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EFC 2017: Slevik and Ulbroka winners of the day – 18.10.2017

Russian Nizhegorodets were facing the Norwegian champions Slevik in the first Men’s EFC match of the day. Lots of penalties and strong, accurate shots were seen during the match. Slevik knew how to use their powerplays as they scored five powerplay goals during the match. They were able to confuse the Russian team with their fast passes and good technical skill and also didn’t come second in the physical one on ones. Slevik won the match 8-2. 

Both teams started the match full on. After a few minutes, Slevik scored a beautiful tic-tac-toe goal as Nizhegorodets had left #48 Thobias Hjorth unattended in front of the goal.  The first period was rather even, but Slevik were able to increase their lead on powerplay as #24 Thomas Straete fired a strong shot into the net. However, Nizhegorodets decreased the score to 2-1 when the ball found its way to Slevik’s goal through Slevik player’s own blade.

The second period was eventful as several powerplays were seen. Nizhegorodets got three 2-minute powerplays, but were only able to score on one of them. #34 Arman Karkumbaev’s beautiful shot to the top corner decreased the score to 3-2. During the other powerplays, Slevik were efficient in blocking the shots and their goalkeeper #83 Anders Ottersten did a good job saving the rest.

Third period began with Slevik’s powerplay which proved to be efficient. Not long after, Straete scored a skilful goal from behind the net. As said, there had already been several penalties and more came during the third period including a 5-minute penalty for Nizhegorodets. Altogether Slevik scored 4 goals on powerplay during the third period and were already in a safe six-goal lead with eight minutes left of the match. They won the match 8-2.

Best players:
Slevik #24 Thomas Straete
Nizhegorodets #34 Arman Karkumbaev

Estonian EMU faced Latvian Ulbroka in their first EFC match. At the start of the match, EMU made simple mistakes and Ulbroka used them to their benefit. Even though EMU made amends already during the first period, their loose defence allowed Ulbroka to win the match. Ulbroka won their match against Phoenix yesterday and this means that they are the Group B winner and secured a place in the semifinals.

Ulbroka were awake right from the start as they used EMU’s mistakes to their own benefit. With six and a half minutes on the clock, Ulbroka were leading the match 2-0. EMU stepped up their game and first evened the score and at 14:59 #77 Pavel Semenov blocks a shot and takes off. He fools an Ulbroka player and passes the ball #7 Sven Uue who takes them to a 3-2 lead. But not long after, EMU make another mistake in their own end which costs them the lead.

In the second period, Estonian team’s static defence allowed Ulbroka to move themselves and the ball around rather comfortably. And once again the tables had turned as #7 Kaspars Skels took Ulbroka to 4-3 lead. EMU got a chance at a powerplay, but instead of moving the ball around actively as a team, individual players kept holding the ball for some time before making a move. This gave Ulbroka the possibility to block the shots. Ulbroka scored another two goals during the second period and were already in a 6-3 lead. One of these goals was scored by the team captain #6 Edzus Cerins who did a skilful 360 before scoring.

At the start of the third period EMU scored a goal, but their joy was immediately stopped as the goal was disallowed due to high stick. EMU didn’t give up and at 45:38 team captain Semenov, who also was the scorer of the disallowed goal, decreased the score to 4-6. Even though EMU stepped up their game a bit, it wasn’t enough and Ulbroka celebrated a 8-4 victory. Since Ulbroka also won their match yesterday, this meant that they are the Group B winners.

Best players:
EMU #77 Pavel Semenov
Ulbroka #6 Edzus Cerins