The 2015-16 Champions Hockey League tournament has passed through another round, moving from 32 competitors from Europe’s top leagues (less the KHL) to 16 teams, including a couple of surprising shields. On November 3, the round of 16 begins with return games scheduled for November 11.
The matches include:
Teams are now just three series away from being crowned CHL champions. None of the four teams from EBEL and only one team from the NLA have made it to the round of 16. Those are two of the major leagues involved, sending more representatives than the lower rung leagues.
Unsurprisingly the EIHL, Ligue Magnus, Extraliga-BLR, Ligaen-DEN and Extraliga-SVK will not have a representative in the final 16. All of those leagues send only one or two teams each to the tournament.
— Champions Hockey League (@championshockey) October 9, 2015
The tournament kicks off the next round with more than a couple of great story-lines going.
One of the big surprises continues to be Storhamar Hamar of the Norwegian League, who only sends a pair of teams to the tournament. Both teams made it to the round of 32, but Hamar enters the round of 16 as a major underdog in a way. They were expected to finish the group stage at the bottom of their group and instead shocked the league by coming out on top of the league after winning back-to-back road games against the favored Prague and Geneva.
One of the tournament heavyweights, Frolunda, nearly missed advancing out of the Round of 32 when they lost their first game and it took a late goal in the second game to get the series tied up, advancing on a highlight reel goal from forward Ryan Lasch.
That goal ranks at the top of the list for the Round of 32, but check out more great goals from the last round at the CHL site.
Dustin Nelson writes about news and the Minnesota Wild for The Hockey Writers.