Category: Tournaments (page 1 of 4)

Three Euro Ice Hockey Challenge events


The Euro Ice Hockey Challenge consisting of lower-seeded top-division teams as well as Division I nations organized three tournaments during the February international break.

Austria won its tournament in the new arena in Graz on home ice. Raphael Herburger scored the 2-1 overtime winner against Slovakia’s B-team to open the tournament before beating eventual runner-up Norway 2-1 in overtime as well. Lukas Haudum tied the game for Austria with 4:46 left in regulation time and Manual Ganahl scored the game-winner in a shootout. The Austrians sealed the tournament win after beating France 3-1 on the last day. Both goalies played outstanding with Bernhard Starkbaum having a 95.6 save percentage in two games and Lukas Herzog reaching 97.0 in his game.

Korea hosted its EIHC tournament in Goyang in the Seoul region where it hosted a Division I tournament three years ago. It was a tight race with Denmark, Hungary and Korea each winning two games and earning six points while Japan was winless. The Danes started with a 4-2 loss to host Korea in front of a full house with 2,207 fans but bounced back with wins against Japan (6-1) and Hungary (5-1). Denmark needed to beat Hungary with a margin of at least three goals to win the tournament on the last day and did so. Julian Jacobsen scored the 4-1 goal on a two-man advantage in the third period that won his team the tournament, the fifth goal went into the empty net.

The event in Poland included two countries that were promoted to the 2017 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship one year ago in the same city, Katowice. Slovenia did its job right winning all three games against Poland, Italy and Ukraine with 16-5 goals. Jan Urbas was most successful with four goals and nine points followed by his teammate Miha Verlic scored three goals and notched five points.

Russia sweeps in Sweden


In the Euro Hockey Tour Russia succeeded by winning all three games of the Sweden Hockey Games and winning the Euro Hockey Tour before the last tournament in the Czech Republic.

The Russians played their first game on home ice in St. Petersburg beating Finland 2-1 before heading to Gothenburg where they won 4-2 against host Sweden and with the same score against the Czechs to claim first place.

The other teams had one win against each other with the Czechs claiming second place after improving their head-to-head goal difference following a 7-1 win against Finland. Sweden finished in third place.

Kirill Kaprizov, who captained his country to World Junior bronze recently, was Russia’s scoring leader with three goals and four points followed by Anatoli Golyshev.

Russia sent men’s teams to two tournaments. While the national selection succeeded in Gothenburg, the B-team, labelled as “Olympic selection”, participated in the Slovakia Cup where it finished in third place. Host Slovakia beat the Russians 6-2 in the semi-final of the opening day after Switzerland had edged Belarus 4-2 in the earlier game.

Total EHT 2016/17

Russia 24 Pts
Czech Republic 12 Pts
Sweden 9 Pts
Finland 9 PTS

Finland Wins Nations Cup

By Jason La Rose – Hockey Canada

Emerance Maschmeyer (Bruderheim, Alta./Calgary, CWHL) turned aside 17 of the 18 shots she faced, but Canada’s National Women’s Development Team was left with the silver medal at the 2017 Nations Cup after a 1-0 loss to Finland in the gold medal game Saturday.

Canada has won now silver twice at the Nations Cup (2009, 2017) and is a 11-time gold medallist, winning in 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2015 and 2016. It also took bronze in 2012.

After an evenly-matched first period, Finland struck for the only goal of the game early in the second; with the Finns on the power play, Emma Nuutinen set up Michelle Karvinen to make it 1-0.

That would be all the offence Finland would need thanks to goaltender Noora Raty. The three-time recipient of Top Goaltender honours at the IIHF Women’s World Championship (2007, 2008, 2011) stopped all 27 shots she faced to record the shutout.

The Canadians failed to convert on seven power-play opportunities and outshot Finland 27-18, including 10-2 in the third period as they pressed for the game-tying goal.

Victoria Bach (Milton, Ont,/Boston University, HE) finished as the top Canadian scorer; her five points (two goals, three assists)

South Korea to stage Euro Ice Hockey Challenge event for first time

South Korea will play host to one of four Euro Ice Hockey Challenge (EIHC) tournaments next month in preparation for the Asian Winter Games in Sapporo, it has been announced.

The competition, where the host nation will be joined by Hungary, Denmark and Japan, is scheduled for February 6 to 12.

It will be held in the Goyang in Gyeonggi Province, northwest of Seoul, and represents the first time the country has ever played host to an EIHC tournament.

The event will see the four teams compete in a round-robin format.

The EIHC is a series of friendly competitions which are staged during international breaks set by the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF).

They are held each September, November, December and February.

Austria, Poland and The Netherlands have been chosen to hold the other three EIHC tournaments in Feburary.

South Korea, ranked at number 23 in the world, claimed a shock win at the last EIHC event in Budapest in Hungary in November.

The Asian side overcame the hosts 3-2 in the final to earn their first EIHC triumph.

Their previous best result came when they finished second in 2014.

The 2017 Asian Winter Games in the Japanese city, which staged the Winter Olympic Games in 1972, are due to take place from February 19 to 26.

South Korea have never won an ice hockey gold medal at the Asian Winter Games and they will be hoping the EIHC will allow them to fine-tune their preparations for the event in Sapporo.

The country will also be making their debut appearance at the Winter Olympics on home ice at Pyeongchang 2018 as they qualified by virtue of being the host nation.

14th triumph for Team Canada


HC Lugano will have to wait to win its first Spengler Cup trophy. Team Canada successfully defended its title with a 5-2 victory over the Ticinesi on New Year’s Eve. The Canadians won the cup for the 14th time; they have been taking part in the traditional tournament since 1994.

When Canadian ice hockey professionals get to wear the maple leaf jersey, their pride and determination can move mountains – and that as a strong unit with the teams’ best interest in mind. Once again seen in the final of the 90th Spengler Cup. The North Americans showed no signs of fatigue, despite playing their fifth game in six days in Davos. By comparison: for Lugano it was “just” the fourth game. In addition, the Ticinesi had a day off before their semifinal game thanks to a first-place finish during the group stage.

The final even began unthinkably bad for Team Canada. Dario Bürgler made it 1-0 for Lugano on the first shot only 31 seconds into the game. But after Chay Genoway’s equalizer (9.) the Canadians gained momentum. The game-winner was scored to begin the second period. Within exactly 2 minutes Marc-André Pouliot and Cory Emmerton with a short-handed solo put the North Americans up 3-1. A spicy detail: just before Bürgler had narrowly missed making it 2-2. Even before the second intermission Team Canada’s top scorer Andrew Ebbett sealed the game for his team with the fourth goal. Canada’s compact defense aided by the strong netminder Zach Fucale did not give up more than Bürgler’s second goal. Instead, Nick Spaling scored on the empty Lugano net 17 seconds before the end of the game for the final score.

The All-Star Team of 90th Spengler Cup was announced before the final. It is composed of the following: Elvis Merzlikins (Lugano); Maxim Noreau (Team Canada), James Wisniewski (Lugano); Andrew Ebbett (Team Canada), Yevgeny Kovyrshin (Dynamo Minsk), Drew Shore (Davos).

Day Five of the Spengler Cup


Team Canada first finalist

Defending champion Team Canada is back in the Spengler Cup final. The Canadians secured a final berth with a hard-fought 3-2 victory over Dynamo Minsk on Friday afternoon.

After the Belarusians had pulled their goalie in favour of a sixth skater 104 seconds before the end of regulation time, things went haywire in front of the Canadian net. But then it was the post that saved the already beaten keeper Zach Fucale. And so it remained 3-2 for the team from overseas. The Canadians had paved the road to success in the opening period, when Marc-Antoine Pouliot put his team ahead (8.) and Kirill Gotovets unluckily redirected a Chris DiDomenico pass into his own net (15.) during a 5-on-3 power play to make it 2-0.

Minsk only really found its way back into the game in the second period, mostly due to five minors giving the opponents several man advantages. Andrey Stepanov’s marker in 22nd minute to cut the deficit in half then invigorated the game. The decisive pass came from former Lugano forward Fredrik Petterson, playing his first game for the Belarusians. Because the Canadians played attentive and disciplined defense and the two netminders Fucale and Ben Scrivens were brilliant, it was not until the 53rd minute that Chay Genoway’s finish on a counter attack lead to the third goal for the Canadians. On a two-man advantage Matt Ellison was able to narrow the lead to 3-2; yet the score remained after a dramatic finish.

Lugano to face Team Canada in final

HC Lugano qualified for the final of the 90th Spengler Cup with a 4-0 win over HC Davos on Friday evening. There they will face defending champion Team Canada – same as a year ago – at 12pm on New Year’s Eve.

The convincing final score may not accurately depict the on-ice performances – the shot totals were 35-33 in favour of Davos -, but Lugano was clearly the more efficient team on the finish, not least due to being fresher. And that for good reason. While Davos played its fourth tournament game within 74 hours, it was only the third for the Ticinesi and – thanks to a first-place finish during the group stage – also following a day off. In the opening period Linus Klasen scored the go-ahead goal thanks to his persistence: he beat HCD goaltender Melvin Nyffeler on the third attempt. Dario Bürgler with a power play goal (32.) and Alessandro Chiesa with the 3-0 (36.) dealt the final blow in the second period. Alessio Bertaggia scored in the 46th minute for the final score. Lugano goaltender Elvis Merzlikins notched the first shutout of the 90th Spengler Cup.

In a rematch of last year’s final, HC Lugano and Team Canada will face off in the final at noon on New Year’s Eve. Then the Canadians captured the trophy with a 4-3 victory. Now the Ticinesi will get a chance for payback.

Day Four Recap of the Spengler Cup


Team Canada eases into semifinals

Team Canada qualified for the semifinals on Thursday night with a convincing 5-1 victory over HK Mountfield. There the defending champions will face off against Dynamo Minsk on Friday afternoon.

The Canadians set things straight early on. In the opening period they took advantage of two of their four power play opportunities. After no less than 259 seconds it was Andrew Ebbett who put the team from overseas ahead on the first power play. Maxim Noreau, the second “Bernese” on Team Canada, then increased the lead 19 seconds before the first intermission with a snipe from long range. Midway through the game Brandon Gormley made it 3-0 during 4-on-4 play. Shortly before the second intermission Mountfield’s captain Jaroslav Bednar put the Czechs on the board on the power play, thus avoiding the potentially first shutout of the current Spengler Cup tournament. Mason Raymond and Francis Pare added a goal apiece in the closing period to seal the walkover victory for the Canadians. In an absolutely fair game played in a harmless, non-aggressive way, the referees, due to the zero-tolerance interpretation of the rules, handed out 16 minor penalties – ten against Mountfield and six against Team Canada.

In Friday afternoon’s semifinal there will now be a reunion of sorts. Dynamo Minsk and Team Canada already played each other in the first game of Group Cattini on December 26. The Belarusians handily took that matchup 7-4.

Senn magical as Davos moves into semifinals

Thanks to a fantastic Gilles Senn in net, HC Davos qualified for the Spengler Cup semifinals on Thursday evening with a 3-1 victory over Avtomobilist Yekaterinburg. Next, a Swiss showdown versus HC Lugano awaits them on Friday evening.

The outstanding atmosphere amongst the 6300 spectators at the once again sold out Vaillant Arena obviously fired up the HCD players. Davos showed no signs of fatigue in their third tournament game within 50 hours. Only in the opening period were the Russians, on a day’s rest, superior on the ice. Yet that is when the hosts shone with efficiency on the finish. Tuomo Ruutu (6.) scored the go-ahead goal on the power play. And three minutes later Drew Shore doubled up for his team. He securely finished a textbook combination that Sven Jung had initiated with a through pass to Ruutu. Gilles Senn showed a fantastic game in net for Davos. Only Anatoly Golyshev (18.) was able to beat the HCD netminder with a snipe to the top net corner. Senn stopped 31 Russian shots, leading to a lofty save percentage of 96.88%. In the game with the fewest goals scored this tournament, it came as no surprise that Senn and his Russian counterpart Ivan Lasutin were awarded best player honours after the game.

Day Three Recap of the Spengler Cup


Lugano takes direct route to semifinals

With a 4-3 victory over HK Mountfield on Wednesday afternoon HC Lugano secured top spot in Group Torriani and, thus, a direct semifinal berth at the 90th Spengler Cup.

The matchup between the Ticinesi and the Czech club from the town of Hradec Kralove was decided halfway through regulation time. Within 88 seconds Luca Fazzini with an accurate wrist shot and reinforcement Ryan Vesce extended Lugano’s lead to 4-1. Up that point the game had been even. Gregory Hoffmann had put the Ticinesi ahead on a long-range shot redirect on the man advantage, and, after Jiri Simanek’s equalizer, gave the Swiss the lead again with a fine solo for his second marker. Mountfield had the upper hand in the opening period outshooting their opponents 16-7. And, shortly before the third goal against them, Radislav Dej missed the 2-2 equalizer, when he failed to beat Lugano keeper Daniel Manzato on a short-handed breakaway.

After the 4-1 goal Ondrej Katecl took over for Patrik Ryber, who was not at fault for any of the goals, in net for Mountfield. The number 2 goaltender shut the door, while Andris Dzernis short-handed and Rudolf Cerveny brought their team within one goal to make for a highly exciting end to the game. But the final eight minutes and, in the end, an extra skater were not enough for the Czechs to even the score.

Davos only finish in second place despite win

At the 90th Spengler Cup HC Davos defeated Dynamo Minsk 5-4 in an particularly spectacular game. Based on the goal differential the Belarusians still secured first place in the group ahead of the hosts and Team Canada, who both finished with the same point total.

The sell-out crowd of 6300 at Vaillant Arena witnessed a wild game. In the middle period Davos was, in theory, temporarily in first place of the group, when they took a 4-1 lead. The “Bündner” resolutely took command of the game after an unlucky start with a short-handed goal by Minsk’s Canadian Rob Klinkhammer. Still in the first period Adam Hall tied it up on the power play. Noah Schneeberger used the next man advantage for a Davos lead. Then it was Perttu Lindgren, who finished a textbook combination and Drew Shore marked the 4-1. The Belarusians reacted promptly as Danila Karaban and Alexander Pavlovitsh cut the deficit after some carelessness on Davos’ defence. In the middle period no fewer than 5 goals were scored within nine minutes and ten seconds. When Enzo Corvi netted the 5-3, Davos’ first place hopes sprung again. But Pavlovitsh put in his veto by bringing Minsk within a goal on the power play.

While Minsk has directly qualified for the semifinals on Friday, Davos will play on Thursday evening at 8.15pm in the quarterfinal versus Avtomobilist Yekaterinburg. In the first quarterfinal, Team Canada will face HC Mountfield at 3pm.

Day Two Recap of the Spengler Cup


Jarusek shoots Mountfield to victory

It was a successful Spengler Cup debut for HK Mountfield. The team from the Czech city of Hradec Kralove won in its first ever appearance in Davos 4-3 on Tuesday afternoon.

The celebrated match winner for Mountfield was Richard Jarusek. The 1.89 metre tall, 98 kilo forward scored the game-winning goal on the power play 245 seconds before the end of regulation. The 25-year-old had already tied the game at 1-1 on the man advantage. Dmitry Monya put Yekaterinburg ahead after 31 seconds – the fastest goal so far at the 90th edition of the Spengler Cup. Then Mountfield dominated the opening period – in part due to four minors against the Russians. However, only in the 24th minute did Roman Kukumberg give the Czechs a 2-1 lead. In this even game, Anatoly Golyshev (38.) and Michal Caykovsky (40.) temporarily turned the score in favour of Yekaterinburg shortly before the end of the middle period. Kukumberg (53.) tied it up at 3-3 with his second goal, igniting an exciting final stage of the game, in which Jarusek, the second Czech two-goal scorer, completed the final score.

The deciding game in Group Torriani between HC Lugano and Mountfield will take place on Wednesday afternoon. The winner will take the group and secure a direct semifinal berth.

Team Canada wins thanks to special teams

Team Canada won the Spengler Cup classic against HC Davos 4-3 on Tuesday night. The Canadians scored twice on the power play and once short-handed.

HCD and Team Canada offered the sell-out crowd of 6300 at Vaillant Arena – amongst them Guy Parmelin, the Swiss Minister of Sport – a fast-paced, exciting offensive display. Better efficiency on the finish and two – from Davos’ point of view – unlucky situations leading to goals made the difference. The Canadians took a 2-1 lead short-handed (!) after a failed line change by the home team. Cory Emmerton took advantage of the breakaway. The team from overseas then took the lead again when Jacob Micflickier netted the 3-2 on the power play, after HCD defensemen Forster received a minor for lifting the puck over the glass in his own defensive zone. The visitors also showed their efficiency on the power play when Andrew Ebbett left the keeper no chance on a redirected shot by Chay Genoway. Per Ledin, on loan from Lausanne, scored the 1-0 and 4-3 for Davos. HCD defenseman Daniel Rahimi had temporarily tied the game at 2-2 with a long-range shot.

Despite the 4-3 victory, the Canadians cannot win the group due to their lopsided 7-4 loss versus Dynamo Minsk the night before. HC Davos and Dynamo Minsk will face off with first place on the line on Wednesday night.

Day One Recap of the Spengler Cup


Opening game victory for Lugano

Last year’s finalist Lugano has successfully started into the 90th edition of the Spengler Cup. The Ticinesi defeated Avtomobilist Yekaterinburg 4-2 in the opening game on Monday night.

Lugano’s reinforcement James Wisnewski put his team ahead with a precise shot from a distance on the first power play. The man advantage lasted for only seven seconds. Dmitry Monya capped a fine solo effort with a slick finish to tie it up for the Russians. The Ticinesi decided the game in the middle period with two goals within 71 seconds. First, Raffaele Sannitz redirected a long-range shot by Ryan Gardner into the net. Then, the 38-year-old Ryan Gardner showed his continued reliability in front of the net of Avtomobilist keeper Vladimir Sachatzky, who had replaced Ivan Lisutin after the second goal against. On the power play, Aryom Gareyev then brought his team back into the game with a goal twelve minutes before the end of regulation time. Yet, Lugano’s solid goaltender Elvis Merzlikins prevented to equalizer. Linus Klasen put the game away for good with an empty-netter 20 seconds before the end.

Lugano, thanks to its opening game victory, will get the day off Tuesday, while Avtomobilist Yekaterinburg will face off against HK Mountfield in the second game of Group Torriani in the afternoon.

Dynamo Minsk announces its ambition

Defending champion Team Canada started its campaign at the 90th Spengler Cup with a loss. The Canadians suffered a 7-4 defeat at the hands of Dynamo Minsk, despite having led the game 3-1 and 4-3.

Team Canada and Dynamo Minsk wore each other down in a high-level, fast-paced battle with five goals already in the first 17 minutes of play. The Canadians showed a fierce reaction to Alexander Materchin’s go-ahead goal. Andrew Ebbett tied things up soon after, then Maxim Noreau as well as Mason Raymond took advantage of a couple of power play opportunities to put their team up by two. Yevgeny Kovyrshin cut Minsk’s deficit to one before the first intermission. Team Canada dominated parts of the game, but Ben Scrivens, Dynamo’s Canadian goaltender, kept the Belarusians in it with several outstanding saves. And then Yevgeny Lisovez’s 3-3 in the 31st minute blew the game wide open again.

To start the third period, Noreau gave the Canadians a 4-3 lead with the third power play goal, but then the Eastern Europeans came up big. Dmitry Korobov, Kovyrshin, Sergei Drosd, and Nikita Komarov (empty netter) delivered the ultimately comfortable win for Dynamo Minsk. The Belarusian’s efficiency was brilliant, as they required only 19 shots on Drew MacIntyre’s net to score their seven goals. On the other hand, the high pace early on seemed to have taken its toll on the Canadians.

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