Russia and Finland to battle it out again in European Champion contest


As was the case last year, the Russian and Finnish champions will meet each other on the ice tomorrow to decide who will be crowned European Champions.

Frölunda Indians - Kärpät Oulu 0-3 (0-1, 0-1, 0-1)

Kärpät Oulu is in the second consecutive ECC Gold Medal game after a convincing 3-0-win over Frölunda. Kärpät, as the winner of the Ivan Hlinka Division, will play the winner of HC Pardubice and Dynamo Moscow on Sunday.

With the exception of the six-seven first minutes, the Finnish champion was fully in control and one had the feeling that they could play the entire night without conceding a goal. The game was virtually over in the third minute of the second period when Jari Viuhkola scored a PP-goal.

Kärpät cruised after that.

Defenseman Topi Jaakola scored on his own rebound in the first period, while Mika Pyörälä scored another PP-marker with 21 seconds left.

Kärpät goaltender Nicklas Bäckström was solid and that’s all he needed to be against a heavily decimated Frolunda offence, which was missing six regular forwards.

Especially their power-play was struggling. They were 0-for-9 on the PP.

"We did our best under the circumstances, but we met two teams that were simply better", said Frolunda's head coach Stephan Lund before departing with his team for Gothenburg.

HC Pardubice - Dynamo Moscow 1-5 (1-3, 0-0, 0-2)

Dynamo Moscow won the Aleksander Ragulin Division after defeating HC Moeller-Pardubice 5-1 and Russians will play Finnish Kärpät Oulu in the Sunday (18.30) final.

The duo of Maksim Sushinsky and Mikhail Grabovsky once again played a dominant role as they collected five points together already in the first period as Dynamo jumped to a 3-1-lead. Both had one goal each, while Belorussian Grabovski added two assists and Sushinsky one. After collecting assists on Dynamo’s both goals in the third, they both finished with 1G+4A each.

The dominant pair recorded two points each in the 3-1-win over Slovan Bratislava on opening day. The deadly duo now has six points each after the two preliminary round games.

Just like Kärpät against Frölunda in early game, Dynamo controlled the scene for the rest of the evening, saving energy for the Sunday decider, but still managed to please the 7.900-crowd with two goals at the end, with the second being an empty-netter. Dynamo, who outshot the Czechs 35-23, will technically be the home team in the final, due to better goal differential than Kärpät.

Story added on 7th January 2006 at 12:49 GMT
Story submitted by: Joeri Loonen.



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