It was an action-packed opening day of Euro Hockey League’s Round 1.2 event in Lille (FRA) as eight teams took to the field determined to start their 2013-14 EHL campaign in winning fashion.
Waterloo Ducks (BEL), Rot-Weiss Köln (GER) and H.C. Rotterdam (NED) were all triumphant, while French champions St Germain and Dinamo Elektrostal played out a hugely entertaining draw.
Here is a quick summary of the action from the first day.
Pool C - WatDucks fight-back sees off Poznanska
Waterloo Ducks recorded a 3-1 victory over Pool C rivals AZS Politechnika Poznanska, although the Belgians were forced to work extremely hard for their success by their Polish opponents. A spectacular early strike from Krzysztof Kmiec earned Poznanska a surprise lead which they kept until the early stages of the third quarter, but goals from Maxime Bertrand, Alex de Paeuw and Alex de Saedeleer ensured that the Belgian champions came off the field as winners.
Pool B - Montag hits hat-trick as Köln cruise past Stroitel
The absence of double Olympic Gold medal winning siblings Philipp and Christopher Zeller did not stop Rot-Weiss Köln cruising to a 5-1 Pool B win over Belarusian champions SC Stroitel Brest in the day’s second match. The Zeller boys were not named on the team-sheet for the match against Brest, but the German giants still had far too much quality for their opponents and cruised to a comfortable victory, with team captain Jan-Marco Montag scoring a hat-trick in the contest.
Pool H - St Germain & Elektrostal play out entertaining draw
The third game of the day in Lille saw Parisians St Germain and Dinamo Elektrostal of Russia play out an absolutely thrilling 3-3 draw, although it will go down as a day that Dinamo’s Ilya Larikov will remember for all the wrong reasons. The Elektrostal defender was credited with two own goals and missed a penalty stroke as the Russians were held by the French champions in their Pool H encounter.
Pool A - Thys double helps Rotterdam past brave Lille
H.C. Rotterdam battled to a 4-1 win over EHL Round 1-2 hosts Lille MHC in the fourth and final match of Day 1. The home favourites produced a performance to be proud of in this Pool A clash, but three goals in the final quarter gave the Dutch champions a deserved triumph. EHL all-time top scorer Jeroen Hertzberger was on target in the contest, while Belgian international summer signing Jeffrey Thys netted a late double to help his new team claim maximum points.
EHL Round 1.2 Lille continues on Saturday with four more top class European matches. At 0930 (Central European Standard Time), Uhlenhorst Mülheim (GER) take on AZS Politechnika Poznanska in Pool C before Robbert Kemperman’s Kampong (NED) make their EHL debut against Pool B opponents SC Stroitel Brest at 1200.
The 1430 game is a mouth-watering Pool A clash between H.C. Rotterdam and Reading HC of England, a team that eliminated Rotterdam in the second round of last year’s competition. The final match of the day will feature Belgium’s Racing Club de Bruxelles and Dinamo Elektrostal, with the Pool H rivals meeting at 1700.
Source: Euro Hockey League.
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