Swedish team Frölunda, from Gothenburg reached the final of this year’s Champions Hockey League, just as in the 2014-15 season when they fell against Luleå. Just like last year, Frölunda got a quick 2-0 lead in the final, and just like last year their opponents reduced the lead in the final period. There, eventual similarities subside.
Frölunda beat Kärpät 2-1
The final was played in Uleåborg, against Finnish team Kärpät. Frölunda made the final by reaching the maximum possible points in the group stage where they were drawn against Finnish JYP and British Sheffield Steelers. In the first playoff round they eliminated German Ingolstadt followed by Finnish Tappara in the round of 16. The Quarter-final was a repeat of last year’s final and this time Frolunda won against Lulea after a shootout. In the semi-final against Swiss Davos, who sensationally knocked out Skelleftea, Frölunda had some problems in the first game, which ended with a 1-1 tie. However, away, Frölunda managed to get a comfortable 5-0 victory.
Kärpäts also got all possible points in the group stage (against Vienna and Krefeld). In the first playoff round they dismissed Dusseldorf relatively easily while they had to work significantly harder to defeat Prague with a total of 6-5 (2-4 disadvantage from the first leg) in the round of 16. The quarter-final became an all-Finnish showdown where Kärpät eliminated Espoo Blues. There were also two teams in the semifinal where Lukko Rauma was defeated by the odd goal.
In the final, Frölunda got the best start. Ryan Lasch and Spencer Abbott scored both the 1 and 2-0 in the end of the period. No goals were scored in the second period. In the third, Kärpät fought for tying the game and they also managed to reduce Frölunda’s lead by 1, after a lucky bounce that found the net behind Lars Johansson. Kärpät tried to go for the equalized, but failed against Frölunda’s efficient defensive play. The gold in this year’s CHL went to Gothenburg which we have to say are worthy winners. We conclude another chapter in the history of the CHL with a new Swedish gold. We look forward to following the development of the Champions Hockey League next season!
More info: www.championshockeyleague.net