International Ice Hockey Federation

Red Machine starts undefeated

Red Machine starts undefeated

Russia wins in Helsinki, Slovakia in Augsburg

Published 25.04.2017 15:10 GMT+2 | Author Martin Merk
Red Machine starts undefeated
Russian won all games at the Karjala Tournament in Helsinki also thanks to Ilya Sorokin’s strong showing in the net. Photo: Andre Ringuette / HHOF-IIHF Images
Last weekend the first international break took place and was highlighted by the Karjala Tournament in Helsinki that was won by Russia.

The Red Machine started by shocking host Finland in Helsinki. It was a narrow game for two periods with Anatoli Golyshev opening the scoring midway through the first period and Miro Aaltonen tying it up for Sweden with a power-play marker in the middle frame.

However, in the last 11 minutes of the game the Russians scored four unanswered goals with Andrei Svetlakov getting the game winner at 9:51.

Russia started with a first-period lead against Sweden as well and eventually beat Tre Kronor 3-2. That set up a final with the Czech Republic.

The Czechs beat Sweden 6-3 in a game that was played on their ice in Plzen and continued with a 5-3 win against Finland in Helsinki. Especially Lukas Radil, who has played in many such tournaments but has never got the call for a World Championship, left his marks with three goals and five points during the tournament to become the scoring leader.

However, despite a 32-23 shot advantage for the Czechs they didn’t manage to bring the puck into Ilya Sorokin’s net a single time. That gave Sorokin a tournament-leading 98.18 save percentage from his two games.

After a scoreless opening frame the Russians found their winning ways with their special units. Vladimir Tkachyov opened the scoring with a shorthanded marker at 5:51 of the second period and at 17:03 Nikita Gusev capitalized on a power play. Midway through the third period Alexei Bereglazov scored the final goal to make it 3-0.

Host Finland was looking for consolation on the last day against archrival Sweden. It didn’t begin well in front of 8,022 fans at Hartwall Arena as a Swedish goal from Patrik Cehlin was given after a video review to give Tre Kronor a 1-0 first-period lead.

The Finnish Lions came out stronger for the second period with Joonas Kemppainen tying the game at 4:46. It was the beginning of a Finnish goal streak. Less than two minutes later Finland was leading 3-1 after two more goals from Miro Aaltonen and Mika Pyorala. The Swedes used their time-out but at 13:38 Veli-Matti Savinainen beat Niklas Swedberg again, which ended the evening for the Swedish goalie. Joel Lassinantti kept the net clean for the rest of the game that ended with Finland’s 4-1 win.

Slovakia wins Deutschland Cup

Slovakia won the Deutschland Cup in Germany. It wasn’t exactly an expected win as the Slovaks didn’t have the strongest roster but it came during a welcome time with the federation being in transition for the team coached by Zdeno Ciger, who was for the first time supported by Julius Supler. The 66-year-old veteran coach was hired as consultant.

On the first day the Slovaks improved throughout the game against Germany and got the lead through a Michal Cajkovsky’s marker midway through the game. Vladimir Dravecky extended the lead late in the third period but the game wasn’t over yet. With the goalie pulled Nicolas Krammer scored for Germany but one minute later Tomas Hrnka sealed the win with a shot into the empty net.

The most important win for the Slovaks came in the game against a Team Canada that was stronger than usual at this tournament. This time Canada did not mostly count on players from the German DEL but had also 13 KHL players on the roster and more Canadians from Finland and Sweden to scout potential candidates for the World Championship.

A strong Jaroslav Janus in the net and efficient forwards made the difference for the Slovaks. After Kevin Clark’s opening goal for Canada Andrej Kudrna skated toward the Canadian net on a counter-attack and fed Martin Gernet for the 1-1 marker. Midway through the second period Kudrna scored himself to give Slovakia the lead on a breakaway during a Canadian power play. However, soon after the man advantage Matt Ellison tied it for Canada just to see Adam Janosik score the 3-2 marker for Slovakia 40 seconds later. After Greg Scott’s game-tying goal in the third period and scoreless extra time the shootout had to decide in which Slovakia’s Dravecky was the only scorer.

The Slovaks needed one more win and got it on Sunday – 4-1 against Switzerland after three unanswered goals in the third period including two from Marcel Hascak.

Team Canada finished the event in second place with two wins. Kevin Clark finished the tournament as the leader in scoring (4) and goal scoring (3), Danny Taylor led all goaltenders with a 97.96 save percentage from his two starts.

Host Germany used its home tournament, in which up to 5,670 fans filled the stands in Augsburg, to test established as well as newer players for a potential roster spot at the 2017 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship the country will host in Cologne together with the French capital of Paris. It was the last games before the preparation camp in April and the team got at least the win against archrival Switzerland. The Swiss were leading twice but goals from Nicolas Krammer, Leonhard Pfoderl and Denis Reul led the home squad to a 3-2 win.

For Switzerland the first tournament with former Swedish NHL defenceman Tommy Albelin as an assistant coach to Patrick Fischer ended with zero points. The Swiss only scored three goals from 75 shots, got ten goals scored on despite allowing the fewest shots (60) and had zero goals scored from 11 power plays while allowing two shorthanded goals.

Belarus and Korea win EIHC events

Another tournament with top-division countries took place in Bled. For host Slovenia, recently promoted to play at the Worlds in Germany and France, it started well as the team earned a comeback win against Latvia. David Rodman tied the game with one second left and Rok Ticar scored the overtime winner at 4:39.

The Slovenes celebrated another win late in the game against France, 2-1, when Bostjan Golicic scored the game-winner with 11 seconds left in the third period.

However, Belarus stopped the hosts in the last game. After having blanked France 3-0 and Latvia 4-0, Belarus and Slovenia had a neck-and-neck race for tournament win. Anze Ropret and Anze Kuralt gave Slovenia a 2-0 lead in the second period but the Belarusians fought back and eventually Roman Graborenko tied the game at three with a power-play marker at 10:13 of the third period. After a scoreless overtime period Artyom Chernikov scored the game-winner for Belarus in the shootout.

Behind Belarus and Slovenia, Latvia earned a third-place finish. After two losses they blanked France 6-0 on the last day. For World Championship co-host France, which travelled to Bled with a roster focusing on players from the domestic league, it wasn’t a good start into the new season with zero points and Maurin Bouvet scoring the only goal in three games.

Another tournament of the Euro Ice Hockey Challenge took place in Budapest with teams from the top-two tiers of the World Championship program and a surprise winner.

The tournament started in two groups with host Hungary beating Poland, 2-1, and Denmark, 3-1, for the group win. 2018 Olympic host Korea succeeded in the other group. A 6-4 win against Austria and a 3-2 shootout loss to Italy was enough to win the group as Italy previously had lost to Austria.

In the game for tournament win Sang Hoon Shin gave Korea the lead but Karol Csanyi tied it up for Hungary before the end of the first period. The Koreans didn’t capitalize on their shot advantage in the first two periods but midway through the third period they regained the lead with a Min Ho Cho goal. The Hungarians battled for the equalizer but Canadian-Korean forward Michael Swift scored into the empty net with 51 seconds left in regulation time. The game ended with a 3-2 win for Korea after Istvan Terbocs had scored for Hungary with the final buzzer.

Austria blanked top-division nation Denmark 3-0 in the game for third place while Poland got fifth place after beating Italy 4-1 in the last game.

In other games a Latvian selection from the domestic league won the reborn Baltic Challenge Cup in the Estonian capital of Tallinn after beating its Baltic rivals. Host Estonia took second place after edging Lithuania 3-2 in the last game.

Norway travelled to Great Britain for a camp and beat the host in both games, 2-1 and 4-2. For Great Britain it was the first games in several years against a top-division country and the tight scores gave confidence for the country that will host the 2017 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship Division I Group B next spring in Belfast.

November International Break          
Euro Hockey Tour - Karjala-turnaus in Helsinki    
3 Nov.   Helsinki (FIN)   Russia  -  Finland 5-1
3 Nov.   Plzen (CZE)   Czech Rep.  -  Sweden 6-3
5 Nov.   Helsinki (FIN)   Sweden  -  Russia 2-3
5 Nov.   Helsinki (FIN)   Finland  -  Czech Rep. 3-5
6 Nov.   Helsinki (FIN)   Czech Rep.  -  Russia 0-3
6 Nov.   Helsinki (FIN)   Finland  -  Sweden 4-1
Standings: 1. Russia 9, 2. Czech Rep. 6, 3. Finland 3, 4. Sweden 0  
Deutschland Cup in Augsburg      
4 Nov.   Augsburg (GER)   Canada  -  Switzerland 3-0
4 Nov.   Augsburg (GER)   Germany  -  Slovakia 1-3
5 Nov.   Augsburg (GER)   Slovakia  -  Canada 4-3 SO
5 Nov.   Augsburg (GER)   Switzerland  -  Germany 2-3
6 Nov.   Augsburg (GER)   Switzerland  -  Slovakia 1-4
6 Nov.   Augsburg (GER)   Germany  -  Canada 1-3
Standings: 1. Slovakia 8, 2. Canada 7, 3. Germany 3, 4. Switzerland 0
Euro Ice Hockey Challenge in Bled      
3 Nov.   Bled (SLO)   France  -  Belarus 0-3
3 Nov.   Bled (SLO)   Latvia  -  Slovenia 2-3 OT
4 Nov.   Bled (SLO)   Belarus  -  Latvia 4-0
4 Nov.   Bled (SLO)   Slovenia  -  France 2-1
5 Nov.   Bled (SLO)   Belarus  -  Slovenia 4-3 SO
5 Nov.   Bled (SLO)   Latvia  -  France 6-0
Standings: 1. Belarus 8, 2. Slovenia 6, 3. Latvia 4, 4. France 0  
Euro Ice Hockey Challenge in Budpest      
3 Nov.   Budapest (HUN)   Italy  -  Austria 0-2
3 Nov.   Budapest (HUN)   Hungary  -  Poland 2-1
4 Nov.   Budapest (HUN)   Korea  -  Italy 2-3 SO
4 Nov.   Budapest (HUN)   Poland  -  Denmark 1-3
5 Nov.   Budapest (HUN)   Austria  -  Korea 4-6
5 Nov.   Budapest (HUN)   Denmark  -  Hungary 1-3
6 Nov.   Budapest (HUN)   Poland  -  Italy 4-1
6 Nov.   Budapest (HUN)   Hungary  -  Korea 2-3
6 Nov.   Budapest (HUN)   Austria  -  Denmark 2-0
Standings: 1. Korea, 2. Hungary, 3. Austria, 4. Denmark, 5. Poland, 6. Italy
Baltic Challenge Cup in Tallinn      
4 Nov.   Tallinn (EST)   Estonia  -  Latvia B 2-4
5 Nov.   Tallinn (EST)   Latvia B  -  Lithuania 7-2
6 Nov.   Tallinn (EST)   Estonia  -  Lithuania 3-2
Standings: 1. Latvia B 6, 2. Estonia 3, 3. Lithuania 0    
Other games            
1 Nov.   Budapest (HUN)   Hungary  -  Canada 1-5
1 Nov.   Nottingham (GBR)   Great Britain  -  Norway 1-2
2 Nov.   Cardiff (GBR)   Great Britain  -  Norway 2-4


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