LOHJA, Finland – The Espoo Blues took the lead on day one of the final tournament of the European Women’s Champions Cup with a 4-2 win against Kazakhstan’s Aisulu Almaty. SKIF Nizhny Novgorod beat Segeltorps IF, 3-1.Aisulu Almaty vs. Espoo Blues 2-4 (1-2, 1-2, 0-0) Summary, Photos
Finnish champion Espoo Blues deserved the win against Kazakhstan’s Aisulu Almaty with a 53-19 shots advantage but the Kazakhs started well, holding the lead for 50 seconds.
Olga Potapova opened the scoring at 2:21 on the first power-play, but Michelle Karvinen equalized 50 seconds later and scored the 2-1 goal at 12:30.
Aisulu also started the second period with an early goal. Natalya Yakovchuk equalized at two just 17 seconds after the first face-off but the Finns struck back. Ninni Taskinen at 24:58 and Oona Parviainen just 36 seconds later made it 4-2 – a score that stayed until the final buzzer.SKIF Nizhny Novgorod vs. Segeltorps IF 3-1 (1-1, 1-0, 1-0) Summary, Photos
Could the EWCC trophy not be in Swedish hands for the first time since the competition started in 2004-2005? Swedish champion Segeltorps IF had a major setback in the first game, losing to Russian champion SKIF Nizhny Novgorod.
The Swedes lost to SKIF in the semi-final tournament in December, 5-1. This time, the Russians won 3-1 thanks to two goals by their Finnish players who felt at home in Lohja. Jenni Hiirikoski scored the 1-0 goal at 3:06 one minute into the first power play. Kati Kovalainen scored the 3-1 goal at 49:10, also one minute into a power play.
Erika Holst equalized the Russian lead at 8:21 but in the beginning of a strong middle stanza, the Russians regained it with Alexandra Kapustina’s goal at 20:34.
SKIF’s Nadya Alexandrova became the leader in the goalkeeper stats after the first day with 20 saves on 21 shots.