ROUEN – Donbass Donetsk extends its winning streak in European club hockey to five games after defeating Italian champion Asiago Hockey 5-1 in the 2014 IIHF Continental Cup Super Final.
After this win and defeating the Stavanger Oilers in a shootout on Friday, the Ukrainians can defend the title on Sunday in the last game of the tournament against host Rouen Dragons.
“Yesterday [against Stavanger] our guys didn’t skate enough. I talked to the guys that this tournament is important for the club and the club’s history and they understood,” Donbass coach Andrei Nazarov said about his team’s strong reaction in the beginning of the game.
Marc Zanette had the first big scoring chance for Asiago after half a minute of play but at 4:28 it was Vaclav Nedorost who scored the opening goal for Donbass Donetsk when the Ukrainian offence started to dominate the opponents’ zone.
At 12:31, five seconds into the first power play, Oleg Piganovich made it a 2-0 game and 80 seconds later it was 3-0 after a marker from Clay Wilson.
While the Italians were strong at outskating yesterday’s opponent Rouen on counter-attacks, Asiago didn’t have the means to stage a comeback against a strong Donbass team on Saturday evening. While Asiago desperately needed a goal, it was the Ukrainians, who dominated the scoreless second period with a 16-5 shot-on-goal advantage.
“They have much more depth than we have. They have players with NHL experience,” Asiago’s league scoring leader Christopher di Domenico said.
“We tried to win, we didn’t try not to lose bad but I think we gave them a game,” Asiago coach John Parco said. “We were a little bit nervous in the first period. For many players it was the first time to play against an opponent of that calibre. Maybe it would have been a tighter game if we had played from the beginning like we played in the last 40 minutes.”
Yevgeni Dadonov scored the fourth Donbass goal after skating through the Asiago defence at 11:00 of the third frame but 36 seconds later André Signoretti scored the consolation goal for the Italians. With three minutes left left, captain Ruslan Fedotenko restored the four-goal lead and the game ended with a 5-1 victory for Donbass.
With five points from two games, Donbass Donetsk is on the right path to defend the title, but after three out of six games played in the tournament, all four teams still have the theoretical chance to win the Continental Cup. This will change after tonight’s game between the winless teams Stavanger Oilers and Rouen Dragons.
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