The 2018-19 playoffs Final has entered the battle zone. Zug won game-1 away from home and Bern won game-2 always away from home. Therefore, starting from Tuesday night at the PostFinance Arena, a brand new best-of-five series will begin!

During this day of “break”, we wanted to see when was the last time a final got off with two away wins… and we’ve discovered that the last time it happened during the 2005 playoffs!

That was the exciting season of the NHL lockout that allowed us to admire from close some of the world stars of this sport. The Final was Davos against Zürich… Let’s have a look at how that final’s first two games developed!

2005 FINAL – GAME-1

HC Davos vs ZSC Lions 4-6

The game got off to an exciting start! The ZSC Lions took a 2-goals lead with Mark Streit and Martin Kout… then Rick Nash scored the first goal for Davos and we were only 7 minutes and 11 seconds after the first puck drop. The Lions, however, proved stronger… and already before the half-an-hour mark went 1-5 ahead thanks to Andreas Kamenzind, Mark Streit and Reto Stirnimann! The Ibexes then went so close to complete an amazing comeback… as Peter Guggisberg, Reto Von Arx and Niklas Hagman put them 4-5… during the final stages of the game though, Jan Alston set the 4-6 final score in the Lions’ favour!

2005 FINAL – GAME-2

ZSC Lions vs HC Davos 3-6

Game-2 was spectacular just like game-1… Davos took a 2-goals lead with Rick Nash and Sandro Rizzi in a matter of 7 minutes and 39 seconds. But still during the first period, the Lions shortened distances with Thierry Paterlini. During the early stages of the central period then, the Ibexes restored their 2-goals lead with Michel Riesen… but by shortly after the half-an-hour mark, Zürich equalized thanks to the two goals scored by Mark Streit and Jan Alston. During the final stages of the second period though, Andres Ambühl restored the 2-goals lead for Davos… and during the latest stages of the game, Rick Nash and Andres Ambühl set the 3-6 final score!

Well, so that was the last time – prior to this season – when a finat got off with two consecutive away wins.

How did it end back in 2005? Well, Davos – on the momentum of that away win – won three consecutive games and won the title!

Game-3 ended with a 3-2 home win for Davos… Björn Christen scored the game winning goal while Niklas Hagman and Sandro Rizzi scored the other two goals for the Ibexes. During the same game, Andri Stoffel and Randy Robitaille scored for the Lions.

Game-4 instead ended with a 4-3 overtime away win for Davos. Niklas Hagman (2), Rick Nash and Reto Von Arx earned the win for the Ibexes. For Zürich instead, the goals were scored by Jan Alston, Robert Petrovicky and Pascal Tigermann.

Finally then, Game-5 ended with a 3-2 overtime home win for Davos. Björn Christen put the Ibexes ahead… then Sven Helfenstein and Jan Alston turned the score around and gave the lead to Zürich. At 12 minutes to the end, however, Michel Riesen equalized for the hosting side… and to conclude the season, Josef Marha scored the goal that earned Davos the title 8 minutes and 24 seconds into the overtime period!

Well, it’s therefore not common that a final starts with two away wins. In fact the 2005 Final and the one of this year, are the only two exceptions of this century!

Previously, it happened also in 1999… the final was Ambrì-Piotta against Lugano. The Bianconeri won game-1 at the Valascia while the Biancoblù won game-2 at the Resega. In the end, Lugano won the title!

How will this season end instead? Will Bern be able to emulate Davos and win the series 4-1? Who knows… we’ll know only by following this exciting final. Let’s follow it together 🙂

Good luck, Bern and Zug!