Stjernen vs Lillehammer by 20Legend
Stjernen enjoyed a fantastic start to the season with a great winning-streak in the start of October. However, their 2nd place has now slipped away due to just one win in the last four games. They come from a slaughter at home against 3rd placed Frisk Asker (3-7) where the difference was huge. It was like Stjernen went back to their old self in previous season where the opponents dictated every move while Stjernen stood still watching. The number one rule when you face Frisk Akser is to stop their top line. That did not go as plan at all for Stjernen as their opponents top line contributed with five goals and seven assists alone.
The home team took the lead though, but the visitors responded quickly before also adding another goal that gave them the lead after the first period. The difference was already settled when the second period started and two power play goals by Frisk Asker made it even worse for Stjernen. A shorthanded goal was the only positive thing for them, but it was never a chance of getting back. The first line on the visiting team kept dominating the play and created big breakaways on several occasions. It resulted in three goals in the last period while Stjernen had just one more goal in them this evening. The score 3-7 was therefore not flattering at all as it could have been even bigger.
Lillehammer is really one of the in-form teams in the league at the moment with an unbeaten run for eight games now. Five regular wins have been mixed with three overtime wins and brought the club up to 2nd place as well. After taking their most important win of the season against the biggest rivals Storhamar (1-4), they got another win against Sparta Sarpsborg (2-1 after penalties) in their last match. It was a really tough game though with both teams being able to create chances.
It was not any dominance by either of the team and it became important to get the first goal. Sparta Sarpsborg was the team to do so as they were able to take advantage of one of their power play chances in the second period. The game continued to go back and forth, but Lillehammer was able to refocus and level the score midway through the third period. Both teams continued being physical and the teams neutralized each other in rest of the half and the overtime. It was down to the individual skills of each team in order to make the winner and Lillehammer scored on one of their three efforts which were enough.
Stjernen did ride a positive wave recently, but it looks like more bumps in the road are about to come. Their recent defensive work looked suspiciously like previous seasons, which is a bad timing when one of the in-form teams pays them a visit. Lillehammer was really fighting for getting the points back on Tuesday, but faces a lot less physical team tonight. These matches are almost always delivering a high number of goals as their history shows. Stjernen beat Lillehammer 0-4 in the first meeting a month ago, so this could also be the chance for Lillehammer to strike back as the table is turned in terms of form. Expect an open game but I would rather make Lillehammer the slight favorites. However I strongly believe in at least six goals tonight.