The quarterfinals of the 2015-16 Champions Hockey League have been played and four team have advanced to the semifinals. We got to experience some great hockey action during the quarterfinals when four Finnish teams, one Swiss team and three Swedish teams fought for four spots in the next round.
Highlights from the quarterfinals (bold teams set for semifinals)
This matchup was a replay of the final last year when Luleå won the Champions Hockey League 2014-15. Luleå won the first quarterfinal at home and a shootout was needed to separate the teams in the second game, in Gothenburg. Frölunda draw the longer straw at the shootout, with Andreas Johnson scoring in the last round. This game was one of the best we have seen so far in the Champions Hockey League. Both teams wanted to win and gave everything.
Skellefteå – Davos
Davos did what many Swedish teams have failed to do: They went to Skellefteå in northern Sweden and won. Having an 1 goal advantage with them from the first game, Davos also won the second game, 1-3. This was extremely important for the tournament, meaning a larger part of Europe is included in the top four, not just Swedish and Finnish teams.
Lukko Rauma – TPS Turku
One of two all-Finnish quarterfinals. Both games were tight, ending tied at full-time. As in the game between Frölunda-Luleå, this quarterfinal also had to be decided by a shootout. Turo Asplund scored the only goal at the shootouts, giving his Lukko Rauma a place in the semifinals.
Kärpät Oulu – Espoo Blues
Espoo had a two goal advantage from the first quarterfinal in this second all-Finnish showdown. Julius Junttila changed that. He played his best hockey in the return game, scoring three goals and performing two assist in Kärpät’s 5-1 victory. Juntilla is a 24-year old forward, born in Oulu. Now he has brought his team into the semifinals!
Tuesday, 12 January
Lukko Rauma – Kärpät Oulu
HC Davos – Frölunda Gothenburg
Tuesday, 19 January
Kärpät Oulu – Lukko Rauma
Frölunda Gothenburg – HC Davos