- Kärpät and Zurich were tied after 1st leg
- Two goals in the third period by Radek Koblížek seal the win for the Kärpät
- Kärpät take on the winner of Salzburg in the next round
It was all square at the end of 60 minutes when the ZSC Lions Zurich played host to Kärpät Oulu in the first meeting of their Champions Hockey League Round of 16 clash, so with a 4–4 scoreline coming into the second leg, both teams were in for a thrilling game as they look to keep their tournament hopes alive.
With Kärpät Oulu playing host in the return leg, the two sides played out a scoreless opening 10 minutes, with Zurich unable to capitalise on two early powerplay opportunities, with a penalty of their own cancelling out their second opportunity.
The two sides were reduced to four skaters each which opening up a lot more ice, and moments after it was the hosts celebrating as Teemu Kivihalme beat Lukas Flüeler for the opening goal of the game, making it 1–0 on the night, but 5-4 on aggregate for Kärpät Oulu, with Kivihalme adding his fifth point of the tournament, adding to his one assist in the first leg, but it didn’t take long for the visitors to respond.
"We didn't start well tonight but after the first period we spoke in the locker room. We started to skate a lot and just shoot the puck, to play our game. Luckily, we won the game and we'll go to next round. It was nice feeling to score some goals."
Radek Koblížek (Forward, Kärpät Oulu)
Some more penalties saw Zurich with a man advantage on a four on three opportunity, which gave Chris Baltisberger the opportunity to slot the puck into the back of the net past Veini Vehviläinen with a nice tuck after a good set up pass from Fredrik Pettersson to tie things up just under three minutes later, which sent the game into the first break with the scores still tied.
Coming out for the second you got the feeling the next goal could be crucial, and it didn’t take long for Zurich to break the deadlock. Just 80 seconds into the middle frame, Jérôme Bachofner grabbed the visitors second of the night. A shot from the point by Pius Suter was initially tipped by Chris Baltisberger, before coming off the body of Bachofner and across the line, with Zurich capitalising on a turnover to make it a 2-1 lead on the road, with the Lions now leading the two legs 6-5.
Zurich dominated most of the second period but couldn’t find another way past Vehvilänen who kept it a 2–1 game going into the crucial third period, leading the former CHL finalists Kärpät who were on the brink of a first round exit. The teams traded chances through the third period but both netminders stood tall, setting up a dramatic finish.
In the first leg it was a goal with 2 seconds left that was the story of the game, but tonight it was Radek Koblížek who was the hero. With Zurich overcommitting defensively, Koblížek was alone at the back door to tap in the go-ahead goal with just over a minute remaining, and as Kärpät faced a barrage of shots in the final 60 seconds, they stood their ground and snuck the win at the death to advance to the next round.
In the first leg it was a goal with 2 seconds left that was the story of the game, but tonight it was Radek Koblížek who was the hero. With Zurich overcommiting defensively, Koblížek was alone at the back door to tap in the go-ahead goal with just over a minute remaining, and as Kärpät faced a barrage of shots in the final 60 seconds, they stood their ground and snuck the win at the death to advance to the next round.