International Ice Hockey Federation

Sweden wins in lions‘ den

Sweden wins in lions‘ den

Karjala Tournament launches international season

Published 12.04.2023 16:33 GMT+3 | Author Martin Merk
Sweden wins in lions‘ den
Linus Omark scored Sweden’s game-winning goal against Finland to win the Karjala Tournament in Helsinki. Photo: Jukka Rautio / HHOF-IIHF Images
For many national teams the season was launched last week during the international break. The events were highlighted by the Karjala Tournament in Helsinki.

Not only did the Olympic Qualification begin, but most of the top-30 nations were busy in competitions in several categories. Sweden won the Karjala Tournament in Helsinki while Germany defended the Deutschland Cup title at a new venue.

The Euro Hockey Tour was launched with the Karjala Tournament in Helsinki that was exciting until the last minute of the most anticipated game between Nordic rivals Finland and Sweden.

After beating Russia and the Czech Republic 2-1, the Finns just needed one more point from the last game against Sweden on Sunday evening. The Swedes were still in the run for the tournament win but needed a regulation-time victory after beating the Czech Republic (6-2) but losing to Russia (6-3).

Although Finland had more shots on goal in the first two periods it was Joel Lundqvist with his third marker of the tournament at 13:46 of the first and Jimmie Ericsson at 3:43 of the second period who scored the first two goals of the game for Tre Kronor while Viktor Fasth frustrated the Finns with a strong performance in the Swedish net.

Finland’s Sami Lepisto made it a one-goal game later in the period but at 9:13 of the third frame Linus Omark scored the 3-1 goal for Sweden.

The goal lifted Omark to second place in the scoring stats with two goals and two assists, same as Russia’s Vadim Shipachyov while Czech forward Milan Gulas was top with three goals and an assist.

Finland became more dangerous in the third period and eventually found the net with Kristian Kuusela’s 3-2 goal. However, with eight seconds remaining in regulation time it came too late and the 11,295 fans at Hartwall Arena saw Finland settle for second place.

World Championship host Russia finished the event in third place ahead of the Czechs. Like Sweden the Russians had a strong offensive performance with scorers like Shipachyov, Yevgeni Dadonov, Sergei Mozyakin and Ilya Kovalchuk. The defence was less strong in the last two games although Ilya Sorokin had a solid performance in the net with a 91.38 save percentage in his two matches.

Further south Germany hosted the Deutschland Cup that was moved within Bavaria from Munich to Augsburg. It wasn’t a perfect start into the tournament with a 3-2 loss to archrival Switzerland but the Germans bounced back with a 4-2 victory against Slovakia on the second day with four unanswered goals in the first half of the game. With Switzerland blowing a 4-1 lead to lose 5-4 in overtime to Team USA on Day 2, Germany had the chance to win the tournament on Sunday against the Americans.

A vocal crowd of 4,624 fans at the Curt Frenzel Stadium went into frenzy when their German team got the lead with two power-play goals in the sixth minute of play followed by another marker for the 3-0 first-period lead. Team USA tried to bounce in the second period but eventually the Germans won the game 5-2 and defended the Deutschland Cup. Team USA with professional players from various European leagues finished in second place ahead of Switzerland and Slovakia. The Americans hoped to give prospective number-one draft Auston Matthews his first experience on the senior national team, however Matthews had to decline and will also miss a couple of games with his club team ZSC Lions Zurich due to an upper-body injury.

German forward Philip Gogulla was the scoring leader with three goals and two assists ahead of his teammate Felix Schutz (0+5) and Swiss forwards Gregory Hofmann (3+0) and Lino Martschini (2+1).

Four tournaments were played as part of the Euro Ice Hockey Challenge mostly with lower-ranked top division teams and countries competing in Division I.

Up north in Stavanger, Norway won its home tournament with a perfect streak. The Norwegians blanked Hungary, which was promoted to the World Championship after a seven-year absence, 4-0 and beat France 4-2 to set up a winner-takes-it-all final with Scandinavian rival Denmark, which started with a 6-0 blanking of France and a 2-1 shootout victory against Hungary.

The fans in Stavanger didn’t need to wait long for goals. Alexander Bonsaksen and Alexander Reichenberg gave Norway a 2-0 lead after less than four minutes of play. Steffen Frank cut the lead with 42 seconds left in the first period. Bonsaksen made it 3-1 with his second goal with an extra man on the ice on a delayed penalty call midway through the second frame and Mats Larsen Mostue scored the final goal for the 4-1 victory and tournament win in the last period.

Denmark settled for second place while France claimed third place after earning its only win on the last day, 3-1 vs. Hungary.

Belarus won another EIHC tournament at the Baltic Sea. The Belarusians shut out Italy (1-0) and Japan (3-0) and were the only team to beat host Latvia.

2,000 fans filled the ice rink in Latvia’s third-biggest town and saw the home team earn the lead with a Martins Karsums marker after 20 seconds of play. Karsums became the scoring leader with 3+1 points but despite his two markers in the game it was Belarus which replied with three unanswered goals from Nikita Ustinenko, Andrei Filichkin and Pavel Musienko before eventually winning the game 4-3.

It was a successful test for Dave Lewis' team, which used only players from domestic clubs. Latvia had to settle for second place ahead of Italy and Japan.

Euro Hockey Tour - Karjala Tournament in Helsinki, Finland
5 Nov.   Finland  -  Russia   2-1
5 Nov.   Sweden  -  Czech Rep.   6-2
7 Nov.   Russia  -  Sweden   6-3
7 Nov.   Czech Rep.  -  Finland   1-2
8 Nov.   Russia  -  Czech Rep.   3-4 SO
8 Nov.   Finland  -  Sweden   2-3
Standings: 1. Sweden 6, 2. Finland 6, 3. Russia 4, 4. Czech Rep. 2
Deutschland Cup in Augsburg, Germany
6 Nov.   USA  -  Slovakia   1-0
6 Nov.   Germany  -  Switzerland   2-3
7 Nov.   Switzerland  -  USA   4-5 OT
7 Nov.   Germany  -  Slovakia   4-2
8 Nov.   Slovakia  -  Switzerland   4-0
8 Nov.   USA  -  Germany   2-5
Standings: 1. Germany 6, 2. USA 5, 3. Switzerland 4, 3. Slovakia 3
Euro Ice Hockey Challenge in Stavanger, Norway
5 Nov.   Denmark  -  France   6-0
5 Nov.   Hungary  -  Norway   0-4
6 Nov.   Denmark  -  Hungary   2-1 SO
6 Nov.   Norway  -  France   4-2
7 Nov.   France  -  Hungary   3-1
7 Nov.   Norway  -  Denmark   4-1
Standings: 1. Norway 9, 2. Denmark 5, 3. France 3, 4. Hungary 1
Euro Ice Hockey Challenge in Liepaja, Latvia
5 Nov.   Belarus  -  Italy   1-0
5 Nov.   Latvia  -  Japan   5-4
6 Nov.   Italy  -  Japan   3-0
6 Nov.   Latvia  -  Belarus   3-4
7 Nov.   Japan  -  Belarus   0-3
7 Nov.   Latvia  -  Italy   2-1
Standings: 1. Belarus 9, 2. Latvia 6, 3. Italy 3, 4. Japan 0
Euro Ice Hockey Challenge in Katowice, Poland
5 Nov.   Korea  -  Austria   1-2 OT
5 Nov.   Poland  -  Slovenia   1-2
6 Nov.   Slovenia  -  Austria   5-1
6 Nov.   Poland  -  Korea   3-1
7 Nov.   Slovenia  -  Korea   4-1
7 Nov.   Austria  -  Poland   4-2
Standings: 1. Slovenia 9, 2. Austria 5, 3. Poland 3, 4. Korea 1
Euro Ice Hockey Challenge in Galati, Romania
5 Nov.   Romania B  -  Netherlands   0-5
5 Nov.   Romania  -  Ukraine   0-5
6 Nov.   Romania  -  Romania B   5-4
6 Nov.   Netherlands  -  Ukraine   1-3
7 Nov.   Romania B  -  Ukraine   0-7
7 Nov.   Romania  -  Netherlands   1-2 SO
Standings: 1. Ukraine 9, 2. Netherlands 5, 3. Romania 4, 4. Romania B 0


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