New CHL era opened with 15 games

New CHL era opened with 15 games

21 Aug 2014 | Dennis Mende

A total of 30 of the 44 CHL participants started this Thursday into the newly created European elite tournament. There were some really big surprises.


Group A

Finnish side Kärpät Oulu took over the lead in the group with a 4-3 away win in Liberec. The current Liiga champions already had a comfortable four goal lead until 27:09 before goals by Tomas Filippi, Michal Bulir and Martin Bartek kept the game open. In the last quarter of an hour the Czechs failed to score another time though.

In the other game of the group DEL finalists Kölner Haie beat Slovakian champions HC Kosice in front of the home crowd. The Slovakians had the better start but Alexander Sulzer used one of the first opportunities in favour of the Sharks at 13:39. Around "half time" a deflection in power play by Andreas Falk turned out to be the game winner. In a fast and open game Jiri Bicek only were able to cut the deficit by the half just before the second intermission for a final 2-1 score.  

Group B

In this group both home teams won by the score of 4-1. The win of Swiss champions ZSC Lions against Norwegian finalists Valerenga IF could be expected due to the different playing level of Swiss NLA and Norwegian GET ligaen. The other game offered a huge surprise though. In front of an enthusiastic home crowd Austrian side Vienna Capitals already had a fast 3-0 lead after 10 minutes. A power play goal by Per Aslund late in the third period was not enough for a turnover though for the SHL finalists of 2014. Instead Kris Foucault restored the three goal lead with two minutes left to play.

Group C

French champions Briancon had a fast power play lead through Dave Labrecque against Austrian top four club EC VSV but two third period goals by John Lammers and Brock McBride avoided a sensation in France this evening. The lead in the group though was taken by another Central European club. Geneve Servette beat Sweden's Frölunda HC in the other game by the score of 4-3. The Swiss alreay had a 3-0 and 4-2 lead in the game but Mathis Olimb brought hope back at 57:01 for Frölunda.

Group D

In the only match of this group tonight, Djurgardens IF from Sweden continued where they stopped last year when they reached the ET final tournament. After their recent promotion back into SHL, the team from the capital had a 1-3 deficit after two periods against Swiss side Fribour-Gotterón but managed to turn around everything within just nine minutes. Joel Kwiatkowski sent the game into overtime then for the NLA team before a power play goal by Mikael Samuelsson gave DIF the extra point.

Group E

Stavanger Oilers, Norwegian champions in the last three years and in four of the last five seasons, couldn't have had a better start. A double by Josh Soares and Daniel Bøen Rokseth gave them a 3-0 lead against Finland's Tappara Tampere until until 08:00. Only then the hosts woke up and managed to get a lead themselves before the second intermission. Pekka Jormakka had a double for the Fins who had a total of six different goal scorers in their 7-3 win.

Tappara couldn't take the lead in the group though. In the other match HC Trinec collected a shocking 7-0 triumph against Swiss top side SC Bern. Jiri Polansky (2), Jakub Orsava (2), David Nosek, Marek Troncinsky and Tomas Linhart were responsable for the goals against former Swiss national goalie Marco Bührer who was left alone by his defense.  

Group G

Swedish Växjö Lakers conquered the first spot in this group due to a strong third period performance against Adler Mannheim. The Germans had tied the game in the second period through Jamie Tardif but just two minutes later Nick Johnson restored the lead in favour of the Scandinavians. The guests from Germany completely fell apart at the start of the third period with three goals against in just three and a half minutes which caused German national team goalie Dennis Endras to leave the net. His substitute Youri Ziffzer couldn't prevent Patrick Lundh from making it half a dozen in power play though for an easy 6-1 win for the Swedes.

In the other game Czech side Sparta Prague was able to bring two points with them from their visit to Finland. They lay behind 2-0, 3-2, and 4-3 against KalPa Kuopio but still managed to force overtime when Jan Buchtele scored his second goal of the night at 58:33. After another scoreless five minutes, the shootout ended with the luckier result for Prague.

Group H

Czech Republic's HC Vitkovice and German champions ERC Ingolstadt opened the first CHL season already at 17.00 CET. Apart of cutting the deficit by the half at 33:25 through Marc Schmidpeter the guests from Bavaria were never a real danger for Vitkovice. The team from Ostrava went on to win the game by a final score of 5-1.

In the other group game SaiPa from Finland gained a surprising 2-1 away win against Swiss side EV Zug. David McIntyre and Sami Venäläinen had made everything clear for the guests before "half time". Zug only was able to score during a 5 on 3 power play through Robbie Earl for the equalizer in between.

Group J

Skelleftea AIK, champions in Sweden in the last two years, lost all their top 6 scorers of last season. Scorer number 7 Erik Forsell, the new team captain, tied the away game against DEL team Krefeld Pinguine at the start of the second period though after an early lead for the hosts by Herberts Vasiljevs. With 10 minutes left on the clock Erik Andersson won the game for the Swedes and gave them the lead in the table.

In the other match of the group, Finish team HIFK Helsinki had their trouble with Danish champions of 2013 and 2014 Sonderjyske after falling behind 3-0 till the first intermission and 4-1 till the mid of the game. A late goal by Lauri Taipalus with only 58 seconds left to play extended the game though and the Fins had the better luck in the shootout.

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