ROUEN – The Stavanger Oilers remain in the race for the Continental Cup winners’ plate, while the Rouen Dragons are out of contention after losing 6-2 to the Norwegians.
Petter Røste Fossen and Tommy Kristiansen scored two goals apiece in the Oilers’ first win after having gained a point from a shootout loss to Donbass Donetsk on Friday.
The chances of winning the tournament are rather thin though. The Oilers need to earn two more points from tomorrow’s game against Asiago Hockey than Donbass Donetsk in the evening game against the Rouen Dragons, who are out from the race for first place after two defeats.
“The win feels good. We had a good start in both games. It’s good that we scored the first goal and then we changed momentum,” said Stavanger native and Oilers goalkeeper Ruben Smith.
“It was a good atmosphere here and nice to play. Tomorrow we can only do our part. We have to beat Asiago and if we win anything can happen. You never know.”
Tournament hosts Rouen Dragons wanted to show a stronger reaction on Day 2 after a heavy 6-0 defeat to Italian champion Asiago Hockey on Friday.
“I know we are capable of winning the other two games and then everything is still possible,” coach Rodolphe Garnier said before the game.
Unfortunately for his team, the game against Stavanger didn’t begin any better than the one against Asiago. One day after the Italian lesson, the French, who won the Continental Cup on home ice two years ago, also had trouble gaining momentum against the Norwegians.
The Oilers didn’t. Stian Høygård capitalized on a lucky bounce when Rouen lost the puck in its own zone and received a pass to the crease from Dan Kissel at 8:15.
While looking for the equalizer the Rouen Dragons were hit on the counter and suffered a déjà vu from yesterday’s game.
At 16:19 Kristiansen made it 2-0 and two-and-a-half minutes later Røste Fossen capitalized on a breakaway for the three-goal lead.
“We played better [than yesterday] but we were again outplayed. We lost too many one-on-ones and didn’t capitalize on our chances. It hurts to concede 12 goals in two games,” said Rouen captain Marc-André Thinel.
“We lack speed. The speed we have in the French championship is not enough at this level. But we won’t give up. We are proud. It will be a difficult game tomorrow [against Donbass Donetsk] but we want to give our fans a spectacle.”
The middle frame started with a Norwegian power play which Stavanger’s Kissel converted for the early 4-0 goal.
Four minutes later the Dragons fans were finally able to celebrate their team’s first goal of the tournament when Thinel cut the deficit on a quick attack. The goal brought the ambiance and confidence back into the Dragons’ den. The French created several high-calibre scoring chances until Thinel capitalized on one for the 4-2 marker at 7:51 and forced Oilers coach Petter Thoresen to call for a time-out.
Thoresen didn’t talk too long to his players but he managed to calm them down and return the team’s solid defence. The score remained until the end of the period and Stavanger extended the lead at 4:41 of the third period when Kristiansen capitalized on a power play. Two minutes later Røste Fossen’s 6-2 goal destroyed Rouen’s hopes to regain the title.
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