National teams’ season starts in Helsinki, Munich
The Swedes under the leadership of Par Marts showed an almost perfect performance when they won all three games and seven points during the tournament. They won the first game on home ice in Leksand against Russia, and then they achieved another win over the Czechs in Helsinki before facing host Finland to play for the tournament win. They blanked the Finns 3-0 and pushed Suomi to second place.
However, the games against the Russians and Czechs were not that easy for Tre Kronor as they ended in shootouts. In both games penalty specialists Linus Klasen and Andre Pettersson won their face-on-face battles against the goaltenders while Swedish goaltender Andres Nilsson did not concede a single goal during the penalty shot competitions.
Despite three defeats in the tournament and last place in the standings the performance of the Czech national team was a pleasant surprise considering its roster. The young selection without some absentees and an average age of slightly over 24 years kept up with the more experienced opponents. After a thrilling battle against the Finns, the young team paid the price primarily due to unnecessary penalties.
Russia with stars like Ilya Kovalchuk and Alexander Radulov on the line-up finished third and played below its expectations. After the shootout loss to Sweden the Russians started the game against Finland in a promising way but conceded goals due to unnecessarily long line changes in the middle period to eventually lose 6-2. That left the Russians in third place while host Finland under its new coach Jukka Jalonen finished second.Continue reading
German joy at 25th anniversary
Germany had two 25-year anniversaries during the weekend. Not only was the fall of the Berlin Wall celebrated but hockey fans flocked to the Olympic Ice Sports Centre in Munich for three days of action at the 25th Deutschland Cup that ended with a triumph of the host nation.
The Germans had their toughest antagonist in neighbouring country Switzerland on the first day but the team with new coach Glen Hanlon and 11 rookies on the roster wasn’t experienced enough to endanger the hosts. Germany won 3-1 thanks to two goals from Patrick Reimer and continued with another tight victory, 2-1 against Slovakia. They already won the tournament after two games but also seemed to win the third one before blowing a 2-0 lead against a Team Canada consisting of European-based players that eventually landed its first victory, 4-2, on the last day.
Hanlon had the first opportunity to test the Swiss talent pool and was happy that the young team kept up well. One or the other player can be considered a strong candidate for the World Championship squad next spring.
Like the Swiss also the Slovaks came to Germany with a young team and all but one (Ivan Svarny) of their KHL players absent. The Slovaks suffered tight 2-1 losses to both Germany and Switzerland but earned a third-place finish thanks to an opening-day win against Canada. One player who definitely entered the notebooks in view of the World Championship selection was Adam Lapsansky. The player of HC Kosice scored a goal in each game and hopes to make the roster for the first time after having been playing exhibition games for Slovakia for the last four seasons.
Norway, Slovenia succeed on home ice
The nations ranked below participated in three tournaments of the European Ice Hockey Challenge.
Norway won the tournament with four top-division nations on home ice in Stavanger. In the first game the hosts came back from a 2-0 deficit to beat France 3-2 and followed up with a 4-1 victory over Latvia.
All the Norwegians needed was one more point in the all-Scandinavian clash against Denmark and that’s exactly what they got. Denmark tied the game twice and Lasse Lassen, who scored the 2-2 goal, also got the game-winner in the shootout. He shared top goal-scoring honours with his teammate Mads Christensen, who also scored three goals in the tournament. Denmark finished in second place thanks to the win and another one against third-placed France. Latvia finished in last place despite an opening day victory against Denmark.
In the tournament in Ljubljana host Slovenia and Austria had another battle after crucial games at the Sochi Olympics and the Division I in Korea earlier in 2014 that both ended with a Slovenian win. Both teams started 2-0 against Belarus and Japan to set up a “final” on Sunday between the two neighbouring countries that were both promoted to the 2015 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship in Prague and Ostrava.
It was the game of 23-year-old winger Ken Ograjensek, who hasn’t played an IIHF tournament with the men’s national team yet but made his mark by scoring the 2-1 and 3-1 goals for Slovenia. Austria heavily outshot the Slovenes in the second and third period but didn’t manage to bring another puck past goaltender Gasper Kroselj.
Japan finished the tournament in third place after beating Belarus 4-2. Takuma Kawai with one goal and two assists and Yutaka Fukufuji with 49 saves were the heroes of the game for the Asians.
In the third EIHC tournament involving four Division I nations in Budapest, Poland celebrated a success five months ahead of hosting the 2015 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship Division I Group A in Krakow. The Poles defeated Italy 3-2 and Hungary 6-4 to clinch the tournament win after two days. A 6-3 loss to Korea on the last day didn’t change their placement but lifted the Koreans, who also had a shootout win against Italy, to second place ahead of Hungary and Italy.
|Euro Hockey Tour - Karjala-turnaus in Finland|
|6 Nov.||Helsinki (FIN)||Finland||v||Czech Rep.||2-1|
|6 Nov.||Leksand (SWE)||Sweden||v||Russia||5-4 SO|
|8 Nov.||Helsinki (FIN)||Czech Rep.||v||Sweden||3-4 SO|
|8 Nov.||Helsinki (FIN)||Russia||v||Finland||2-6|
|9 Nov.||Helsinki (FIN)||Russia||v||Czech Rep.||4-2|
|9 Nov.||Helsinki (FIN)||Finland||v||Sweden||0-3|
|Standings: 1. Sweden 7, 2. Finland 6, 3. Russia 4, 4. Czech Rep. 1.|
|Deutschland Cup in Germany|
|7 Nov.||Munich (GER)||USA||v||Slovakia||1-4|
|7 Nov.||Munich (GER)||Germany||v||Switzerland||3-1|
|8 Nov.||Munich (GER)||Germany||v||Slovakia||2-1|
|8 Nov.||Munich (GER)||Switzerland||v||USA||2-1|
|9 Nov.||Munich (GER)||Slovakia||v||Switzerland||1-2|
|9 Nov.||Munich (GER)||USA||v||Germany||4-2|
|Standings: 1. Germany 6, 2. Switzerland 6, 3. Slovakia 3, 4. Canada 3.|
|Euro Ice Hockey Challenge in Norway|
|6 Nov.||Stavanger (NOR)||Denmark||v||Latvia||1-4|
|6 Nov.||Stavanger (NOR)||Norway||v||France||3-2|
|7 Nov.||Stavanger (NOR)||France||v||Denmark||0-4|
|7 Nov.||Stavanger (NOR)||Latvia||v||Norway||1-4|
|8 Nov.||Stavanger (NOR)||Latvia||v||France||1-3|
|8 Nov.||Stavanger (NOR)||Norway||v||Denmark||2-3 SO|
|Standings: 1. Norway 7, 2. Denmark 5, 3. France 3, 4. Latvia 3.|
|Euro Ice Hockey Challenge in Slovenia|
|6 Nov.||Ljubljana (SLO)||Austria||v||Belarus||3-2|
|6 Nov.||Ljubljana (SLO)||Slovenia||v||Japan||3-1|
|7 Nov.||Ljubljana (SLO)||Japan||v||Austria||1-5|
|7 Nov.||Ljubljana (SLO)||Slovenia||v||Belarus||3-0|
|8 Nov.||Ljubljana (SLO)||Belarus||v||Japan||2-4|
|8 Nov.||Ljubljana (SLO)||Slovenia||v||Austria||3-1|
|Standings: 1. Slovenia 9, 2. Austria 6, 3. Japan 3, 4. Belarus 0.|
|Euro Ice Hockey Challenge in Hungary|
|7 Nov.||Budapest (HUN)||Poland||v||Italy||3-2|
|7 Nov.||Budapest (HUN)||Hungary||v||Korea||6-1|
|8 Nov.||Budapest (HUN)||Italy||v||Korea||3-4 SO|
|8 Nov.||Budapest (HUN)||Hungary||v||Poland||4-6|
|9 Nov.||Budapest (HUN)||Korea||v||Poland||6-3|
|9 Nov.||Budapest (HUN)||Hungary||v||Italy||3-4 SO|
|Standings: 1. Poland 6, 2. Korea 5, 3. Hungary 4, 4. Italy 3.|
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