Yertis in with clean slate

Angers wins tight clash on home ice


Yertis Pavlodar forward Denis Klemeshov attempts to score on Ritten goaltender Christopher Holt. Photo: Massimo Pattis

ANGERS/RITTEN – The four teams for the 2015 Continental Cup Super Final are known. Yertis Pavlodar was the only team with a clean record and advances from Group D together with Bremerhaven. Angers won Group E on home ice and will be joined to the final by Neman Grodno.

Yertis Pavlodar started Group D in Ritten, Italy, with a tight 3-2 win over the Fischtown Pinguins Bremerhaven. Fighting back from a two-goal deficit, Alexei Vorontsov, Robert Huna and Tomas Vak contributed to the Kazakh champion’s win with three third period goals. Vak’s game-winning goal came with 2:05 left in regulation time when the teams were playing 4-on-4.

After a 4-1 over the Herning Blue Fox on the second day, Yertis needed one more win against host Ritten Sport on Sunday and blanked the Italians 4-0 with a three-goal effort in the first period.

Yertis had a convincing performance in Ritten also thanks to the individual skill of its key players, especially the Slovak and Czech imports such as scoring leaders Martin Hujsa, Richard and Robert Huna, defenceman Martin Cakajik and goalkeeper Marek Pinc.

“We have shown that we went to the tournament well prepared,” said Yertis’ Slovak coach Julius Penzes on the team’s official website. “I think we deservedly won, not only today but in the whole tournament.”

On the last day the battle for advancing to the finals as second-placed team was still open. Bremerhaven had the best chance after beating host Ritten Sport 2-1 in a shootout on Saturday night. Italian national team player Luca Ansoldi tied the game with 17 seconds left in regulation time but Andrew McPherson scored the shootout winner after six rounds of game-winning shots.

Thanks to Yertis’ win over Ritten on Sunday all that Bremerhaven needed was a victory against winless Herning, which it did, 2-1 with another game-winning goal from McPherson, this time in regulation.

The Angers Ducs were the winner of the other third-round group played during the weekend in a tight race that did not only challenged the players but also required some mathematical skill with three teams having the same number of points and a neutral goal difference from the head-to-head games.

Angers began the tournament by blanking Polish champion KH Sanok 4-0 and edging the Belfast Giants 2-1 thanks to two first-period goals from the tournament’s scoring leader Cody Campbell and 34 saves from Jean-Sebastien Aubin.

That brought the Frenchmen in a comfortable situation for the last day. One point against Neman Grodno for a regulation-time time would be sufficient to win the event or in the worst case a loss by a margin of not more than one goal.

Angers had the better start with Guillaume Lefebvre and Johan Skinnars scoring the 1-0 and 2-1 lead for the hosts but the Belarusians fought back. Latvian national player Aleksejs Sirokovs tied the game and three unanswered goals from Vyacheslav Lisichkin, Vladimir Mikhailov and Yegor Stepanov made it a 4-2 lead for Neman Grodno, which would mean the Belarusians would advance.

However, three minutes later Michael Busto cut the lead to 4-3 and Neman’s one-goal lead, which was enough for Angers to win the tournament, remained until the end.

“The goal was to qualify [for the next round]. We lost the battle but we won the war by qualifying tonight,” Angers coach Real Paiement told

Neman Grondo lost first place due to one goal but won second place, which in this case indeed was indeed a win. The Belarusians advance to the final tournament together with Angers.

The Belfast Giants had bad luck in the end. They had started the event hopefully with a 1-0 win over Neman Grodno with the only goal coming from Mike Kompon and two markers from Grodno disallowed but lost 2-1 to Angers on the second day. The goal difference and the small number of goals scored in the head-to-head games were not enough to finish better than third place in the tight three-team battle.

The final tournament with Yertis Pavlodar, the Angers Ducs, Neman Grodno and the Fischtown Pinguins Bremerhaven will take place 9-11 January 2015. The venue will be determined next week.

As of this season the IIHF Continental Cup will also determine a qualifier for the Champions Hockey League. The best team from the Super Final – except for Bremerhaven, which cannot qualify due to playing only in the second-tier league of its country – will play in the Champions Hockey League in the 2015/2016 season.

Scores & Stats: Group D, Group E

Copyright IIHF. All rights reserved.
By accessing pages, you agree to abide by IIHF
Terms and Conditions | Privacy Policy