Schedule, Champions Hockey League, 2015-16, Round of 32

Ice Hockey

The group stage in CHL is over and the Round of 32 has been drawn. Last year’s champions, Luleå, got a tough opponent in Swedish Färjestad. Färjestad is a classic Swedish team that is aiming for the top in Swedish Hockey League (SHL) this year. They missed the play off in SHL last year for the first time since 1994. Luleå has two goals this year: To win the SHL and the Champions Hockey League. Växjö, who won SHL last year, also got Swedish opposition in form of the capital team Djurgården. The play offs are being decided by two games. The first game is played September 22 and the second October 6.

Match-ups, CHL Round of 32

HV 71-Trinec
Adler Mannheim-Espoo Blues
HC Davos–IFK Helsingfors
ZSC Lions Zürich – Sparta Prag
Stavanger Oilers – Eisbären Berlin
Storhamar–Red Bull Salzburg
TPS Åbo–Jyp Jyväskylä
HC Litvinov–Vienna Capitals
Red Bull Munich–Lukko Rauma
We have some interesting match-ups this year with many good teams. Although, it all comes back to motivation since the CHL haven’t quite got a breakthrough yet. Slowly but steady the tournament will gain more prestige though. The Swedish teams that are participating (HV71, Linköping, Skellefteå, Frölunda, Växjö, Djurgården, Luleå, Färjestad) are all quality teams. From these, at least Luleå, Skellefteå, Växjö and last year’s finalist Frölunda should be able to battle for the tournament victory. We have also some of the Finnish teams among the candidates for gold in the CHL. Below is a list of number of teams per country:
Sweden (8)
Finland (8)
Germany (5)
Czech Republic (3)
Switzerland (2)
Norway (2)
Slovakia (2)
Austria (2)
We are looking forward to another season of entertaining European Hockey during the 2015/2016 Champions Hockey League. If we are to pick a winner we think that Luleå HF will be the champions this year again, if they can eliminate their countrymen from Färjestad in the Round of 32.

Champions Hockey League 2015/16: Group draw

Ice Hockey

Luleå HF won the 2014/15 Champions Hockey League after winning an all-Swedish final against Frölunda HC. This year they play in group 11 against Finnish Lukko Rauma and Swiss club Fribourg. The preliminary phase is played in 16 groups with three teams in each. Two teams from every group will go through to the play offs, round of 16. The teams are facing each other two times, away and at home. Below are the results from the group draw for next season’s Champions Hockey League together with comments. The tournament is played parallel with the European national hockey leagues and the results will of course be dependent on how motivated the teams are to go in for the tournament.

Group 1
Bern (Switzerland)
Linköping (Sweden)
IFK Helsingfors (Finland)

Comment: One of the toughest groups, if not the toughest in the tournament with three good teams.

Group 2
Tappara (Finland)
Zug (Switzerland)
Djurgården (Sweden)

Comment: Another tough group with three teams from big hockey nations.

Group 3
Salzburg (Austria)
HV71 (Sweden)
Sønderjyske (Denmark)

Comment: HV71 should be able to reach the play offs from this group.

Group 4
Skellefteå (Sweden)
Liberec (Czech Republic)
Nitra (Slovakia)

Comment: Swedish silver medalist Skellefteå should have no problems going through from this group.

Group 5
Davos (Switzerland)
Pardubice (Czech Republic)
Färjestad (Sweden)

Comment: Davos is not a bad team but Färjestad should be able to win this group..

Group 6
Litvínov (Czech Republic)
Blues (Finland)
Grenoble (France)

Comment: Finnish Blues are the strongest team of group 6.

Group 7
Linz (Austria)
Düsseldorf (Germany)
TPS (Finland)

Comment: TPS will go through from this group.

Group 8
München (Germany)
Klagenfurt (Austria)
Košice (Slovakia)

Comment: Košice has a good opportunity to reach the round of 16..

Group 9
Adler Mannheim (Germany)
Vítkovice (Czech Republic)
Neman Grodno (Belarus)

Comment: Based on the result from the Belarus league and cup, Neman Grodno should come out as the stronger team here..

Group 10
Kärpät (Finland)
Vienna Capitals (Austria)
Krefeld (Germany)

Comment: Kärpät will secure the primary spot before Vienna..

Group 11
Lukko (Finland)
Luleå (Sweden)
Fribourg (Switzerland)

Comment: Tough group for last year’s champions Luleå. They should reach the play offs together with Finnish Lukko.

Group 12
Třinec (Czech Republic)
Kalpa (Finland)
Stavanger (Norway)

Comment: Warning for Norwegian multiple champions Stavanger..

Group 13
Sparta Prag (Czech Republic)
Genève (Switzerland)
Storhamar (Norway)

Comment: A hard group to predict. While Storhamar got the second place in the Norwegian league it is hard to tell how they will do against international competition.

Group 14
Frölunda (Sweden)
Jyp (Finland)
Sheffield (Great Britain)

Comment: Good draw for last year finalist Frölunda. They and Jyp will reach the play offs.

Group 15
Växjö (Sweden)
Ingolstadt (Germany)
Braehead (Great Britain)

Comment: A dream draw for Swedish champions Växjö Lakers.

Group 16
ZSC Lions (Switzerland)
Eisbären Berlin (Germany)
Gap (France)

Comment: ZSC and Berlin will reach the play offs. Gap won’t.

Sweden vs Sweden in the Champions Hockey League Final 2015

Team Sweden

Today the second leg of the Champions Hockey League semifinals were played and here are the results:

Luleå 3-2 Skellefteå (total 5-4)

After the first leg the score was 2-2 between the two Swedish teams before the decisive game in Luleå. In the first period the home team took the 1-0 lead after five minutes of play. A couple of minutes later the guests could score the equalizer making it 1-1. However, Luleå came back and could take the lead again. 2-1 before the second period. In the middle period Luleå came out as the stronger team in power play and scored 3-1. In the third period they controlled the game, but Skellefteå could reduce the lead to 3-2 in boxplay (!). However, Luleå could keep it tight and finish the game with a man advantage the last minute. They are in the Champions Hockey League final now!

Kärpät 3-2 Frölunda (total 5-6)

After the first leg the score was 4-2 in favor of Swedish Frölunda against Finnish Kärpät. In the return meeting the Finns took the command in power play in the first period: 1-0. Frölunda scored the equalizer, that too in power play and the score was tied after the first period. After a scoreless second period the home team put in a higher gear in the third period, making it both 2-1 and 3-1. The total score now was 5-5 and the game went to overtime. Five minutes in to the overtime period Frölundas Erik Gustavsson could decide the game in power play, making the total score 6-5 to the Swedes.

The final is played 3rd of February, we’re looking forward to crown the 2015 European Ice Hockey Champions!