Day: December 30, 2018

Spengler Cup Day 5 Recap

Team Canada wins the semi-finals against the Thomas Sabo Ice Tigers from Nürnberg 4-2

By Hansruedi Camenisch – Spengler Cup

At the 92nd Spengler Cup, Team Canada easily qualified for the final which will take place on Monday (12:00 noon). Led by the outstanding Zack Boychuk, the Canadians won 4-2 against the Thomas Sabo Ice Tigers on Sunday afternoon.

Team Canada’s victory against the Ice Tigers indicates they are on their way to successfully defend the title at the Spengler Cup. With this 16th tournament win, they could take over the sole leadership of the winner statistic. The basis for their semi-final victory against the Germans was set early by the Canadians – in the first period – led by Zack Boychuk. The 29-year old forward, who joined SC Bern from Sevestral Tscherepovets (KHL) during this season and who also played in the successful team at last year’s Spengler Cup, arranged for the early 3-0 lead in the first period. He prepared the first goal with a pass to Cory Emmerton, then sunk the next 2 goals himself.

The Germans never gave up, even when they were clearly behind – Chris DiDomenico increased the lead to 4-0 in the 23rd minute. They showed excellent morale and lots of fighting spirit. In the last period, they were able to reduce the lead to 2-4 thanks to goals shot by Daniel Weiss and Brandon Buck. The Nürnebrgers pleased the crowd with their strong ice hockey at their premiere participation at the Spengler Cup. The highlight for the Germans was their surprising 3-1 victory against Metallurg Magnitogorsk.

KalPa Kuopio wins the semi-final game against Davos 2-1

In the fastest-paced game of the 92nd Spengler Cup tournament, HC Davos fell short in the semi-final game against KalPa Kuopio on Saturday evening. Yannick Frehner was able to equalize the game for the home team in the 46th minute, but just 5 minutes later Jaakko Rissanen re-took the lead for the Finns 2-1. They will play in the finals for the first time on Monday at noon against the defending champion Team Canada.

The Finns started the game like a display of fireworks. Thanks to the exceptional skating skills of all their players, KalPa put so much pressure on the home team that they barely got the puck out of their own zone. The logical result was KalPa’s go-ahead goal after only 131 seconds resulting from a long shot by Kim Nousianen. The Davos team needed quite a bit of time to adjust to the relentless assault by the guests. This was confirmed by the statistic: in the first 11 minutes HCD goaltender Gilles Senn had 11 shots-on-goal to deflect, during the rest of the period only once more.

The intermediate result after 40 minutes was 1-0 for KalPa Kuopio. However, the spectators had absolutely no cause to complain that it was a boring game. Both teams delivered an enthralling, offensive slugfest with many scoring opportunities. The shots-on-goal ratio was 8-8 in the second period, the puck narrowly missing the goal posts often while the players made daredevil shots.

The host team finally made it work in the 46th minute. The 20-year old Yannick Frehner, member of the young 4th block, sunk the puck to make it 1-1. Shortly thereafter the Davos team missed several chances to take the lead during the only power play situation. The opponents did it better. Jaakko Rissanen completed a counterattack after receiving an ideal cross pass from Alexandre Texier 2-1 and secured the final ticket for the Finns.

Pakistan holds first ever Ice Hockey match

PAF won the match penalty shootouts

By Saman Siddiqui – OY! Oye Yeah

Another historic day for sports in Pakistan and a great initiative heralding the beginning of new era in Pakistan’s sports world.

History was made as the first ever ice hockey match was played at PAF Ski Resort,  Naltar Valley on December 29th.

This first ever ice hockey took place between the Ice Hockey teams of Pakistan Air Force (PAF) and Gilgit-Baltistan Scouts.

Pakistan Air Force (PAF) Vs Gilgit-Baltistan Scouts

There was a fine display of extraordinary ski and hockey skills from the players of both the teams.
Due to that none of the team was able to score a goal in the match duration. However, the winner of the match was decided through penalty shootouts.

Pakistan Air Force (PAF) and Gilgit-Baltistan Scouts Group Picture

PAF won the match with the only goal from Shah Siyar.

Though ice hockey sport is included in the list of the world’s modern games. The history of ice hockey in Gilgit Baltistan region can be related to a local game “Ghatal”, which is also played with two sticks and a ball.

Hope this sports will flourish in Pakistan in coming years and people will get to enjoy Ice Hockey sport on larger scale.

WJC Day 4 roundup

Blackhawks prospect Boqvist wins it after Americans rally to tie with four goals in third period


Sweden 5, United States 4 OT

Adam Boqvist scored with 1:09 remaining in overtime, and Sweden overcame blowing a four-goal lead in the third period for a 5-4 win against the United States in Group B at the 2019 IIHF World Junior Championship at Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre in Victoria, British Columbia on Saturday.

Boqvist (Chicago Blackhawks) scored from the left circle off a pass from Jacob Olofsson (Montreal Canadiens).

The United States (2-0-1-0) scored four unanswered goals in a span of 7:07 of the third period to tie the game 4-4.

“For sure we have to make better plays but these are young players, they’re still kids so that’s what could happen and it’ll probably happen again,” Sweden coach Tomas Monten said. “Hopefully not in this tournament but for sure in their hockey careers. We came back strong, and in the overtime we had some good chances, and then we capitalized on the 2-on-1 so it was a great win.”

Michael Anderson, the U.S. captain, started the rally with a power-play goal at 9:34 to make it 4-1 before Ryan Poehling (Canadiens) had a natural hat trick. He scored a power-play goal at 13:25 to cut it to 4-2, scored with the goalie pulled for an extra attacker at 19:23 to make it 4-3, and tied it 4-4 off a turnover at 19:36.

“We were being more direct towards the net,” Poehling said. “After the first two periods we had 11 shots so for us to rebound as we did (with 16 shots in the third period) we minimized our turnovers in the neutral zone a lot more and that helped out too.

“I think it was just something where we wanted to show a little bit of pride and I think we did that. We ended up losing but I think this is going to help us in the long run as a team.”

Emil Bemstrom (Columbus Blue Jackets), Filip Westerlund (Arizona Coyotes), Rickard Hugg and Erik Brannstrom (Vegas Golden Knights) scored, and Samuel Ersson made 24 saves for Sweden (2-1-0-0).

The U.S. was without center Jack Hughes for a second straight game because of an undisclosed injury. Hughes is projected as the No. 1 selection in the 2019 NHL Draft.

Westerlund scored on a one-timer from the right circle to give Sweden a 1-0 lead 4:47 into the first period. Hugg made it 2-0 when he knocked in a puck from the slot 9:21 into the second, and Bemstrom took advantage of a turnover at 12:39 for a 3-0 lead.

Brannstrom scored his team-leading fourth goal 2:33 into the third for a 4-0 lead.

The win gives Sweden 47 straight victories in preliminary-round play. Sweden’s last loss was 3-2 in overtime against the United States on Dec. 31, 2006. The Swedes have outscored the opposition 241-80 during the streak, which includes 41 wins in regulation, two in overtime and four in a shootout.

Canada 5, Czech Republic 1

Max Comtois (Anaheim Ducks), Brett Leason and Alexis Lafreniere scored in the first period to help Canada to a 5-1 victory against the Czech Republic in Group A at Rogers Arena in Vancouver on Saturday.

MacKenzie Entwistle (Chicago Blackhawks) and Morgan Frost (Philadelphia Flyers) also scored, and Michael DiPietro (Vancouver Canucks) made 23 saves for Canada (3-0-0-0), which leads the group.

Canada got one goal from its top line and two from the fourth line.

“To win games you have to get scoring through the lineup because your number one line and your number two line aren’t going to score every night,” Canada coach Tim Hunter said. “It’s like a playoff series: if you expect your top line to score every night in a playoff series, good luck.”

Ondrej Machala, who is eligible for the 2019 NHL Draft, scored for the Czech Republic (0-1-0-2), which is fourth in Group A. Jiri Patera (Vegas Golden Knights) stopped 16 of 20 shots before being pulled after two periods. Jakub Skarek (New York Islanders) made nine saves in relief.

Canada scored 14 goals in a win against Denmark on Wednesday and defeated Switzerland 3-2 on Thursday. The victory against the Czech Republic had a bit of both games.

“We’re not putting up 14 goals but being stronger in little areas, being stronger on the boards, our breakouts are better, our forecheck’s better, having high support, being consistent at that too,” DiPietro said. “Just the way we’re playing, the makeup of our team. We’re playing to our identity and the offense is going to come.”

Comtois, Canada’s only returning player from the 2018 gold-medal-winning team, made it 1-0 at 6:03 of the first period after a blind back pass from Owen Tippett (Florida Panthers).

Machala, 19, tied it 1-1 on a 2-on-1 at 6:40, but Leason gave Canada a 2-1 lead on a power play at 11:32. Leason, 19, was passed over the past two drafts but is a B-rated skater for the 2019 draft by NHL Central Scouting in its November players to watch list.

Lafreniere, the first 17-year-old since Connor McDavid in 2015 to play for Canada, made it 3-1 with a one-timer from the left face-off dot at 16:39.

Entwistle scored for a third straight game to make it 4-1 at 14:41 of the second period, and Frost scored his fourth goal on a power play for a 5-1 lead at 9:01 of the third. Frost also had an assist and leads the tournament with seven points.

Switzerland 4, Denmark 0

Philipp Kurashev (Chicago Blackhawks) had a hat trick, and Luca Hollenstein made 21 saves to help Switzerland advance to the quarterfinals with a 4-0 win against Denmark in Group A at Rogers Arena.

Simon Le Coultre, an undrafted defenseman, also scored for Switzerland (1-0-1-1).

Kurashev, selected in the fourth round (No. 120) of the 2018 NHL Draft, scored twice in the first period and completed his hat trick with a solo effort 1:38 into the third period.

Mads Sogaard, a 6-foot-7, B-rated goalie on NHL Central Scouting’s Players to Watch list for the 2019 NHL Draft, made 22 saves. Denmark (0-0-0-3) hasn’t scored a goal and will play a three-game relegation series to stay in the top group for the 2020 WJC.

Finland 5, Slovakia 1

Defensemen Henri Jokiharju (Chicago Blackhawks) and Ville Heinola, a B-rated skater in NHL Central Scouting’s Players to Watch list for the 2019 NHL Draft, each had a goal and an assist to help Finland to a 5-1 win against Slovakia in Group B at Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre.

Santeri Virtanen (Winnipeg Jets), Anton Lundell (2020 NHL Draft eligible), and Oskari Laaksonen (Buffalo Sabres) scored, Eeli Tolvanen (Nashville Predators) had two assists, and Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen (Sabres) made 22 saves for Finland (2-0-0-1).

Milos Roman (Calgary Flames) scored, and Samuel Hlavaj, a B-rated goalie in NHL Central Scouting’s Players to Watch list, made 31 saves for Slovakia (0-0-0-3).

Jokiharju gave Finland a 1-0 lead with a one-timer from the left circle on a 5-on-3 power play 12:24 into the first period. Virtanen made it 2-0 on a backhand at 16:43.

Heinola scored on a snap shot from the left circle to increase the lead to 3-0 2:02 into the second period before Lundell made it 4-0 at 13:53.

Roman scored a 5-on-3 power-play goal at 16:26 to bring Slovakia within 4-1.

Laaksonen gave Sweden a 5-1 lead 13:01 into the third period.

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