Champions Hockey League (CHL) - Game Day 6 Review

Champions Hockey League (CHL) - Game Day 6 Review

18 Oct 2018Adrian J»
 

All the deciding matches in Game Day 6 of the CHL took place on Tuesday 16 October, whilst the games on Wednesday 17 decided the final rankings in the groups as well as giving some extra goals and assists for the those competitions.
 
It was a night dominated by back to back wins showing the importance of momentum and self belief in this critical matches.

 
 
 
 

Group A

In Vienna it was the visitors ZSC Zurich Lions that took down the Capitals again, this time 6-2. This took the Swiss team through to the knockout stages at the expense of their Austrian rivals. And it was Swiss Olympian Denis Hollenstein impressed for the Lions with four assists on the night in his first season for the club. Defeated Vienna Capitals can take home the consolation prize that forward, Peter Schneider, currently leads the Top Goal Scorers in the competition with 7.

Group C

HC Bolzano Foxes needed a win at home in Italy to be certain of going through against Polish team, GKS Tychy. Everything seemed to be going according to plan when the home team were 4-0 with half the game to go. NHL/AHL veteran Michael Blunden lead the way with 2 of those goals. But whatever was said in that Polish timeout following the fourth goal, should be noted down by every manager, because they came out on fire, scoring their first goal within 21 seconds and after just 12 minutes of play the score was level at 4-4!

But is was not to be a miracle on ice for GKS as the last quarter of the game belonged to the home team, in particular two players. It was Finn Matti Kuparinen was scored both goals assisted each time by Italian international, Luca Frigo, so that the EBEL champions won 6-4 on the night and take a well deserved place in the knockout section of the CHL.

Group E

On Tuesday night Stockholm Djurgården lost again to Finnish group winner, Tappara Tampere. That meant the Swedish club crashed out of the CHL, letting in 3 goals in the final period in Finland exactly as they had done in the previous game. Whilst their season has started well in the Swedish Hockey League, you can be certain the Stockholm team will be running defense drills all week as they let in 10 goals in these two games.

Djurgården's losses made space for their Nordic neighbours, Storhamar Hamar of Norway to gain a well fought for place in the second round of the CHL. They carved out an impressive 6-2 victory at home to last year's semifinalists, Ocelari Trinic. It was the younger brother of the club's homeboy hero, Patrick Thoresen (pictured), who kept the scoreboard ticking over. Steffen Thoresen gained three points on the night (2G+1A) bettering his brother's 1G+1A.

Group F

Rouen Dragons' back to back wins turfed out German rivals, Thomas Sabo Ice Tigers in their winner takes all meeting. Despite playing the last game of the group stages away from home in Nuremberg, it was the French club who routed the Tigers 5-2. Canadian 2008 Anaheim Ducks draft pick, Nicolas Deschamps lead the way for the visitors with 2 goals and 2 assists.

Group H

In the final deciding match it was again the team that had won the first of the back to back meetings that was successful in the second match. That meant that Swiss HC Lugano dumped out the reigning champions, Finland's JYP Jyväskylä away from home. It was 33 year old Canadian Maxim Lapierre that enabled Lugano to win by the narrowest of margins, 1-0, as he netted from the doorstep past JYP keeper, Eetu Laurikainen. Drafted by Montreal Canadiens in 2003, Lapierre is coming from one of the best season's of his career in 2017/8 in terms of points production. He also collected a Silver medal from Olympics in Pyeongchang to add to his 614 NHL games and surely won't mind if Lugano go on to be the first Swiss team to win the CHL.

The Czech Republic's HC Pilsen played in the other group H match. They go into the playoffs as the only team that maintained their 100% record on Wednesday night. But only just - they drew 2-2 in regulation with HC05 Banská Bystrica. Czech international forward David Stach's assist on the Ovetime goal not only gave the bonus point for the team but takes him into the lead on Total Points in the competition with 11 (3G + 8A).

The Second Round

The draw for the second round will take place on Friday 19 October and the other qualifying teams are:

Frölunda Indians SWE

Red Bull Munich GER

Malmö Redhawks SWE

Skellefteå AIK SWE

Kometa Brno CZE

ZV Zug SUI

Kärpät Oulu FIN

SC Bern SUI

Red Bull Salzburg AUT


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