It’s getting closer and closer to finding out who the champions of Europe are, and after the Quarter-finals came to a close last night, the Champions Hockey League is down to it’s final four contenders and we’ll have a new champion after Lulea Hockey were knocked out.
Swedish side Lula put up a 3 – 2 win in their first leg against Frolunda Gotheburg, but after Frolunda led 5 – 4 after 60 minutes in the second game, it took a shooutout to seperate the two sides who last met in the CHL last season in the final game which saw a fantastic third period comeback from Lulea down Gothenburg, but after the shootout when Spencer Abbott sealed the deal, Frolunda got their revenge and advanced and so do their hopes of a second CHL medal.
Frolunda will face the only non-Scandinavian team left in the tournament after Swiss side HC Davos brushed aside Skelleftea AIK in an impressive game two display.
The two sides were tied after the first leg last week when it ended 1 – 1 but it was a different story last night. Dick Axelsson got things started early to put Davos ahead and a goal from Enzo Corvi extended their lead going into the second frame.
Skelleftea did manage to put on up on the board through Erik Forssell in the second period, but goals from Andres Ambuehl and Perttu Lindgren sealed a 4 -1 second leg win and a 5 – 2 aggregate win for Davos which sets up a meeting against last seasons runners up Frolunda Gothenburg.
The second semi-final was also determined last night as the four remaining Finnish sides were narrowed down to two as Lukko Rauma and Karpat Oulu advanced from their quarter-final match ups.
Karpat needed a good showing in game two after they dropped their first game against Espoo Blues 2 – 0 last week, and they did exactly what was asked of them in a one-sided game two.
Karpat outshot the Blues 37 – 15 over the 60 minutes and thanks to a Julius Junittila hat-trick they advanced through to the semi-finals with a 5 – 1 victory, with a 5 – 3 aggregate scoreline.
The final game was much closer, much like the first game 60 minutes wasn’t enough to separate Lukko Rauma and TPS Turku after they both posted three goals each, and game two was exactly the same.
Lukko got the first of the night in the second period through Ville Vahalahti but late in the game TPS tied it up through Harri Tikkanen to make it 1 – 1 and 4 – 4 overall at the end of the second leg forcing a penalty shootout.
Both goaltenders were solid through the shootout, turning away the first three shots they faced, but the lone goal from Turo Asplund was enough to seal the victory for Lukko to send them through to the next round.
It’ll be a bit of a CHL break for Christmas now after the quarter-finals with games set to resume in January, then the four remaining teams will fight for a place in the grand final in February.
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