Luleå had a solid 3-0 lead against Färjestad from the first leg in the round of 32 in Champions Hockey League. We predicted an easy game at home in the second leg. We were wrong.
Färjestad tied the series in the second period
Luleå played a sloppy game sometimes, with lots of unnecessary penalties. Färjestad went into the second period with a 0-1 lead. In 12 minutes they had tied the series to 3-3. Luleå continued to play sloppy and commiting mistakes in their own zone. They have had a rough start in Swedish Hockey League (SHL) as well. In the third period, the home team got to play five-against-three but failed to convert. However, on a counterattack 9 minutes into the third period, Brendan Mikkelson was able to reduce Färjestad’s lead to 1-3 which meant a 4-3 total score in favor of Luleå. 1-3 became the final result and Luleå managed to push through to the round of 16.
Schedule, round of 16
The round of 16 in Champions Hockey League is played 3rd and 8th of November:
Espoo Blues – HV71
Sparta Prag – Oulin Kärpät
TPS Åbo – Storhamar
Djurgården – Lukko Rauma
Bili Tygri Liberec – Davos
Eisbären Berlin – Skellefteå AIK
Litvinov – Frölunda
Luleå – Tappara
If we take a look at the play off tree we can see that Sweden and Finland are dominating the play offs with five teams each, followed by Chech Republic with three teams. Norway has one, Switzerland one and Germany one team left in the tournament. The right half of the tree is dominated by Swedish teams, including the finalists from last year (Luleå and Frölunda). At the left half we find four Finnish teams. Chances are the final will be a rival meeting between Sweden and Finland. However, it will be interesting to follow the other European team’s as well. Berlin and Davos might be able to reach the final with a little luck. It is important for the tournament and European ice hockey that many countries are represented and that it just won’t be a showdown between the larger hockey nations each year.