A bit of luck helps Finland past Canada

Sometimes you need a bit of luck to win a hockey game, and Finland found that out in their quarterfinal matchup with Canada in the World Junior Championships.

With the group stage over, its knockout time. Denmark and Kazakhstan are fighting each other to stay in the top group for next year (Kazakhstan currently have a 1 – 0 lead in the relegation rounds after a 4 – 3 win in game one which saw Denmark finally score a goal), and for the rest of the competition a loss see’s them out of the tournament.

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Drew Schiestel is vital to the Devils title hopes

For the Cardiff Devils to do what no other EIHL team has done and secure the three-peat, the usual suspects will need to be on top form or better once again.

The likes of Joey Martin, Ben Bowns and Gleason Fournier have all continued their impressive form (especially Fournier), but the play of new arrivals has been just as important.

Continue reading Drew Schiestel is vital to the Devils title hopes

Mr. Bow Tie Man

An old school rivalry and a sold out stadium brought in the New Year with a bang! In what was the highest ever attended game at Altrincham Ice Rink, 2,351 people managed to people squeeze themselves into the building. As the new-found discipline from Manchester, which has seen them draw just 22 PIM’s in four games, proved decisive in how the match would be decided (sorry to those baying for blood).

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KalPa win Spengler Cup

Kalpa oneKalPa Kuopio became the first Finnish team to win the prestigious Spengler Cup with a shootout win over Team Canada on New Years Eve. The game had finished 1-1.

Jaako Rissanen scored the decisive goal in a lengthy shoot-out, before Denis Godla made a pad save from Canadian Captain Andrew Ebbett. In victory KalPa denied Team Canada what would have been a fourth successive win and a record 15th overall success.

Team Canada outshot KalPa 36-21; but a well organised and efficient KalPa defence limited these to mostly efforts from tight angles and the Canadians found Godla was in excellent form, making 35 saves in regulation time and several highlight reel stops in the shootout. KalPa game planned smartly and looked lively on the counter-attack, especially through Alexandre Texier.

The game was scoreless until the early third period, and with both teams playing good defence with strong goaltending it became increasingly likely that a scrappy goal would open the scoring. Daniel Winnick got it for Canada, barrelling home a rebound from Torrey Mitchell’s breakaway effort.

KalPa were not behind for long, equalising when Eetu Luostarinen – a 2017 draft pick of the Carolina Hurricanes – took a rebound in his stomach and tapped home at the back post at 11:24.

After a frantic overtime period which saw Zac Dalpe hit a post for the Canadians; the teams were tied 2-2 after the first three shooters in the shootout, resulting in a sudden death situation. Rissanen’s effort was the eighth overall for his team as Godla made five straight saves for his side.

Team Canada made the final with a 4-2 semi-final win over the Nürnberg Ice Tigers; whilst KalPa eliminated the hosts Davos 2-1.

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