Frolunda back on the throne
by Risto Pakarinen|05 FEB 2019
Brandon Gormley and Ryan Lasch of Frolunda Gothenburg celebrate the 2-0 goal during the Champions Hockey League Final against Red Bull Munich.
photo: Michael Erichsen / Bildbyran / Cop 89
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Not many things can come between Joel Lundqvist and a Champions Hockey League title. The Frolunda captain collected two assists, and goaltender Johan Gustafsson made 34 saves as the Swedes cruised to their third CHL championship with a 3-1 victory over Red Bull Munich. 
Some players never get to play a championship final like this, at home. Our goal has been to win this tournament, so naturally we're happy and proud of our achievement.
Joel Lundqvist
Frolunda captain
“We’ve had some tough weeks behind us, and it was good to see the whole team get up for this big game,” Lundqvist said with a gold medal hanging around his neck. 
 
Frolunda’s Ryan Lasch won the 2018/19 CHL scoring title, with 22 points in 13 games. Munich’s Trevor Parkes was named the competition’s MVP.

“Our power play worked tonight, they were good five-on-five,” said Lasch, who scored the game-winning goal on power play. A few days ago, he told IIHF.com that he saw himself as a setup guy. 

“Of course I love to score goals and that was a big one,” he said. “He’s a great goalie but I had done a lot of studying, and scouting, so I knew what to do when I was in that spot.”
 
Scandinavium was glowing red hot in Gothenburg’s February darkness but the beautiful lighting was a good indication of the hot atmosphere inside the 12,044-seat arena.
 
The name of the game was simple. Either Red Bull Munich would become the first German club team to win a European title or Frolunda Gothenburg would claim their third CHL title and tie Metallurg Magnitogorsk for most European titles in the post-Soviet era. 
 
The first ten minutes of the game delivered a promise of a close game, at the top of European hockey. Munich was aggressive and with an early power play giving them extra support, they pushed Frolunda onto their heels early on.
 
About halfway through the period, Frolunda got their first power-play opportunity, and Samuel Fagermo fired a slapshot that only a teenager oozing with self confidence can shoot, and beat 2018 Olympic Best Goaltender Danny aus den Birken high on the glove side. Aus den Birken came into the final with a 93.3 save percentage.
In the first period, Fagermo seemed to be everywhere, creating havoc in the Munich zone, but for a long time without results. 

“He’s going to be a good player. He’s only 18, and he’s just so confident and probably the biggest guy coming up here now,” Lasch noted. 
 
In the second period the game slowed down, and Frolunda took over, but couldn’t convert on their chances five-on-five. Fortunately for the Swedes, their power play was firing on all cylinders.
 
Four minutes into the period, captain Joel Lundqvist set Ryan Lasch up with a chance up close. With no Red Bull Munich defencemen closeby, the American winger one-timed the puck through aus den Birken’s five-hole, extending his lead in the CHL scoring race.
Ten minutes later, Lasch and Lundqvist were at it again as the puck went around the Munich zone, four Frolunda players passing it in a tic-tac-toe fashion before Pontus Westerholm deflected Simon Hjalmarsson’s hard pass into the net, giving the hosts a three-goal lead going into the final period 
 
Munich had a golden opportunity to get back into the game when they got to play 5-on-3 for about 30 seconds, but the Frolunda penalty killers, and goaltender Gustafsson, stood tall. With 1.40 remaining, Gustafsson made a huge glove save that brought the crown onto their feet. 
 
Coach Roger Ronnberg didn’t allow his team to take their foot off the pedal, and if anything, Frolunda was even more in control of the game than earlier. Munich needed a push, and halfway through the period, coach Don Jackson pulled aus den Birken to get a two-man advantage during a powerplay. 
 
That worked, and Yasin Ehliz made it a two-goal with a blistering wrister, with 8.31 remaining in the period.
 
But Frolunda managed to weather the storm, and Joel Lundqvist could look forward to hoisting the CHL trophy for the third time. Cue Queen.
 
“I’ve paid my dues…”

It was Frolunda’s third, and Lasch’s second CHL title. 

“This one is better than the first one (against Karpat) because we go to win it at home. We rewarded our fans with a big game,” he said. 

“We’ve battled all year, and it’s really great to win it. Now wee have a break so we can relax a little,” Lasch added. 

At their post-game celebration coach Ronnberg shouted to Lasch, “One more, one more."

Always one more. That’s what champs are made of.
Highlights Champions Hockey League Final: Frolunda Gothenburg vs. Red Bull Munich
Swedish powerhouse Frolunda Gothenburg cruised to their third Champions Hockey League title in four years with a 3-1 victory on home ice over Red Bull Munich.
SWE GER 05 FEB 2019