..it's time to update the Euro hockey scene. When last we met, it was Sunday, and My Lokomotiv team was ready to play it's semifinal clincher against MVD. MVD won that game 2-1 (hence my late report?) and it was the boys from Balashika who openned against Ak Bars in the Gagarin cup finals Thursday night. Ak Bars won a 3-2 match in which the pictured Dmitri Obukhov got the winner as Kazan came back from 2-1 down. This morning our time, Ak Bars made it a 2-0 lead with a 4-1 triumph which saw Obukhov get 2 more goals. I am informed that Ak Bars is actually Tatar for "snow leopard", while Barys (as in Astana) is the Kazakh phrase for the beast. Comparative linguistics here at Tilting at Windmills.
In other leagues, Djurgardens topped HV71 4-3 to win the openner of the Swedish final. The Czech final is set with HC Pardubice facing Vitkovice Steel, not sure when that gets underway as my Czech is a bit rusty. Both of the Finnish semifinals are knotted at 2 games apiece.
In Slovakia, #1 Slovan Bratislava is in trouble, having taken 5-2 and 6-3 losses to HC Kosice, a team that Bratislava finished 36 pts north of in the season standings. The Swiss finals are a game apiece; SC Bern took the openner 3-2 in a shootout and Geneve Servette wins game 2 5-4.
In Germany, Wolfsburg Grizzly Adams lost the first 2 games of the semis against #8 Augsburger Panthers 3-2 and 1-0 before winning game three 6-1 to stay alive. The winner will face the Scorpions of Hanover, who swept ERG Ingolstadt 6-0, 4-1, and 5-4 in an OT game that saw them rally from 4-1 down, starting with 2 goals less than 30 seconds apart in the second period.
In Denmark, Sonderjyske leads AAB 2 to 0 after 5-0 and 5-3 wins that saw Alexandr Macijevski rack up 5 goals and an assist. The Norway finals are knotted at 2 games apiece; Valerenga winning game one 5-4 and game three 5-0, and Stavenger Oilers taking game 2 4-3 and game 4 2-1 in OT.
And finally, we crown two champions to join Austria's Red Bull Salzburg at the head of the table. The Dragons of Rouen have won their 10th championship since 1992, coming from 2 games to none down to sweep the last 3 games from Angers 4-2, 6-1, and 4-2. And Asiago upset season champ Renon 3-2 so, 4-1, 3-2 and 5-2 to take their 4th Italian championship. Good work, guys!