Esbjerg Energy powers through to Danish Championship

Esbjerg Energy powers through to Danish Championship

Markus Nisius21 Apr 2016Markus Nisius»
 

Esbjerg beats Herning in six games to win its first championship in 12 years. The reign of SonderjyskE and the Blue Fox is over for now.

 
 
 
 

The Finals series started with an expected victory for the home team from Esbjerg. But it was closer than expected. An early 2-0 lead for Esbjerg in game 1 was equalized late in the third period. Everybody was set for overtime when a roughing penalty against Kyle Essery provided Esbjerg with a powerplay for the last 38 seconds in regulation. Tyler Gron took the opportunity and got the game winner with his second goal of the night.

The next two games went to Herning. A 2-1 home victory was followed by a 5-0 road victory in game 3. With 22 saves Simon Nielsen was the backbone of what appeared to be a momentum changing game.

But the home advantage was lost again in the very next game at home. Despite heading into the second intermission with a 3-2 lead Herning could not withstand the Energy offense. Gron, Nicholas B Jensen and Aaron Lee turned the game around and could secure a 5-4 win to tie the series at 2-2.

In game 5 the hero was another goalie. Jeff Frazee led Esbjerg to a 2-0 victory with goals by Brock Nixon and Jeppe Holmberg. The stage was set for a dramatic game 6. Lasse Bang (for Esbjerg) and Jordan George for Herning traded goals to head into the last period with a 1-1 tie. Gron scored his 5th goal of the finals 2:38 minutes after the break for Esbjerg, just to see the lead slip away through Daniel K Nielsen 2 minutes later.

In the end overtime had to bring the decision, whether both teams would meet one more time in Esbjerg or the Energy could celebrate their first title since 2004. After 10:59 minutes of extra time it was Aaron Lee, who ended the Danish hockey season right there and started the celebrations for Esbjerg, the team that had finished 3rd in regular season.

For the Herning Blue Fox it might have been a bittersweet ending. Despite being so close to the title they probably enjoyed the playoffs, since they started the season at the bottom of the standings and fought their way up the rankings week by week.


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