DONETSK – Donbass Donetsk remains undefeated in the 2013 IIHF Continental Cup Super Final after blanking the Bolzano Foxes 3-0.
Donbass Donetsk is now in pole position for the tournament win but also Metallurg Zhlobin and defending champion Rouen Dragons are still in the run.
The Donbass Donetsk players impressed with their skill and speed from the very first second. But despite numerous huge scoring opportunities, the Bolzano Foxes managed to defend the cage of Tomas Duba well for a long time.
“It was a difficult game for us, Bolzano played pretty well,” Donbass head coach Julius Supler said. “We tried our best and the third period was the best for us.”
It took until late in the first period when Lukas Kaspar brought his team on the scoreboard. With 3:29 left before the first intermission, Kaspar was left alone in front of the net and converted a diagonal pass from Sergi Varlamov to open the scoring. The period ended with the 1-0 lead for Donbass and with 13-3 shots in favour of the Ukrainian champion.
Donbass didn’t play with the same intensity in the second period and the Italians had more opportunities to score. Donbass netminder Jan Laco had more work and remained the winner in two one-on-one situations to defend his clean record in the tournament.
However, with 2:11 left in the middle frame, Denis Kochetkov scored the second goal the fans at the Druzhba Arena had long been waiting for. Kaspar brought the puck to Bolzano’s zone and after his side pass, Kochetkov just needed to shoot the puck into an empty net.
Donbass Donetsk continued to dominate the game in the third period but all together and with outstanding goaltending the Bolzano Foxes managed to keep the score low.
Vitali Donika probably had the biggest chance when his shot after 12 minutes of play in the third period hit the crossbar. Eventually defenceman Clay Wilson netted the Ukrainians’ third goal with 3:39 left in regulation time.
“Overall I’m very proud of our team. You saw a better view of Bolzano and how they can play compared to yesterday,” said Bolzano head coach Brian McCutcheon. “We knew we’re playing a very good team. We talked about turnovers and unfortunately they’re the type of team that would capitalize on that.“
The game ended with another shutout for Laco, who saved all 14 shots on his goal while Duba saved 40 of 43 shots.
Three teams still in the run
Donbass Donetsk remains the only undefeated team after two days, but theoretically three teams are still running for first place on Sunday.
Donbass Donetsk now needs one more point – a victory or a loss in overtime or shootout against the Rouen Dragons – to win the Continental Cup.
If Metallurg Zhlobin defeats the Bolzano Foxes in the early game on Sunday, the Belarusians will still have the chance to win the event in a three-team tie. If Metallurg Zhlobin wins in regulation time and Rouen defeats Donbass in regulation time with a margin of three goals or less, Metallurg Zhlobin would win the tournament. In the case of a three-team tie, the Rouen Dragons could win the tournament only if they defeat Donbass Donetsk with a margin of at least four goals in the late game on Sunday.
“Of course we want to win the game and the tournament and we have all possibilities to do it,” commented Donbass coach Supler.