Russian and Finnish victories on opening day of European Champions Cup
The second IIHF European Champions Cup kicked off this week in St.Petersburg, Russia. Dynamo Moskva and Kärpät Oulu made no mistakes in their opening games on their quest to be crowned best european club team.
Kärpät Oulu - HC Davos 3-1 (1-0, 0-1, 2-0)
Kärpät’s Czech forward Michal Bros scored two third-period power-play goals in five-on-three situations to break a 1-1-tie as last year’s ECC-finalists defeated HC Davos 3-1 in the Ivan Hlinka Division. All games in the opening game of 2006 ECC were scored with a man advantage.
Mikko Lehtonen put Kärpät ahead in the first period when his shot took a weird bounce and trickled past the excellent Davos goalie Jonas Hiller. Björn Christen got the Swiss side even in the second when he was the last man on a perfect tic-tac-toe play that also included Finn Riku Hahl and Reto von Arx.
Davos was the better team in the opening stages of the last period, but the team fell victim to a flurry of third-period penalties. Michal Bros scored the winner at 7.29 when the three-man Davos defence finally collapsed after a lengthy siege.
Bros put things beyond doubt with another two-man advantage marker when his shot found goalie Hiller’s five-hole. Team tied 31-31 in shots. Jari Viuhkola had two assists for Kärpät.
"We took three very bad penalties in the third period and they cost us the game", said Davos' coach Arno Del Curto. "And Kärpät is very good in power-play".
Dynamo Moscow - Slovan Bratislava 3-1 (2-0, 0-0, 1-1)
The Moscovites were all over Slovan in the opening stanza as the Russian champion grabbed a 2-0-lead in an opener where they outshot their opponents 11-2 in the opening game in the Aleksandr Ragulin Division. Albert Vishnakov scored the first one from a wild goal-mouth scramble and Mikhail Grabovsky’s one-timer during a one-man advantage doubled the score.
Slovan bounced back in the second and produced several good chances, but couldn’t beat Kazakh goalie Vitaly Eremeyev, who had to leave the game with four minutes to go of the second when he injured his groin. Grabovsky got his second power-play goal midway through the third, a goal that effectively killed the game. Maksim Sushinsky, last year’s ECC Most Valuable Player with Avangard Omsk, assisted on both Grabovsky’s goals.
Backup keeper Sergei Zvyagin came within three minutes of preserving the shut-out, but Peter Klouda finally got one back for Slovan during a two-man advantage.
The Slovaks were outshot 28-17
Story added on 7th January 2006 at 12:22 GMT
Story submitted by: Joeri Loonen.