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Game Day

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Skelleftea AIK - KalPa Kuopio

Skelleftea with next round in their sights

After last week's tight game in Finland, the two sides line up again for the rematch in Sweden.

Skelleftea will qualify for the next round if they win the game in regulation - leaving KalPa and Vienna to fight it out for the other place. However a win for the Finns throws the group wide open, and would take them above Vienna for the time being.

"It's just about winning the games, it doesn't matter who's doing the scoring. We just want to win our group and go on to try and win the competition," said Andrew Calof, who's being putting up numbers for Skelleftea so far. "They were really good off the rush in our last game, with a lot of speed against our defence. The more we have the puck, the less dangerous they'll be! so we have to make sure we control the puck as much as we can."

"We had a very tight game in Kuopio, and either one of the teams could have won the game then. Now we know we are going to even tougher place; their home arena. Probably the biggest challenge of this trip is, however, the long bus journey. It’s nearly 700 kilometres and we are travelling to Skellefteå by bus!" said Pekka Virta, KalPa coach. "That will be a great experience, travelling together and spending time together as a team. I’m expecting a good game on Saturday, as the last game was very colourful and eventful, it’s going to be great CHL hockey!"

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28

6

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Skelleftea AIK - KalPa Kuopio

Skelleftea AIK - KalPa Kuopio

Skelleftea hit 4 past KalPa to make next round

After a scoreless opening period in which the sides only managed 10 shots between them, the middle period saw slightly more chances created. Arguably the best of the game up until that point fell to Skelleftea's Henrik Hetta, but he missed the target on the breakaway with around 35 minutes of the game played. As the middle period drew to a close, both sides started to run into a little penalty trouble – opening up more space on the ice for chances. With Santeri Lukka in the box for KalPa, Skelleftea looked to make the breakthrough but Top Scorer Andrew Calof couldn't find a way past Eero Kilpelainen on two big opportunities.

As time ticked down on the period, Skelleftea finally made a breakthrough. Coming in on a rush, Joakim Lindstrom found Niclas Burstrom who poked the puck past Kilpelainen at the second attempt to put his side 1-0 ahead at 39:45. Calof did eventually find a way past the KalPa goalie at the beginning of the third though, slotting home at 41:16 to give Skelleftea a bit of breathing room. Skelleftea made sure of the points with a third goal with just 11 minutes remaining. Jimmie Ericsson skated behind the net, put the puck out in front to Simon Krekula who's backhand effort hit the post – only for Pontus Petterstrom to follow up and score at 48:42. Just before the end, Emil Pettersson added a fourth when he was given too much time and space in the slot, writing the puck past Kilpelainen with 3:14 to play.

"It was a tough game. Skelleftea are a good team, they they played well and didn't give us a chance to win. We spent 10 hours on the bus yesterday and looked tired today, but they were a good team," admitted KalPa head coach Pekka Virta after the game. "We'll keep working, rest, and get ready for the next game. Skelleftea play a very tight defence, and it is tough to score goals against them." 

Skelleftea march on to the Round of 32, while KalPa now need points when they meet Vienna home and away next month.

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16

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Team Comparison

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

Cramo Top Scorer

Points
Goals
Assists