- Both teams at the furthest stage of the competition they've ever been
- Two goals from Mountfield's Matěj Chalupa
- Mountfield take two-goal lead into return leg
Four teams remain, but only two can advance and as the Semi-Finals get underway, Djurgården Stockholm played host to Mountfield HK of the Czech Republic with a spot in the 2019/20 Champions Hockey League Final on the line.
One way to start a home game is to go on the attack straight away to get the crowd behind you, and that’s exactly what Djurgården did to start the game.
They forced a goal review early on as Gustav Possler crashed towards the net, fighting off the defenceman and driving towards the crease, lifting the puck past Marek Mazanec, and after review, the officials agreed that the puck crossed the line before the net was dislodged to give Djurgården an early 1-0 advantage.
It didn’t take long though for the visitors to issue their response, a turnover in the neutral zone sent Mountfield into the zone, and a pass back to Richard Nedomlel at the blueline, walked it to the middle and fired it through traffic, with the puck taking a slight deflection on its way to the back of the net. After that, it was a cagier affair as neither side could find the go-ahead goal, but Djurgården did run into some penalty trouble throughout the opening 20 minutes, but fortunately for the hosts, the visitors couldn’t capitalise in the first period.
Starting the second period on the powerplay, Mountfield couldn’t get the go ahead goal on the powerplay, but they didn’t wait long after to score their second. As the puck found Matěj Chalupa out in front, he beat Djurgården goalie Karri Rämö to make it a 2-1 game just after two minutes played in the second period.
Neither team could find the back of the net through the remainder of the second period of action, and as the clock ticked away in the third, Mountfield held onto their narrow lead 2-1 lead.
Eventually somebody would have to add another goal, and it was for the visitors as Matěj Chalupa stole the puck and went all the way up ice, before finishing the rush with a nice backhand to beat Karri Rämö to give Mountfield a 3-1 lead.
Djurgården tried to claw their way back into the game, but they couldn't find a way back onto the scoresheet as LGT MVP nominee Mazanec wasn't going to be beaten easily, stopping 20 of the 21 shots he faced as Mountfield held on for a 3-1 victory ahead of the second leg where they'll look to use home-ice advantage to carry them through to the Final.