Wednesday, 14 November 2018

A Trip To Norway Part 2 - Manglerud Stars

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I hadn’t planned on visiting Manglerud on this trip. Originally Stohamar’s game with Ringerike was supposed to take place on this day (Sunday), but due to their success in the Champions Hockey League they were back in action on Tuesday, so their GET-Ligaen clash had to be moved forward 24 hours. That meant missing the game Between Frisk Asker and Valerenga and a spare Sunday. Thankfully a quick check of the schedule meant I could take in a game in the Oslo region as the Manglerud Stars were hosting Stjernan Fredrikstad.
Manglerud is located in the South East Suburbs of Oslo and are a much smaller side than their cross-city rivals Valerenga. The Manglerudhallen arena is very similar to the Billingham Forum in the UK, with spectator seating on one side and the team benches on the opposite side of the rink.
Coming into the game both sides were struggling towards the bottom of the standings, but it didn’t show in their play. With the Stars on the powerplay, they got the opening goal at 7:19 when a clever move saw the puck dropped back to the onrushing Christer Simonsen to score. Just over a minute later that lead was nearly doubled, however the shot struck a post rather than the net.
The home side did increase their lead at 12:43 though when (50 Steffen Ratejczak or 26 Magnus Henriksen??) bundled the puck home into an almost empty net. Still the Stars were not done, and sensing their opponents were on the ropes, went in for the kill. Fredrik Jorgensen’s lightning pace down the right wing saw him advance with the puck before centering to Mats Henriksen on a breakaway. However, Stjernan goalie Sander Berg saved the shot. With ten seconds to go in the opening session, Steffen Ratejczak danced around a Stjernan defenseman, before collecting his own pass, and attempted to walk the puck home into the net but was denied once again by Berg.
With Mats Henriksen called for hooking just before the end of the first period, it meant Manglerud would start the second on the penalty kill. That invited Stjernan to try and reduce the two-goal deficit whilst having the man advantage but instead it all went horribly wrong for the visitors.
A great pass from Manglerud’s Steffen Ratejczak to pick out Michael Stenersen, after he had tied a Stjernan defenseman in knots with his puck handling skills, led to a laser of a shot from Stenersen who beat Berg for a shorthanded strike. It was a brilliantly well-worked goal, on a breakaway which had the fans out of their seats.
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Just 30 seconds later and Manglerud repeated the trick with another breakaway. This time it was Ratejczak, who got the goal after he went five-hole on the hapless Berg in the Stjernan net.
Stjernan now found themselves 4-0 down but at 24:18 had a great chance to get themselves back into the contest when they were gifted a 5-on-3 powerplay but failed to convert on it. With the penalties now elapsed, Manglerud wet back on the offensive. Jesper Hoel’s slapshot type pass to Michael Stenersen saw the latter one time a shot on goal, but he watched as Berg saved his effort.
The visitors were far from giving up though, and they sensed a way back into he game was for the taking. Just after the midway point of the game Mikael Mikalsen’s rink wide pass to David Hallstrom out on the left wing, created a great flowing move as they opened up the home side’s defense, then seconds later Mikalsen found himself 1-on-1 with the Star’s, Kris Joyce but, the goalie didn’t move off his line, standing up the shooter, Mikalsen who had nowhere else to go but slide into the goal, and taking net off.
For Manglerud, two early shorthanded goals had almost made the game safe for them, however the remainder of the period became a war of possession.
Stjernan now had just twenty minutes to try and salvage something from the game and at 48:52 they got themselves on the scoresheet. Peter Lindblad’s deflected shot, looped over Joyce, to deny his shut out.
That goal seemed to boost Stjernan as they looked re-energized on their next few plays, but all their hard-work seemingly was undone at 52:14. An attempted clearance by a Stjernan defenseman was deflected and the puck sat invitingly in the slot for Joachim Hermansen to fire home.
A minute later and the visitors had got to within three goals of their hosts again. Joacim Sundelius found a loose puck in front of Joyce, and calmly took it around the goalie before slotting home into what was an empty net.
For those not keeping count the score was now 5-2. Manglerud realised they had to try and put this game to bed and with little over five minutes remaining Mathias Trygg attempted a one-timer from the left wing whilst his side were on a powerplay. However, his shot didn’t beat Berg in the Stjernan goal.
Still the visiting side pushed for more goals and with 52 seconds left they got their reward. Latvian defenseman Maksims Ponomarenko fired into an empty net from a left-wing position after Joyce had made an initial save from Hanson,  (2nd asst Hampus Gustafsson).
Surprisingly Stjernan didn’t bother to pull their goalie for the extra attacker, and instead it was Manglerud who went closest to scoring in the final few seconds. Per Kristian Person darted down the right wing, before cutting inside, and unleashing a shot, which was saved by Berg. But instead of agonising over his failed attempt he was straight back down the other end of the ice, back-checking well to strip Hampus Gustafsson off the puck in the slot. That was no mean feat at the end of a shift and when that player carrying the puck was the golden helmet-wearing Swedish center.
So, another home win (5-3) and an entertaining game of hockey. Thank you Manglerud.

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Shots 25-25 (9-5, 15-16, 1-4)
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