Champions Hockey League (CHL) - Quarterfinals Review

Champions Hockey League (CHL) - Quarterfinals Review

13 Dec 2018Adrian J»

Tuesday night saw the second and deciding leg take place in the quarterfinals of this year's Champions Hockey League.
Gothenburg Frölunda Indians were the only team to have a decisive lead from the first game and the others had been very close fought affairs. The same pattern would show itself in the four matches on the night with two going to Overtime to see who would go through to the semi finals which start on 8 January. Read on for a short match by match breakdown.


Frölunda Indians (SWE) v Kometa Brno (CZE)

Kometa Brno made the choice to travel to Gothenburg without their star players and give their up and coming players a chance to overturn the 4-1 deficit from the home match. It nearly paid when when after just 2:26 16 year old Erik Meluín opened the scoring. Frölunda were relentless in attack but the Czech team had chances on the breakaway but were unable to increase their lead.

At just 39 seconds into the second period Canadian Olympic bronze medalist, Chay Genoway got a goal for the home team and after that the result was never in doubt.

Rönnberg's men decided not to sit back but press the "annihilation" button and smashed in 6 goals in 40 minutes past the floundering Czechs. Genoway would get another but amazingly Ryan Lasch got no points on the night as the Swedes ran out 10-2 winners on aggregate. However, the 31 year old American still maintains his spot as the competition's top scorer.

HC Pilsen (CZE) v Skellefteå AIK (SWE)

In the second Sweden v Czech Republic match, 4224 spectators packed into the Arena in Pilsen to see them take on Skellefteå AIK. In contrast to the 3-3 game in Sweden, this was more a goalkeeper's affair with Gustaf Lindvall and Dominik Frodl keeping a clean sheet until the last few minutes of the game. Then it was Robin Alvarez who finally found the net for the visitors with 2:28 to go. But HC Pilsen were not done and with Frodl on the bench and just 36 seconds left on the clock former Detroit Red Wings' Jakub Kindl (pictured) found the net to take the game into overtime. It was former Färjestad BK forward Milan Gulaš who scored the primary assist on Kindl's goal and as the keepers' continued to keep the puck out of the net in overtime the game went to the penalty shootout. Of course, it was none other that the Czech international, Gulaš who found the and knocked the SHL team.

The Sweden v Czech Republic rivalry will now continue into the semifinals in January when HC Pilsen meet three times finalists and two times CHL champions, Frölunda Indians.

Malmö Redhawks (SWE) v Red Bull Munich (GER)

The Germans came into this game with a one goal advantage from their home game in the first leg. This meant Malmö needed to win by two or more goals to go through. And as the Swedes had won the group fixture 6-1 at home they were favourites to go through.

The match turned into a goalfest as Malmö Redhawks took the lead and Red Bull Munich chased them down only for the Swedes to go ahead again. But the Germans were not to be deterred and by the end of the second period it was 4-4. It the competition's top scorer in the group stages, Trevor Parkes who was putting the pressure on the Swedes with 2 goals and an assist after just 40 minutes. The home team needed one goal to force overtime and two to win outright.

But the Germans had five Silver medal Olympians who know how to grind out a victory and between them gained 1 goal and 3 assists on the night. One of them was also keeper, Danny aus den Birken. He managed to keep it level up to 6:44 to go when Dane, Frederik Storm found the net for the home team.

That lead to overtime, and after 4:02 had gone Trevor Parkes took his chance and knocked home the puck to send Munich through to the semifinals, a first for a German side in CHL history.

Kärpät Oulu (FIN) v Red Bull Salzburg (AUT)

Red Bull Salzburg also took an home victory by one goal on the road with them to Kärpät Oulu in Finland. And it was the Austrians who scored first through one if their less well known players, third line Austrian, Alexander Raunchenwald, to extend their lead on aggregate to 4-2.

But Oulu lost no time and replied quickly with a goal of their own from Finnish Olympian and Oskar Osala with an assist by Aleksi Heponiemi, who will be appearing in Finland Junior World Cup team shortly.

The Finns went on a full frontal attack chasing the game registering 45 shots shots on goal by the end of regulation. But it was to no avail as keeper, 2011 Minnesota Wild drafted, Steve Michelak saved 44 of them to see Salzburg become the first side from Austria to go through to the semi finals stages.

The Battle of Red Bull will begin on 8 January when Salzburg and Munich, which are only 150km apart, will go head to head to be the first team from their country to enter the CHL final.

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Czech Rep.:  Tipsport extraliga | 1.liga | 2.liga

Finland:  Liiga | Mestis

Germany:  DEL | DEL2

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Switzerland:  NLA | NLB

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