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Saturday, April 3, 2010

once around Europe in hockey, week 2.


Today's KHL game saw the Patrick Thoreson-less Ak Bars Kazan down Salavat Yulaev 2-1 in a game won by Hannes Hyvonen in the fifth minute of OT. 3rd seeded Ak Bars now leads top-ranked Ufa 2 games to 0.

I decided to update the playoffs in the other Euro leagues. In Sweden's Eliteserien, the semis are set with HV71 facing Skelleftea AIK and Djurgarden against Linkoping.
In the Czech Extraliga, Mlada Boleslav awaits the winner of the Vitkovice Steel/Slavia Praha series in the final.
Slovakia's Extraliga is just into their semis, while Finland's SG-liga is still in the Quarters( after finishing their "pity-playoffs").
Switzerland's top league is still watching the Ev Zug/Geneve Servette semi to see who plays top ranked SC Bern in the finals.
Germany is about 2 games each into their quarterfinals. I know you'll be happy to hear that Wolfsburg's Grizzly Adams leads their matchup with DEG Metro Stars 2 to 0.
Denmark's finals will feature # 1 SonderjyskE vs. AAB.
Norway's final pits Valerenga against Stavanger.
In the Austrian Erste Bank Liga, Black Wings Linz, the 4th seed, leads #2 Red Bull Salzburg 2 to 0 after 3-2 and 6-4 wins.
In Italy, where one team's mascot ( a 13-year-old girl dressed as a wolf) was assaulted by an opposing player for "peeing" on their goal, both semifinals are within one game of being decided.
In France, Rouen has won their way to a matchup in the finals against either Angers or Briancon.
To give you an idea of relative importance here, according to the IIHF, these are the world rankings. Canada and Russia are 1-2, Finland 3, Sweden 4, USA 5, Czech Rep. 6, Slovakia 7, Switzerland 8. Belarus and Latvia (whose leagues I haven't followed since their best teams play in the KHL) are 9 & 10, Norway 11, Germany 12, Denmark 13, Austria 14, Italy 15, and France 16.

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