Olympia opens a new chapter in Finland
This year’s performance is very special for Slovenian hockey, as for the first time the Slovenian representative HK SŽ Olimpija is part of the competition, as they were awarded a special invitation (so-called wild card) and replaced the Ukrainian team in the competition HC Donbass Donetsk.
The Dragons are in Group B with two-time runner-up Finland TPS Turkuthe two-time Swiss champions in a row EV Zug and semi-finalists of the German Championship Grizzlies Wolfsburg.
The line-up of the head coach Mitje Šivica made his debut in the Champions League in Finland held the score well in the opening third. The hosts controlled the course of the meeting, but they had 12 shots on goal Jean Usa failed to overcome. On the other side, the goalkeeper Lassi Lehtinen he didn’t have much to do, he stopped all three shots from the Ljubljana team. The teams went to the break with an initial score of 0:0.
Jaka Sodja scored Olimpija’s first goal in the Champions League, scoring in the 32nd minute for a 1:0 lead.
Photo: Domen Jančič/HK SŽ Olimpija
Both teams initially held out with one less player, but after a Finnish penalty, Olimpija, who continued to play more courageously, took the lead, under which the fourth attack was signed. Žiga Mehle got to the puck in the attacking third, Jaka Šturm tried from close range, but Lehtinen deflected the puck, but only to Jake Sodjewho rejoiced at Olympia’s premier goal in the Champions League.
But even before the joy of the dragons had completely subsided, a reply came from the other side, Teemu Kivihalma equalized 16 seconds later, and after three minutes he scored a second time to give the home team their first lead. Immediately afterwards, they had one more player again, but Olimpija broke into a counterattack, To Chris Dodero well the equalizer was prevented by the goal frame. On the other hand, he then increased it to 3:1 Mikael Pyyhtiä. The Us seemed to stop the puck, but it ended up slipping into the goal, leaving the Finns up +2 at the final break.
The Dragons’ next Champions League game awaits in Germany on Sunday.
Photo: Domen Jančič/HK SŽ Olimpija
Olimpija started the third period with a quick goal, in the 43rd minute it was reduced to 2:3 after a pass from Jake Šturm and a well-timed shot from the top of the circle.l Aljoša Crnovič. Us saved his team a few times in the last third with his saves, made sure it was uncertain until the end, and in the last minutes his teammates had the chance to build on his work with an equaliser. In the last five minutes, they had twice the number of players, besieged the home team’s goal, at the end they tried even without a goalkeeper and with six players in the field, but they failed to score an equalizing goal. Us stopped 31 shots on goal, while Olimpija fired 19 of them at the opponent’s goal.
“If we keep our desire and persistence, we can win some points”
“We played against a very strong team, skating, individually and in duels. We prepared well for this, we knew what we had to do if we wanted to find success. It’s a shame. We also suffered for a while, which we also expected, at the end of the day but we were one shot away from a point. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out, but we can be satisfied. If we keep this desire, persistence and will, we can win some points in the league, which is our goal. I expect that we will go from game to game better, so that every game we will be more prepared for the strength and speed shown by the teams in the league,” said the coach after the narrow defeat Sewic.
“In the first period, you could see that we were on our heels. We expected a fast team, a lot of physical play, but in the end I think we played a fair game. We missed a goal, but we can be satisfied with the game. I think we showed a good character, in the end we had opportunities to equalize, unfortunately we didn’t use them,” the scorer of the first goal summed up his thoughts after his debut Judge.
On Sunday at Wolfsburg
Olimpija’s next match in the competition is already on Sunday at Wolfsburg, on Thursday, September 8, will host the first home match of the competition. In Tivoli, she will face today’s Finnish rival.
On Thursday, Jan Muršak and his teammates from Swedish club Frölunda beat Hradec Kralove of the Czech first division.
The Muršaks started with a win, the Kuralts felt the power of the Swiss runner-up
Many clubs with a Slovenian touch play in the group stage. In the jersey of the multiple winner of the competition, the Swedish club Frölundaan experienced Slovenian forward skates Jan Muršak. In the first match, they defeated the Czech first league team HK Hradec Kralove 4:2.
Anze Kuralt it is hosted the Swiss runner-up with Hungarian Sapa ZSC Lions and lost as much as 1:7. There is also a defending champion in Group D Röglewho opened the season with a close win (5.4) in Poland.
Red Bull Salzburg, of which he is a member Aljaž Devoteddefeated Norwegian representative Stavanger Oilers 3:2 after extra time.
In the new season, Robert Sabolič plays for Beljak, which lost heavily in Sweden.
The Belarusians suffered at the hands of the Swedish champions
On Friday, group F with a strong Slovenian touch was also at work. A white man who lured an attacker into his ranks Robert Sabolič and Blaž Tomaževičaand works there as an assistant coach Marcel Rodman, visited the Swedish champion Färjestad and lost 0:7. The Swedes fired as many as 60 shots at the goal of Carinthia, while the Austrian club managed ten of them. The Slovenians played for a good 16 minutes and each served one short penalty.
Cracovia Krakow, for which the goalkeeper defends Rok Stojanovic, hosted the German first division Straubing Tigers and conceded a 0:4 victory. The Slovenian goalkeeper stopped 36 of 40 shots.
Champions League, 1st round (Slovenian club, clubs with Slovenian players)
Friday, September 2
TPS Turku : HK Olympia 3:2 (0:0, 3:1, 0:1)
0:1 Sodja (Šturm, Mehle, 32nd), 1:1 Kivihalme (Rech, Ilomäki, 32nd), 2:1 Kivihalme (Jasu, Tammela, 35th), 3:1 Pyyhtia (Steenbergen, Korpikoski, 38th , PP1), 3:2 Crnovič (Sturm, Sodja, 43.)
Turku lineup: Lehtinen, Anttila; Kivihalme, Tuomisto, Skalicky, Intonen, Pyyhtiä; Anttalainen, Arell, Rech, Ilomaki, Kosmachuk; Pulli, Rafkin, Tammela, Munkki, Steenbergen; Suomi, Väisänen, Korpikoski, Jasu, Haapanen; coach:
Olympia lineup: Us, Morrone; Crnovič, Neil, Vallerand, Simšič, Garreffa; Erving, K. Čepon, Pance, Dodero, Chimžar; Magovac, Stojan, Kapel, Kalan, Koblar; Mehle, Klofutar, Šturm, Sodja, Beričič. Coach: Mitja Šivic.
Grizzly Wolfsburg: Zug 2:5 (0:1, 2:3, 0:1)
Färjestad : VSV Beljak 7:0 (2:0, 2:0, 3:0)
Cracovia Krakow : Straubing Tigers 0:4 (0:0, 0:1, 0:3)
Thursday, September 1
Fehervar AV19 : Zurich 1:7 (1:3, 0:1, 0:3)
Anze Kuralt (Fehervar) played 17:46 minutes and fired two shots at Zurich’s goal.
Katowice: Rule 4:5 (2:1, 1:0, 1:4)
Red Bull Salzburg :Stavanger Oilers 3:2* (0:0,1:0, 1:2, 1:0) – extra time
(Aljaž Predan/Salzburg he played just under six minutes.)
HC Fribourg-Gottéron : Ilves 3:2 (1:0, 1:2, 1:0)
Frolunda : HK Hradec Kralove 4:2 (0:1, 3:0, 1:1)
(Jan Muršak/Frolunda played just under 14 and a half minutes, took two shots and earned four penalty minutes.)
Grenoble : Eisbaren Berlin 2:8 (1:2, 0:5, 1:1)
Olimpija beat the runner-up ICE, the Green Dragons are coming back, the people of Jesenice celebrated in Bled
Before Olympia, a big challenge, but at the same time an honor: Placement on the competition map