CHL semi-finals begin

Frolunda rolls, Karpat edges Lukko Rauma

13.01.2016
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Frolunda are well-placed for a trip to the final after putting up five goals on the road against HC Davos. Photo: Maurice Parree / CHL-Getty Images

The Champions Hockey League semi-final round began yesterday with the first legs taking place in Davis, Switzerland, and Rauma, Finland.

Home ice advantage didn't count for much, as Frolunda Gothenburg demolished HC Davos 5-0 on the road, while visiting Karpat Oulu came back to defeat Lukko Rauma 3-2. 

Karpat Oulu (FIN) – Lukko Rauma (FIN) 3-2

Karpat Oulu had to come back froma  two-goal deficit to do it, but the Finnish league leaders managed to come out of their first leg away game with a victory and will hold a one-goal advantage in their second leg matchup against Lukko Rauma.

Miro Aaltonen’s goalwith just under seven minutes to go in the third period was the game winner, completing the comeback.

Toni Koivisto and Jesse Virtanen scored back-to-back midway through the first period to give Rauma a 2-0 lead, Koivisto’s goal coming from in front of the net at the end of a nice passing sequence while Virtanen scored on a two-on-one rush.

But Virtanen’s goal managed to galvanize Oulu, and on a late power play Lasse Kukonen fired a blast past goaltender Ryan Zapolski who failed to cover the corner of the net.

Following a scoreless second period Juho Keranen split the defence and scored on a breakaway following a great pass from Markus Nutivaara. Then Aaltonen delivered the game winner by deflecting a shot from defenceman Sebastian Aho. 

After stealing the win on the road, Karpat will get to host Lukko Rauma next week, holding a one-goal advantage going into the second leg. 

Frolunda Gothenburg (SWE) – HC Davos (SUI) 5-0

HC Davos, the lone Swiss club remaining in the CHL playoffs, will travel to Gothenburg next week with their backs against the wall after giving up five unanswered goals to the Frolunda Indians on home ice in the first leg of their semi-final matchup.

Defenceman Jacob Larsson closed out Davos in the third period with a pair of goals, while forwards Artturi Lehkonen, Ryan Lasch, and Spencer Abbot each added a score to complete the rout.

Davos had no answer for the Frolunda defence or Swedish goaltender Lars Johansson, who posted a 20-save shutout while his counterpart Leonardo Genoni gave up five goals on 34 shots.

Abbot struck first for Frolunda on a power play goal just under five and a half minutes into the first period. Davos had the chance to tie the game on a couple of chances – especially on a loose puck chance that was kept out by defenceman Tom Nilsson making a block with his leg inside the net – but were largely held at by the Frolunda defenders.

Lehkonen gave Frolunda a two-goal cuscion midway through with a precision wristshot from the top of the right circle that blew past Genoni and off the post.

Lasch and Larsson combined for three goals in the third to eliminate any chance at a comeback and give their team an even bigger cushion going into the second leg. 

"We played really good today," said Frolunda coach Roger Ronnberg. "I think we were calm. The last five minutes in the second there wasn't good, but otherwise it was a really good game."

CHL Semi-Final Second Leg:

19-01-2016 - 17:30 – Karpat Oulo vs. Lukko Rauma
19-01-2016 - 20:05 – Frolunda Gothenburg vs. HC Davos

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