The Champions Hockey League is down to the final four. Metallurg will host Salavat Yulayev in Magnitogorsk in the first semi-final, while the Espoo Blues visit the ZSC Lions in Rapperswil-Jona. This after Zurich’s massive and unexpected 5-1 win in Prague.
Champions Hockey League semifinals – December 10 & January 7Semi-final 1
– December 10, 2008
Metallurg Magnitogorsk – Salavat Yulayev Ufa (in Magnitogorsk, RUS)
ZSC Lions Zurich – Espoo Blues (in Rapperswil-Jona, SUI)Semi-final 2
– January 7, 2009
Salavat Yulayev Ufa – Metallurg Magnitogorsk (in Ufa, RUS)
Espoo Blues – ZSC Lions Zurich (in Espoo, FIN)Note:
The Group Stage record determined which team earned home-ice advantage in the second game.Group A:
Eisbären Berlin (GER, 2W-1OTW-1L) – Metallurg Magnitogorsk (RUS, 3W-1L) 2 – 1
Andy Roach and Denis Pederson provided Berlin with a 2-0 lead half way through the game. They held on to inflict the first loss on a Russian team in the CHL. Tomas Rolinek replied for Metallurg, but Eisbären won and finished second in the group. Game report
HV71 Jönköping (SWE, 1W-3L) – Espoo Blues (FIN, 4W-0L) 0 – 6
Sami Ryhanen had two goals and one assist and Tero Konttinen added a pair as the Espoo Blues kept a perfect record going to the semi-finals. The win against a lethargic HV71 secured home-ice advantage in the second semi-final game on January 7. Espoo starts the semis against the ZSC Lions in Rapperswil-Jona next Wednesday. Austrian goalie Bernd Bruckler had his first CHL shut-out. Game
Salavat Yulayev Ufa (RUS, 4W-0L) – Slovan Bratislava (SVK, 1W-3L) 8 – 2
Salavat Yulayev Ufa kept its perfect CHL record in tact. The win forced Metallurg Magnitogorsk to win by eleven goals in Berlin to grab home-ice advantage in the second semi-final and that was not to be.
Andrei Sidyakin scored a pair while leading a four-goal second-period outburst to change the score to 5-2 prior to second intermission. Andrei Taratukhin, Leos Cermak and Andrei Kuteykin added third-period tallies to run up the score to 8-2. Game
Slavia Prague (CZE, 2W-1OTW-1L) – ZSC Lions Zurich (SUI, 3W-1OTL) 1 - 5
An impressive and huge win for the Swiss, who were outshot 52-22, but goalie Ari Sulander was a force. Swiss-Canadians Ryan Gardner and Jan Alston struck with two goals on two great shots 38 seconds apart midway through the third period to break a 1-1 deadlock at Prague’s O2 Arena. Gardner and Alston also got the two late security goals to make it 5-1. The Lions’ home game next Wednesday will be in neighboring Rapperswil-Jona as its home arena, the Hallenstadion, already had an event scheduled . Game
Go to www.championshockeyleague.com
for complete game summaries and the final standings of the clubs in all four
The home and away finals will be played on January 21 & 28.