© Tornado Luxembourg
The ACBB Tigers (Les Tigres de l’ACBB), a team from Paris suburb Boulogne-Billancourt, had a long bus ride to Luxembourg, but their ride home probably felt even longer after they suffered a heavy 8-1 loss against Luxembourg’s Tornadoes in that team’s last regular season game.
The stakes for the game were pretty clear: the winner would place 4th in the group and face the Nîmes Krokos in the first round of the play-offs. There was even an outside chance that the winner would place 3rd in the group and face the Chambery Elephants.
The game as played
The game started with the teams taking possession of the puck about equally. The Tigers, however, surprised the Tornadoes by demonstrating their ability to skate fast and pile on the pressure. However, both teams managed to create some decent scoring chances.
Half-way through the first period, the Tornadoes’ first offensive line decisively took the lead by scoring two goals in one shift (rotation of players). First high-scoring Finnish forward Henri Öörni fired the puck into the Tigers’ net on a breakaway and then his countryman Teemu Hinkula fulfilled what he said is his long-time dream of shooting the puck into the net by bouncing it off Öörni’s rear-end. The game stood at 2-0 after at the end of the first period.
Tornadoes continue scoring
In the second period Tornado’s first offensive line continued to score. First, Öörni managed another goal in the first shift of the period and then Hinkula also scored again with 33:05 on the game clock. At the end of the period, the Tigers finally managed to score on a goal by Yann Chevanse, with an assist from Florent Bissonnier, and the game stood at 4-1 after the first two periods.
The other Tornado offensive lines finally managed to score during the third period as as the German forward Shorty Müller scored two, Finn Patrick Hedberg got his first goal while wearing a Tornado jersey and fellow Finn Vesa Hirvonen scored in a shot from the blue line. The game ended up a lopsided 8-1.
Penalties and injuries
The game featured the usual cavalcade of penalties., especially from some frustrated Tigers players towards the end of the game.
The Tornadoes were sorry to see their Finnish teammate Ossi Uotila leaving the ice with a dislocated shoulder. It is not yet certain when he will be back.
The game’s most regrettable episode however took place the end of the game, when an apparently drunk and dismayed ACBB Tigers staff member behaved very badly by hitting a spectator who was apparently a Tornado supporter. The conflict went no further, but the police were called, according to a Tornado spokesman. The Tiger’s main coach later sent the Tornadoes a message apologising for the man’s behaviour.
The regular season is over and the Tornadoes are now waiting to get the play-offs schedule. As the teams from Champigny (Les Elans) and Dijon (the Ducs) will play their last games next week, the team will probably have to wait another week before they learn the play-off game dates.
In the very unlikely event that Champigny loses against Dijon, the Tornadoes would finish 3rd in the standings and play the Chambery Elephants in the first play-off round. But the Tornadoes are probably going to have to start preparing to play the team from Nîmes. The dates for the first round are 16 and 23 February or 2 March.