The Group Stage of the 2008-2009 Champions Hockey League is halfway through as all 12 teams have played two games. Slavia Prague blew a late 4-2 lead in Zurich but Jaroslav Bednar scored four (!) times in the shoot-out to salvage a 5-4 win and two points for the Czech champion. Metallurg Magnitogorsk, Salavat Yulayev Ufa and the Espoo Blues all won their games in regulation time.
Group A: Metallurg Magnitogorsk (RUS, 2W-0L) – Eisbären Berlin (GER, 1W-1L) 5-2
After surprisingly beating Kärpät, Eisbären Berlin experienced why Metallurg Magnitogorsk is the reigning European club champion. Tomas Rolinek opened the scoring after 36 seconds and 11 minutes later, Metallurg led 4-0. Czech Jan Marek had a goal and two assists, Stefan Ustorf scored both Eisbären goals. Game recap.Group B: Espoo Blues (FIN, 2W-0L) – HV71 Jönköping (SWE, 1W-1L) 3-2
The Nordic duel in Group B between the undefeated teams began and ended in favour of the Espoo Blues. Sami Ryhanen and Jari Tolsa gave the home side the lead within the first ten minutes but HV71's Finns Jukka Voutilainen and Teemu Laine (at 49:07) equalised. However, the Swedes couldn't be happy for too long. Camilo Miettinen's 3-2 goal at 54:07 stayed as game winner. Game recap.Group C:
Slovan Bratislava (SVK, 0W-2L) – Salavat Yulayev Ufa (RUS, 2W-0L) 2-4
Salavat Yulayev Ufa won the game, but Slovan showed that they can be more than just an underdog against the Russian champion. The Slovaks were leading for a while after Miroslav Lazo's goal at 6:54 but Salavat equalised twice in the middle period, which ended with Alexander Radulov scoring the game winner. Kirill Koltsov scored an insurance goal for the Ufa club. Game recap.Group D:
ZSC Lions Zurich (SUI, 1W-1OTL) – Slavia Prague (CZE, 1W-1OTW)
Slavia Prague is the new leader of the "lion group" after winning in front of 8,220 spectators in Zurich. Slavia seemed in perfect control when Jakub Sklenar made it 4-2 for the Czechs at 52:53. Hope returned when Mathias Seger scored a power play goal at 58:11 and the Hallenstadion exploded when Ryan Gardner equalised just 18 seconds later. However, Slavia won the first-ever CHL shoot-out after an amazing shoot-out duel between Jaroslav Bednar (who also had a goal and assist each in regular time) and Jan Alston. Bednar scored on all his four shoot-out attempts, while Alston shadowed the Czech with three goals, but it was all over when the Canadian shot wide with his fourth effort. Still, it was a classic. Game recap.
Penalty shoot-out: Sejna save, Bednar 0-1; Trudel save, Sloboda save; Alston 1-1, Vondrka save; Bednar 1-2, Alston 2-2; Bednar 2-3, Alston 3-3; Bednar 3-4, Alston miss.