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Game Day

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KalPa Kuopio - Skelleftea AIK

1st game for Kalpa, Skelleftea try to rebound

In their first two CHL attempts, KalPa Kuopio have failed to get out of the group stage. They aim to finally do that this year, but it won't be easy given the group they've been drawn into. To make things more difficult, Saturday's opponents, the powerful Skelleftea AIK, will be hungry after dropping their first game in Vienna on Thursday. 

"We are really looking forward to the CHL game against Skelleftea AIK. We have had a great off season and we’ve trained hard. Skelleftea is a very good team, who skate well and they give pressure and don’t stop the puck when behind the net. We are expecting high intensive hockey, we really need to be ready," sad KalPa defenceman Juuso Riikola before his team's first CHL game this season. "Our last game was a pre-season game against Jokerit last week and we won that 4-2. We controlled the game and we need to be able to play even better now, when playing in the CHL. The Champions Hockey League is a great league and the games are something we’re really excited about. It’s fantastic to play against a top Swedish team."

After Thursday's overtime defeat at the hands of the captitals, new Skelleftea coach Fredrik Oberg is not worried: "There were some unlucky bounces for us and we came back and tied it up, and then an unlucky bounce in the end. We got one point, so we're gonna qualify later."

However, he will surely want to make sure he picks up a win in Kuopia to make sure his squad is not last in the group – an almost unthinkable scenario going in - with half of their games played.

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51

14

2

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Cramo Top Scorer

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KalPa Kuopio - Skelleftea AIK

KalPa Kuopio - Skelleftea AIK

Lindvall backstops Skelleftea to win in Kuopio

For the second game in a row, Skelleftea AIK had to get down into the trenches against an opponent that most would figure is below them talent-wise On Thursday they lost in overtime in Vienna. Today they were outshot badly by KalPa Kuopio, but thanks to the netminding of Gustaf Lindvall they eeked out a 2-1 victory. 

After a defensive first period without a lot of chances either way, Skelleftea opened the scoring with two goals less than six minutes apart – first Henrik Hetta backhanding in the rebound on the power play, then Par Lindholm finishing off a 2-on-1 after a nice pass from Andrew Calof. Joni Niko shovelled in a loose puck to get KalPa on the board late in the second period. 

In the third, KalPa pressed hard for the equalizer and outshot Skelleftea badly – 28-19 in the game – but just couldn't manage to come up with a point in their first CHL game of the new season. 

"It was a very fast game, a hard fought victory," said Skelleftea assistant coach Bert Robertsson. "We came in and we dug really deep. It was two teams that play with a lot of speed and puck skill, so it was a fun game to watch, both for us coaches and for fans. But we're on the road here so we dug deep and we're really  happy with the win. A lot of dedication, a lot of heart and a good goalie helps too."

"These games are about goals and the final score, no excuses. Year after year we have a little bit of the same problem. I think that this game should've been enough for a better result," said KalPa coach Pekka Virta. "Skelleftea's routine was easily seeable and of course it bugs me that we got nothing. We also have to see the bigger picture too, where we are coming from and where we are going to. However, neither team stopped behind the goal and it was easy to play a fast game. I think that this was a fine and fast-paced game and it had its wise elements too. We played and held the rhythm wisely too. If we can hold on to that, it could be quite fun in the future."

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28

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Team Comparison

Goals
Shots on Goal
Penalty Minutes
Power Play Goals
Short-handed Goals

Cramo Top Scorer

Points
Goals
Assists