MIERCUREA CIUC/KRAKOW – Poland’s Cracovia Krakow and HYS The Hague from the Netherlands advanced in the Continental Cup after winning the second-round tournaments. Both teams clinched the tournament wins after playing just two games.Group B: Dutchmen fly to third round
Dutch champion The Hague surprised the Romanian host on opening night with a 4-3 victory. Ervin Moldovan scored first for SC Miercurea Ciuc after five minutes, but The Hague responded with three goals in 89 seconds.
Miercurea Ciuc tied to come back, but scored only one goal on 19 shots in the second period as the game ended with a Dutch win.
After a 6-2 victory against Hungary’s Ujpest Budapest, a 9-1 win against FC Barcelona on the final day of action was meaningless for The Hague.
The imports were the key to The Hague’s success. Marcel Bruinsma, a Canadian-born Dutchman, and Czech forward Jan Bohac had six and five points respectively. But it was Alexander Selivanov who stole the show. The Russian forward had five points (3+2) and an impressive +9 in three games.
Second-ranked Miercurea Ciuc won its last two games and had the scoring leader with Levente Hozo (3+4=7 points), but the loss on opening night was the key. Ujpest finished in third place, winning against Barcelona, 9-3.
The Hague will play in Bolzano, Italy, in Group D with the Bolzano Foxes, the Sheffield Steelers (Great Britain) and HDK Maribor (Slovenia).
It’s only the second time in the 13-year history of the Continental Cup that a Dutch team is qualified to the third stage. In 2007, the Tilburg Trappers advanced to the third round.Click here for boxscores of Group B.Group C: Cracovia convinced home crowd
In the other group is was also the opening night that proved to be crucial as host Cracovia Krakow earned a win against Sary-Arka Karaganda from Kazakhstan.
2,200 fans saw Cracovia’s Leszek Laszkiewicz score twice as he pushed Cracovia on to a 3-2 win. On the second day, Cracovia beat Estonia’s Tartu Kalev-Välk, 9-3, sealing the tournament win.
Carovia’s game on Sunday against Lithuania’s Energija Elektrenai ended with a 7-5 victory but it was not without drama as head coach Rudolf Rohacek was sick and was replaced by assistant coach Andrzej Pasiut.
Sary-Arka finished in second place after beating Energija Elektrenai (4-1) and Tartu (8-0). Tartu won the Baltic meeting against Elektrenai on the opening day 3-2 in overtime.
“We really enjoyed the tournament and that we won all three games. We were curious how strong we would be and it turned out pretty well,” said Leszek Laszkiewicz, the tournament MVP. “We will play against highly professional and dangerous teams in the next round. We’ll need to play strong in every game.”
Cracovia Krakow will travel to Liepaja, Latvia, for the third round. facing host Liepajas Metalurgs, Sokil Kyiv (Ukraine) and Red Bull Salzburg (Austria).Click here for boxscores of Group C.
Both third-round groups will be played from 27-29 November 2009. The group winners advance to the Super Final in Grenoble, France, 15-17 January 2010. The host team Grenoble Brûleurs de Loups and Belarusian champion Yunost Minsk are pre-qualified for the Super Final.Click here to see the 2009-2010 IIHF Continental Cup structure.