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phelps

Men's Ice Hockey IIHF European Champions League 2019 - 2020

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Knockout Stage

 

Semifinals, Second Leg

Tuesday 14.1.2020 - Results

 

18:00  Luleå Hockey (SWE) - Frölunda Indians (SWE)  1-3 (4-5 on Aggregate)

18:00  Mountfield HK (CZE) - Djurgården Stockholm (SWE)  3-0 (6-1 on Aggregate)

 

 

2019/2020 Champions Hockey League, the Final

 

Tuesday, February 4th, :CZE Mountfield HK vs :SWE Frölunda Indians

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:SWE Luleå Hockey, 1 vs :SWE Frölunda Indians, 3 (Aggregate Score: 4-5, Indians advance to the Final)

 

Another comeback books Final place for Frölunda

 

Tonight was crunch time in the Champions Hockey League Semi-Finals, and in Sweden two former champions went head to head to try and secure their place as Luleå Hockey played host to the reigning champions the Frölunda Indians after Luleå took a 3-2 victory in the first leg.

 

With a one-goal advantage, Luleå were entering the second leg on home ice and looking to use that to their advantage, and they found a way to strike first.

 

After going close a few times, Juhani Tyrväinen wouldn’t be denied forever, eventually opening the scoring on the night, and giving the hosts 4-2 aggregate lead, jumping on the puck after a long shot went wide and bounced off the boards, beating Johan Mattsson who was sprawling to take away the angle, but couldn’t stop it from cross the line for the only goal of the opening period.

 

Frölunda had a few chances early in the second period, but couldn’t get anything to really challenge Joel Lassinantti, until midway through, when Lassinantti denied Frölunda captain Joel Lundqvist who was left alone in the slot, but in his 1000th appearance for the club, couldn’t tie things up.

 

If you give Frölunda too many chances eventually they’ll strike, after a few near misses, the reigning champions found themselves on the powerplay, and after Lassinantti made an initial save, the puck sprawled loose to captain Lundqvist who found Rhett Rakhshani, sending it into the gaping net to tie things up on the night, but still Frölunda trailed by one overall.

 

It didn’t take long in the third for things to be evened up on aggregate, a good forecheck kept the play alive for Frölunda, and then in his 1000th game for Frölunda, Joel Lundqvist redirected a shot past Lassinantti to make it 2-1 to the visitors on the night, but 4-4 overall, setting up a very interesting final 20 minutes of action.

 

Frölunda kept on pushing, looking to take the lead overall, and just after the midway point, Ryan Lasch wired a shot past Lassinantti, placing it past the blocker and into the net, giving the reigning champions a lead on the road, and meaning the hosts Luleå had less than 10 minutes to try and regain control of the tie to either advance, or force overtime.

 

Try as they might, it just wasn't to beat for Luleå who couldn't find anything to get past Johan Mattsson who stood tall in net in the last moments of the Semi-Final, helping defend the lead all the way to the final buzzer to secure a fifth Champions Hockey League final for the Frölunda Indians, as they came from behind in each of their playoff series' on the way.

 

It'll be a Group H affair and a rematch when the final gets underway as Frölunda take on Mountfield HK to see who can be crowned this years Champions.

 

Match Highlights

 

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:CZE Mountfield HK, 3 vs :SWE Djurgården Stockholm, 0 (Aggregate Score: 6-1, Mountfield advance to the Final)

 

Another Mazanec shutout, Mountfield on to the Final

 

For the third straight Champions Hockey League Playoff round, Marek Mazanec and Mountfield HK conceded just one goal over 120 minutes.

 

As a result, Mountfield are off to the CHL Final for the first time following a 3-0 home-ice victory over Djurgården Stockholm, giving them a 6-1 win on aggregate.

 

For the last several games, Mountfield have shown the ability to play solid defence and wait for their opportunities, and the two-goal lead to start this game played right into their hands in that regard.

 

The return game remained scoreless after an evenly played first period, but Mountfield remained with 53 seconds left of power play time at the start of the second and that paid off for them.

 

Jakub Lev took a pass in his own zone and took it coast to coast, completely undressing defenceman Jesper Pettersson inside the blueline and then going high glove side on Niklas Svedberg.

 

Considering Mountfield had only conceded three goals in their last 16 CHL periods, Djurgården now faced a critical situation, needing to score at least three in a little under two periods.

 

However, try as they might, they just couldn’t penetrate the stifling Mountfield defence to generate any quality scoring chances.

 

When Richard Nedomlel kept the puck in the Djurgården zone and then fired a rocket from the top of the circle past Svedberg early in the third period, the Swedish team’s situation went from bad to worse.

 

Halfway through the third period, coach Robert Ohlsson pulled Svedberg for a sixth attacker in a desperation move, but Aleš Jergl’s empty-netter less than a minute later put an exclamation point on the Mountfield victory.

 

The only question to be answered was if Mazanec would post his third shutout in the last six CHL games, and Djurgården were awarded two penalty shots in the last eight minutes.

 

On the first, Mazanec stared down Jacob Josefson and then on the second, Patrik Berglund hit the crossbar.

 

But the fans in Hradec Králové knew their team had its place in the CHL Final firmly in hand and celebrated the final moments away.

 

Match Highlights

 

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Final confirmed: Mountfield HK will host the clash against Frölunda indians

 

What started out with 32 teams in late August is now down to just two teams in mid-January.

 

In three weeks' time we'll know which team has been crowned Champions of Europe in 2019/20.

 

This season's Champions Hockey League Final will take place on Tuesday, February 4th in Hradec Kralové, the home of Mountfield HK, marking the first time the CHL's climax is held in the Czech Republic.

 

They will face defending champions, three-time winners, and fifth-time finalists Frölunda Indians.

 

Mounfield HK earned the right to host the showpiece event by having the better overall record during this CHL season of the teams left to contest the final.

 

Mountfield clocked 26 points en route to the final, while Frölunda picked up 22.

 

The spectacular setting offered by Hradec Kralovè arena for the Champions Hockey League matches:

 

image.png
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Tonight's the night! :cheer:

 

Champions Hockey League Final 2020, Official Intro

 

One Game, One Final, One Champion

 

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The Finalists: Mountfield HK

 

t’s safe to say that Mountfield HK's journey through the Champions Hockey League hasn’t been as plain sailing as Frölunda's in recent seasons.

 

During their debut season in 2017/18, the side from Hradec Kralové were beaten home and away by the Nottingham Panthers from the United Kingdom; and a season later they went down in Rouen, France – both campaigns saw them fall out in the Group Stage.

 

This season they also lost in Cardiff, but went on to win eight of their 12 games on the path to the final.

 

However, despite those setbacks, the team qualified themselves back into the CHL with strong performances in the Czech Extraliga.

 

The team were knocked out in the Semi-Final stage of the Playoffs in both 2016-2017 and 2017-2018, before exiting in the Quarters last time around.

 

Indeed, their Extraliga form has been one of the more consistent over recent years: since the top flight of Czech hockey came to Hradec Králové, Mountfield HK have never finished outside the league's top five, and for the past four seasons they've not been beneath fourth at the end of the season.

 

Cult captain Jaroslav Bednář, who spent time in the NHL, KHL, Liiga and Swiss top-flight retired from the team in 2018 and is the club’s Sport Manager – though he also still laces up in the Czech third tier!

 

Another legend is behind the bench – Head Coach Tomáš Martinec coached at every level from U16’s in the city before taking on the top job in 2018 and has also been part of the coaching setup with the country’s U18 national team.

 

Martinec was joined during this season in the Head Coach role by Vladimír Růžička.

 

The former Slavia Prague Head Coach led that team to a pair of Extraliga titles, and the national team to two World Championship gold medals in 2005 and 2010 respectively.

 

Known for a defensive style of hockey, his influence can be seen in Mountfield’s impressive CHL playoff record – three shutouts, and only three goals against in six games!

 

Star players of this season’s team include goalie Marek Mazanec who was shortlisted in the first round of voting for the LGT MVP Award, while 33-year-old captain Radek Smoleňák has actually played in Sweden with time at Timrå and MODO.

 

Wearing an ‘A’ is 30-year-old forward Rudolf Červený who is in his second spell with the team after a season with time in the KHL and SHL outfit Brynäs; while 27-year-old defenseman Petr Zámorský is another who has SHL experience in three seasons for Örebro.

 

Meet the Team, Video

 

 

5 reasons why Mountfield HK will win the CHL Final!

 

We've taken a look at the Top 5 reasons that give Frölunda Indians the edge in this season's Champions Hockey League Final, but now it's time to turn our attention to this year's host team and CHL Final debutants: Mountfield HK.

 

Pavel Ryšavý of Czech national newspaper Deník Sport gives us his take on why we'll be crowning the first-ever team from outside of the Nordics as our 2020 champions!

 

1. Marek Mazanec

Consistently on top of his game for months now and his performances haven’t dropped off a single bit, Mazanec uses a reverse catching style with his glove on his right, doesn’t panic and has been tremendously important for Mountfield all season.

There’s no doubt that he’s No. 1, no questions asked.

When opponents result to dumping the puck, he collects them behind his net and plays out from the back using his impressive stickhandling skills that he learned during his six years overseas.

Mazanec himself says that he doesn’t like penalty shots and that he’s not good at them – but, on the contrary, he’s known for his quick reactions and saves that catch opponents off guard.

 

2. A team made for playoff matches

Mountfield haven’t been as strong in the Czech Extraliga as they have in the CHL this season.

There are two main reasons why: First, when Vladimír Růžička was appointed co-Head Coach at the start of the season, Mountfield needed a few months to adapt to his playing style.

But the main reason why the CHL has just seemed to work for them this year is the way they approach each game.

Second, when the team lines up for an ordinary home match against a regular Extraliga team, they have trouble getting into the flow of the game and winning - but when faced with an all-or-nothing CHL Playoffs match, they seem to transform and understand the responsibility they have.

They haven’t had a single bad game in the Playoffs this season and have been sturdy at the back, blocking all attempts at an opponent breakthrough from the neutral zone.

Mountfield are going to be a feared side in the Extraliga Playoffs this year with their direct style of play. 

This team plays best when it’s do or die.

 

2. The Coaches

Vladimír Růžička is a coach with an impressive CV.

As Head Coach of the Czech National Team he won two Ice Hockey World Championships (2005 and 2010) and was equally successful during his time with Slavia Praha, winning the Czech Extraliga twice.

He’s one of the best Czech coaches around and is renowned for his quick tactical changes during matches and responsible defending.

He reads the game well and likes swapping players around in reaction to the flow of the game.

Equally as important is his college Tomáš Martinec who has been with the team longer and has a very forward-passing style of play focused on attacking.

When Růžička joined Martinec one week into the 2019/20 season as co-Head coach things weren’t looking good for Mountfield.

The conflicting coaches’ ideas weren’t working on the ice and they struggled with their roles as equals; but come the new year, they’ve started working together like a well-oiled machine and the results are starting to show.

This rejuvenated and re-energized Mountfield team combines both coaches’ philosophies – Martinec’s aggressiveness and Růžička’s responsible defending.

 

4. The atmosphere

The ČPP Arena isn’t the biggest arena around with a capacity of just under 7,000 fans but when the stands are full the atmosphere is intense.

One of the main reasons why it gets so heated in the arena is the fact that nearly half the stadium’s capacity is taken up by sectors for standing only.

The sheer sight of the thousands of fans huddled together supporting their team in the stands is breath-taking.

When Mountfield faced Djurgården in the CHL Semi-Finals, the standing crowds got the whole arena to get up and join in for a Mexican wave that circled the arena multiple times.

They chanted, sang and pushed their team on to win the match.

They are Mountfield’s secret weapon for the Final.

 

5. The first line

One was captain of the National Team, another is a current National Team player for Slovakia and the third is a one to watch for the Czech National Team.

Of course, we mean Radek Smoleňák, Lukáš Cingel and Matěj Chalupa – Mountfield’s elite attacking trio.

They create chances every game and have the skill to take them and score.

Smoleňák is a big personality in the locker room and a true leader, the players respect him and stand by him.

Despite being well-travelled, it looks like he’s finally found a place to settle down.

He leads by example and is strong in front of the net, often doing the “dirty work”.

Cingel is a two way forward who plays between the lines and strikes when the time is right.

He supports his teammates and has also started scoring himself lately.

And Chalupa? The youngest of the three at just 21 years of age has finally started proving himself and fully displaying his talent.

He’s strong on offense and is a great shooter.

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The Finalists: Frölunda Indians

 

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: The Frölunda Indians have advanced to the Champions Hockey League Final.

 

Since the relaunch of the European club championship in 2014/15, the Gothenburg-based team has now made five of six Finals and won three so far.

 

The club was established in 1938 but only won one Swedish title in the 20th Century – that coming in 1965.

 

Since the turn of the millennium, they have added titles in 2003, 2005, 2016 and 2019, in addition to their wins in the Champions Hockey League – three and counting.

 

Five players have been members of all three CHL titles and are looking for a fourth – Patrik Carlsson, Niklas Lasu, Mats Rosseli Olsen, Sebastian Stålberg and Joel Lundqvist.

 

Lundqvist, the captain, just played his 1000th game in a Frölunda jersey in the team’s Semi-Final victory over Luleå Hockey, recording a goal and an assist in the comeback win.

 

The 2016/17 CHL MVP who first joined the club as a 16-year-old, is the CHL’s all-time leader with 64 games played.

 

Ryan Lasch only has two CHL titles to his name so far but has several other accolades, most of which have been accomplished with Frölunda.

 

He is first in goals (29), assists (61) and points (90), won the 2015/16 CHL MVP and has won two scoring titles so far and, barring something unforeseen in this year’s Final, will win a third.

 

Lasch scored the aggregate-winning goal in Luleå.

 

Veteran leadership is supplemented by a seemingly endless supply of young talent.

 

In the past, we’ve seen the likes of Andreas Johnsson, Oscar Fantenberg, Artturi Lehkonen, Carl Grundström, Jacob Larsson and Rasmus Dahlin win titles with Frölunda and all are now in the NHL.

 

It seems the next player on that list is Samuel Fagemo, the Los Angeles Kings draft pick who, at 19, already has a CHL title under his belt and is already one of Frölunda’s offensive leaders.

 

Waiting in the wings is 17-year-old Lucas Raymond, who’s played 18 SHL games and 6 CHL games with Frölunda this season.

 

And of course, at the helm is Roger Rönnberg, the two-time European Coach of the Year winner who has been Frölunda’s Head Coach since 2013.

 

Even he is sometimes blown away by what his team can do.

 

I’m so impressed with the character of my hockey team,” Rönnberg said after his team’s Semi-Final win – Frölunda’s third comeback in as many Playoff rounds.

I’m almost crying here because to have the team spirit to do it this way against Luleå is an amazing performance.

 

Winning a fourth CHL title would be a milestone of sorts.

 

It would make Frölunda just the second club to win more than three European titles.

 

The all-time leader, CSKA Moscow, is in a class by itself, having won 20 titles between 1969 and 1990, the last 13 of them coming consecutively.

 

Other teams to win three are Czech club Kometa Brno – or ZKL Brno as they were then called – who won the first three European Cups in 1966, 1967 and 1968.

 

Russian club Metallurg Magnitogorsk won the European Hockey League in 1999 and 2000 and the European Champions Cup in 2008.

 

5 reasons why Frölunda will win the CHL Final!

 

It's just over a week until the last two teams standing face off in the 2020 Champions Hockey League Final.

 

We're asking journalists covering each team to tell us why they think it'll be their year this time around.

 

We start with Johan Rylander from Göteborgs-Posten, who gives us five reasons why it'll be Frölunda Indians lifting the trophy again this season:

 

1. Tradition
This could almost be a carbon copy of last year's prediction, but it’s a fact that the Champions Hockey League has existed for six seasons and Frölunda have reached the final in five out of those six.

In Hradec Králové, the Swedish team has the chance of title number four – that is really impressive, and a huge mental advantage.

 

2. Skill
Frölunda do still have more skilled players than their final opponents.

Samuel Fagemo is heading for the NHL in the next season – but he’s not the only threat.

You also have the tournament MVP in Ryan Lasch, the all-time CHL scoring leader with 29 goals.

You also have players like Rhett Rakhshani, Patrik Carlsson, Johan Sundström, Nicklas Lasu, Simon Hjalmarsson and future NHL star Lucas Raymond.

He is to be drafted this summer – and I predict he is going Top 3 in the NHL draft.

Any of those players can decide a final.

 

3. Four producing lines
If Frölunda, like last year, use the speed of all four lines in the final, well … then Mountfield HK will also have problems catching them!

And when you have problems catching someone, you will take penalties.

And we all know how good this Swedish team is with a man advantage: almost three in ten powerplay opportunities result in a goal.

 

4. Strong fan base
The arena in Hradec Králové hosts almost 7000 fans – and Frölunda will come with approximately 700 of those.

They will create a red wall of noise, and an early goal will most certainly silence the home crowd.

 

5. The coach
Roger Rönnberg arrived in Gothenburg seven seasons ago and I would say that he is the best addition Frölunda have made in this millennium.

His results at the club are extraordinary, in fact the best in history.

Five titles will become a sixth in the Czech Republic – because after two games against Mountfield HK in the preliminary rounds the Swedish Head Coach will most certainly have figured out a lethal game plan.

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First CHL Final in the Czech Republic: ČPP Arena

 

This season's Champions Hockey League Final will take place on Tuesday 4 February in Hradec Králové, the home of Mountfield HK, with the opening faceoff at 18:45 CET. 

 

They will face defending champions, three-time winners, and fifth-time finalists Frölunda Indians.

 

The 2020 Champions Hockey League Final will be special for both teams involved as they get a chance to go for the European Trophy in the final games of the 2019/20 season.

 

It will also be special for Mountfield HK.

 

Not only is this their first CHL final, but they won the right to host it at home in front of their own fans - the first Czech team to play for the prize on their own ice.

 

Built in 1957, the ČPP Arena has been used for hockey in Hradec Králové since its inception.

 

For the first 12 years of its existence, the arena was actually completely outside with no roof added until 1969 when a large reconstruction began.

 

While it's known that this development work lasted some seven years, a less known fact is that the team continued to play games in the building while construction work was going on!

 

In 2007 the arena was completely overhauled to make it suitable for hockey in the modern era: VIP sections, Skyboxes and new locker rooms were all added to bring it up to today's standard.

 

A quirk of the building itself is that, to this day, it still only has one entrance on and off the ice for skaters.

 
stadion_panorama
 
 

Extraliga hockey arrived in Hradec Králové in 2013 with Mountfield HK playing out of the ČPP Arena in the country's highest level of competition, while in 2017 the arena saw its first taste of the Champions Hockey League.

 

A multi-purpose arena, it has also hosted the 1980 European Junior Championships, 2000 World Inline Hockey Championships, the 2002 IIHF World Junior Championships and the 2017 European Basketball Women's Championships.

 

6890 fans can be packed into the arena, and interestingly just over half (3750) is seated - the other 3140 create one of the best atmospheres in the Czech Republic in the standing section!

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Referees & Linesmen assigned for CHL Final

 

Top game officials from the Finnish and German leagues will take charge of this season's Champions Hockey League Final.

 

Head Referees for the Final on 4 February in Hradec Králové will be :FIN Kristian Vikman and Mikko Kaukokari.

 

Both are experienced officials who have worked over 300 and 500 games in Finland’s’ top league respectively, and have also refereed many games at international level.

 

Vikman was selected just recently for the Semi-Finals and Final game at the U20 World Championships; while Kaukokari was previously assigned to the CHL Finals of 2017 and 2019, and has been selected for two World Junior Championships Finals as well as for two Bronze Medal games at World Men’s Championships.

 

Running the lines will be Andreas Hofer (GER) and Joep Leermarkers (NED), both working in the German DEL.

 

These game officials are all top ranked in their domestic leagues,” CHL Senior Sport Advisor Bo Lennartsson said.

They stood out with great performances in the Champions Hockey League and, as currently part of the world’s elite, they very much deserve the chance to officiate this years’ CHL Final in Hradec Králové.

 

 

@heywoodu

so, we also have some Dutch presence in the most important game of the European Club season! :yikes::d

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Flashback: Previous Finals

 

The 2020 Champions Hockey League Final is just hours away so for those of you anxiously waiting for the clock to finally strike 18:45 CET, we’ve prepared a flashback to previous CHL Finals to fill in the time.

 

2015 Final

The inaugural 2014/15 season of the CHL saw 44 teams battle their way through the Group Stage and elimination rounds before just two Finalists remained – Luleå Hockey and the Frölunda Indians.

Frölunda were first to draw blood in the all-Swedish Final thanks to Joel Lundqvist’s goal just 17 seconds into the match and they even managed to go two goals up by the end of the first period.

Everything looked under control, but an amazing four-goal comeback from Luleå in the final period shattered Frölunda’s dreams of winning the title, as Luleå were crowned Champions.

 

2016 Final

The second season of the CHL featured even more teams with 48 in total and with four elimination rounds leading to the Final, there was no room for mistakes.

The two teams that lined up for the Final that year were Finnish club Kärpät Oulu and previous finalists Frölunda who were back for revenge.

Similarly to the previous final, it was Frölunda who opened the scoring on the night and were two goals ahead by the end of the first period – just like the year before.

Luckily for them they didn’t lose their lead and ended up winning 2-1 to earn their first ever CHL title.

 

2017 Final

The 2016/17 CHL season ended with Frölunda facing Czech side Sparta Prague in the Final.

The Swedish club were in their third final in three years, while Sparta became the first non-Scandinavian team to make it that far.

The game on Frölunda’s home ice was tied 3-3 in regulation, after Sparta let a lead slip.

Both teams geared up for overtime but just one and a half minutes in, Frölunda’s Nicklas Lasu found the back of Tomáš Pöpperle’s net to give Frölunda their second title and leave Sparta players in shock.

 

2018 Final

The 2017/18 season was the first under the current 32 team format with a four-stage elimination round and is currently the only year a non-Swedish team have won the title.

Czech teams were especially strong that year, with both Oceláři Třinec and Bilí Tygři Liberec making the Semi-Finals, while Frölunda exited as early as the Round of 16 – this is the only season the Swedish club haven’t featured in the Final.

But in the end it was another all-Nordic final as Finnish team JYP Jyväskylä faced Swedish side Växjö Lakers in the final match of the season.

A scoreless opening period kept both teams on edge but with a man advantage in the second period, the Finns utilised the advantage and scored first.

They dug deep determined to not concede leaving Växjö no choice but to pull their goaltender in the final minutes of the match. Janne Kolehmainen’s empty-net goal just seconds before the final buzzer finalised the score to 2-0 to win JYP their first and only CHL title.

 

2019 Final

Last year we saw Frölunda make a dramatic return to winning ways after missing the previous Final to face German side Red Bull Munich, who made their first and only Final appearance by defying the odds in the elimination rounds fighting their way through. Over 12 000 fans gathered in Frölunda’s home arena – the Scandinavium, to witness Frölunda’s 3-1 win over Munich, as the home side lifter their third title in five years to mark themselves as the most successful team in CHL history.

 

2019 Final Game Highlights

 

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