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Czech News in English » Sport » Luleå, Tappara, Vienna, Färjestad to semifinals

Luleå, Tappara, Vienna, Färjestad to semifinals

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The quarterfinals in Red Bulls Salute were played on Thursday evening. The happy quartet advancing to the semifinals is Luleå Hockey, Tappara, UPC Vienna Capitals and Färjestad BK. The semifinals will be played on Saturday, with the championship game set for Sunday.

In Bratislava, HV71 faced Tappara in the early game and it was a close game between the second placed Swedish team and the 6th placed Finnish team. The Swedes got the opening goal when Jesper Fasth made it 1-0 HV71 in the middle of the first period. Tappara equalized in the second period when defenseman Teemu Aalto fired home 1-1, and the remainder was anyone’s game. Despite a number of power play opportunities, both goalies kept the score level and it looked as it was headed for overtime. But then, in the final minute of play, a chance for Olli Palola turned into the gamewinning 1-2 goal – sending Tappara to the semifinals in dramatic fashion.

In the second game in the Slovak capital it was time for the home team HC Slovan Bratislava to take on Färjestad BK in front of their home fans. Unfortunately for them, it turned out they were up against a stronger opponent as Färjestad took charge in the first period going up 2-0. In the second period, Per Åslund added a goal after just 53 seconds and when Rickard Wallin made it 4-0 with a shorthanded goal, Slovan faced an impossible uphill battle. Michal Vondrka created some hope with a goal before the third period, but Slovan couldn’t catch up to Färjestad and was eliminated by a 4-1-loss.

The other two quarterfinals were played in Vienna, Austria. The first quarterfinal was an all-Swedish encounter between Luleå Hockey and Brynäs IF. Jonathan Granström opened the scoring for Brynäs, then Luleå came back to turn the game around with a pair of goals – first Fredrik Svensson late in the first period, then Anton Hedman early in the second. Mika Pyöräläl added a goal to make it 3-1 which was 4-2 Luleå before the second period was finished. In the third, Luleå controlled the action, outshooting their opponents 13-4 and stopped Brynäs from anything other than a late consolation goal for the final score 4-3.

When the home team UPC Vienna Capitals took the ice in the evening game against Eisbären Berlin, things took a turn for the dramatic again. Matt Zaba in net for Vienna and Rob Zepp for Eisbären took centre stage initially, holding the teams scoreless until the last minutes of the second period when Josh Soares gave Vienna the lead. Daniel Woger extended the lead to 2-0 in the third period, but just a minute later Eisbären cut the lead in half. In the final minute, with an extra attacker on the ice, Darin Oliver scored 2-2 for Eisbären, sending the game into overtime. The home fans didn’t have to grieve over the late tying goal though, as Andre Lakos stepped up and scored the gamewinning goal, sending his Vienna Capitals to the semifinals.

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