ZURICH – The third round of the 2008-2009 IIHF Continental Cup will be played this weekend in Bolzano, Italy, and Liepaja, Latvia.
After this weekend’s tournaments, the Super Final, in Rouen, France will be set. The Rouen Dragons and MHC Martin (Slovakia) are already pre-qualified and will meet the two winners of the third-round groups.Group D
will be played in Liepaja, Latvia’s third-biggest city.
- Liepajas Metalurgs is the host. The team won the Latvian championship last season. This year, the best teams of the Latvian league play a joint regular season in the Belarusian Extraliga. The Latvian clubs are not doing well as Liepaja is the best-ranked team as number eight. Liepaja won 12 out of 23 games.
- Belarusian champion Keramin Minsk is also struggling in the league. Ranked sixth, Keramin has 13 wins in 23 games but recently added Slovakian goalkeeper Matus Kostur from the KHL’s Dynamo Minsk. Keramin has met Liepaja twice this season with each team winning at home.
- Kazakhstan’s Gornyak Rudny is making its first appearance in European competition. They finished second last year in the Ural group of the third-tier Russian league, but are in ninth place in the 20-team league with nine wins in 20 games. They are in third place in the six-team Kazakh league.
- Sokil Kyiv won the second-round Continental Cup tournament in Elektrenai, Lithuania, with a 3-0 record. Sokil has its first team in the second-tier Russian league, Vysshaya Liga, where they’re in second place in the Western group. The Ukrainian champion, which wants to join the KHL next season, has 24 wins in 28 games.
takes place in Bolzano in the North of Italy. All Bolzano games will be broadcast on www.hcb.net
- Italian champions Bolzano Foxes are again on the top of the Serie A standings with 11 wins in 14 games. Canadian scoring leader Kenny Corupe has 28 points (13+15) so far.
- British champion Coventry Blaze also tops the standings with 15 wins in 19 games. The Blaze currently have the strongest offence with 84 goals and four players in the league’s top-10 in scoring with Adam Calder, Sylvain Deschatelets, Dan Carlson and Jonathan Weaver.
- HDK Maribor qualified for the semi-finals in the Slovenian league last year where they lost to Acroni Jesenice, which also played in the Austrian league, 0-1 and 1-8. In the ten-team Slovenian league, they’re currently in second place with 14 wins in 17 games.
- Dunaujvaros was the regular season winner of the Hungarian league last season but lost the semi-finals to Romanian team HC Miercurea Ciuc. They already started the Continental Cup in the second round where they won the tournament in... Miercurea Ciuc, with a 3-0 record. It was nice revenge as in the Hungarian league, they’re currently ranked behind both teams from the Romanian city, being sixth in the ten-team league with 11 wins in 21 games.