knelsen equalized for the Lakers and then Dustin Jeffrey scored the game winning goal for Lausanne during the overtime period.

The road to the final…

1/16 / EHC Winterthur – EV Zug 1-4

1/8 / HC Lugano – EV Zug 3-4

1/4 / EHC Kloten – EV Zug 3-4

1/2 / SC Berna – EV Zug 2-3 (SO)

Swiss Cup Top Scorer

Garrett Roe – 4 points (0G, 4A)

The Final

Let’s don’t beat around the bush: Zug are the favourites to lift the trophy this Sunday. This factor alone, however, risks being a double edged sword. Yet, Dan Tangnes’ troops proved this season that they can be impressive. Their performances are oftentimes excellent and when the Bulls increase their level of play, well… there is no deal to make for the opponents.

The key player

Dan Tangnes (Coach)

No offense to all the top class players of Zug… in our opinion, however, Dan Tangnes plays a crucial role. The Bulls haven’t won a title from time immemorial. Sean Simpson was the last coach able to make the Bulls win something. After that, Zug went many times so close – and yet so far – to lifting a trophy. Can the Norvegian coach help the whole club to make this darn last step?

Trivia

It’s been almost 8’000 days since the last time Zug won a trophy… that is, since when they were crowned Swiss Champions at the end of the 1997-98 season! This, despite the Bulls for so many seasons had teams that – on paper – were second to no one in Switzerland. To note that back during the 1997-98 season, the current coach Dan Tangnes was still playing in the J20 of the Rögle BK in Sweden and made his debut with the first team.

THE SWISS CUP

Rapperswil will win it because…

Because Rapperswil are improving a lot when it comes to a solid defense and being resourceful. Their recent performances only confirm this. And again… because Rapperswil can play without pressure this competition. And finally, because the Lakers feel very comfortable when they play Swiss Cup games. It’s not gonna be easy, that’s for sure. Yet, Jeff Tomlinson’s troops have all it takes to lift the trophy and – in terms of morale – a win could help the team also during the last part of the NLA season.

Zug will win it because…

Well, because Zug are the stronger side. It’s as simple as that. The story of David versus Goliath is nice and charming… moreover, at times, David can win – metaphorically – also in sport. The truth is, however, that currently the Bulls are just too strong for Rapperswil. They proved that also during the four games that these two teams played against each other this season. In fact, the Bulls are currently arguably the strongest team of the NLA. This will be enough to make the difference and get back to lift a darn trophy after over 20 years!

Well, that’s it guys. Who will win it?! We can do nothing but wish the two teams the best of luck… and then, may the best one win!

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