Neman invincible

Continental Cup winner also beats Yertis


The Neman Grodno players pose for a team photo after receiving the plate for the 2015 IIHF Continental Cup winners. Photo: Andre van Elten

BREMERHAVEN – Belarusian champion Neman Grodno already won the Continental Cup after two days (see separate story) but used the opportunity to finish the tournament unbeaten thanks to a 4-3 victory in shootout against winless Yertis Pavlodar. Host Fischtown Pinguins Bremerhaven claimed second place after defeating the Angers Ducs 3-2 in a shootout. The French had to settle for the bronze medals.

Yertis Pavlodar vs. Neman Grodno 3-4 (1-1, 1-2, 1-0, 0-0, 0-1) Video

In the first two games Yertis Pavlodar was missing out on too many of its chances to score. Against Neman Grodno, which had already become the tournament winner on Saturday, it initially worked out better for the Kazakh representatives. With the first big opportunity Richard Huna scored on a breakaway at 14:45 of the first period.

Almost Yertis scored a shorthanded goal on another quick attack but then Andrei Korshunov’s shot from the blue line deflected by Aleksejs Sirokovs went into the net to tie the game at 17:30.

“I think it was the toughest game of the tournament. It’s a bid hard to play hockey after winning the tournament,” the Latvian national team forward said.

On the reason for the tournament win Sirokovs gave credit especially to team captain Korshunov: “We have a good team spirit. Our captain can make an army out of the players. Nobody is selfish and everybody plays for the team.”

91 seconds into the second frame Neman Grodno even scored the lead with a goal from Yegor Stepanov shortly after a Yertis power play. Sergei Khomko even made it 3-1 at 10:59 but three minutes later Yertis cut the lead with a goal from Peter Fabus.

Yertis was the better team in the third period but didn’t managed to score until with 5:52 left Martin Chovan capitalized on a power play to tie the score at three.

After a scoreless overtime period the penalty shots had to decide and it was Sirokovs, who scored the only goal in five attempts to get credited for another goal, his third of the tournament.

Game-winning shots:
1st round: Miroslav Zalesak, save. Aleksejs Sirokovs, 0-1.
2nd round: Peter Fabus, miss. Vladimir Mikhailov, post.
3rd round: Martin Hujsa, save.

Fischtown Pinguins Bremerhaven vs. Angers Ducs 3-2 (1-1, 1-1, 0-0, 0-0, 1-0) Video

The Fischtown Pinguins Bremerhaven edged the Angers Ducs 3-2 in a shootout to finish the 2015 IIHF Continental Cup Super Final on home ice in second place. It was a tightly contested match for the second place. Angers had a shot advantage of 32-21 but the hosts had the better end at their full and loud Eisarena Bremerhaven.

At 1:44 Bjorn Bombis opened the scoring for the host club when he capitalized on a rebound in front of Jean-Sebastien Aubin’s net. Angers tried to come back and at 17:03 its fourth line succeeded with a goal from Dimtri Thillet.

When Timothy Miller was sent out to the penalty box for hitting Julien Albert to the head and neck area, the French created several scoring opportunities and after the penalty had expired Cody Campbell scored on a rebound to gain the lead at 16:46 of the second period.

But the teams returned favours. When Guillaume Lefebvre had to go out for hooking, he did not only get into a brawl but had to watch from the penalty box how Pawel Dronia scored a power-play goal for the Fischtown Pinguins for the second-period score of 2-2.

After a scoreless third period the game went to overtime and when Jan Kopecky was assessed a minor penalty for interference, the Angers Ducs took their time-out before playing 4-on-3 for two minutes. It remained scoreless and Andrew McPherson’s two goals in the shootout helped the Fischtown Pinguins Bremerhaven to bring home the extra point and the silver medals.

Game-winning shots:
1st round: Andrew McPherson 1-0. Johan Skinnars, save.
2nd round: Brock Hooton 2-0. Yannick Tifu 2-1.
3rd round: Jan Kopecky, miss. Cody Campbell 2-2.
4th round: Timothy Crowder, save. Andrew McPherson 3-2.

Final Standings:
1. Neman Grodno, Belarus, 8 points
2. Fischtown Pinguins Bremerhaven, Germany, 5 points
3. Angers Ducs, France, 4 points
4. Yertis Pavlodar, Kazakhstan, 1 point

Individual Awards as selected by the Tournament Directorate
Best Goaltender: Maxim Samankov, Neman Grodno
Best Defenceman: Andrei Korshunov, Neman Grodno
Best Forward: Timothy Miller, Fischtown Pinguins Bremerhaven

Click here for scores and statistics.

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