Wednesday, August 31, 2011

KV will play in World Junior Club Cup final

HC Energie Karlovy Vary U20 has posted shutout victories in each of its first two games at the inaugural World Junior Club Cup in Omsk, Russia, and is now assured a spot in the tournament's championship game on Saturday.

Though Dynamo-Shinnik wasn't able to get any pucks past
Vladislav Habal on Wednesday, they did manage to put a player
into the net. Photo:
Vladislav Habal made 15 saves on Tuesday in a 4-0 win over the Malmö RedHawks from Sweden, and then stopped all 23 he faced on Wednesday in a 1-0 win over Dynamo-Shinnik from Belarus. Last season, Habal led the Junior Extraliga in goals-against average (1.97) and shutouts (5) and led KV to the league finals.

Petr Koblasa got things going against Malmö just 26 seconds in, with Adam Shusser and Jaromír Kverka adding to the lead before the first period was out. Marek Švec added the fourth goal early in the second to round out the scoring. Against Shinnik, Martin Funk scored the lone goal midway through the first period.

After an day off Thursday, they will play their final game of the group stage on Friday against the tournament's Canadian representative, the Fort McMurray Oil Barons of the Alberta Junior Hockey League. The Barons are 0-2, having fallen to both teams that Energie has already beaten. By virtue of this, the best that either Malmö or Shinnik can do is tie Energie. Having beaten both teams, the Czech team would advance on the head-to-head tiebreaker.

In the opposite group, the picture isn't quite as clear. The American representative, a team of Eastern Junior Hockey League All-Stars, is 2-0 like Karlovy Vary. Unlike KV, however, their opponent on Friday, CSKA Moscow U20, is 1-1. Therefore, if the EJHL Selects picks up any points in the game, either by winning in regulation or taking the game to overtime, they will advance to Saturday's final. However, if CSKA wins in regulation, they will be KV's opponents.

Friday's game between Karlovy Vary and Fort McMurray begins at 19:00 local time, 14:00 CET and 6am MT. Live audio play-by-play is available at Saturday's final game will begin at 20:00 local, 15:00 CET, 9am ET. For those who can read Russian, live online commentary can be seen for all games at

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