Valerenga vs Stavanger Oilers by 20Legend
Valerenga has a rather terrible start this season with just eight points in the first seven games. The club is in 7th place with already 12 points up to league leaders Stavanger Oilers. Valerenga has just one point in the last three games which is not acceptable in a traditional club like this, but they have not got their best squad this season either. Their last game was a close call though against 2nd placed Stjernen (4-3 after OT), but it was just almost enough.
Valerenga grabbed and early lead and had the initiative in the first period. Stjernen was able to equalize with a goal after powerplay, but Valerenga shown who was in charge by taking the lead back immediately after. They extended their lead to 1-3 early in the second half as well, but Stjernen was working hard and tied the period 1-1 after another goal midway through. The third period was the decisive one as Stjernen quickly scored the equalizing goal and got the psychological advantage while the guests started to become defensive. Stjernen continued their rough style and conquered Valerenga out of the game as the final five minutes remained. The final goal came 15 minutes out in the period and Stjernen had no problem on defending it through the last five minutes either.
Stavanger Oilers has been the best hockey team in Norway for several years now. They have not only got the best squad, but also the biggest arena and the biggest budget by far. They have taken Norwegian hockey to another level in terms of how the clubs usually operate. They have for instance restaurants and huge VIP areas that attract both fans and people with money to invest in the facilities. The hockey club has managed to become far more popular than the football team in the city, Viking, which is not normal in Norway. They lost their coach before this season as Petter Thoresen took the responsibility for the national team, but it does not seem to have set the club back at all.
The club has started the season phenomenally this season with just six regular wins and one win after OT to show for. They lead the table with six points down to 2nd placed Stjernen and 3rd placed Frisk Asker. They dominated their last match against rock bottom Kongsvinger (3-0), but they also struggled to get the first goal in the game. Both the first and second half was goalless despite both periods was pretty much a one-way-traffic from Stavanger Oilers. Stavanger Oilers struggled a lot during their powerplay’s while Kongsvinger got new motivation each time they managed to keep the score level. The statistics before the third period gave a clear picture of how the game turned out as 47-8 was the facts about shots on goal so far. However, the third period started out exactly as the previous two, but Kongsvinger was closer to scoring this time with two good powerplays. However, their abilities were not good enough which brought their focus back on defending good.
Then, the first goal finally came five minutes into the last period after a great powerplay. The team decided to play one touch which made Kongsvinger too dizzy in order to defend. Stavanger used 52 shots on getting their first goal, but it become easier from here and in. Kongsvinger started to get tired after working so hard defensively through the game and they did not have powers to attack with. It therefore was only a question of the home team’s efficiency on how big the win was going to be. They use one touch as their weapon and it works as Kongsvinger must take penalties in order to stop them. That gave Stavanger powerplay situations and they used them perfectly for another two goals which sealed another win in the end.
Despite the current situation of the two clubs it will not be any walkover for Stavanger Oilers tonight. This match one of the best rivalries in the league and Valerenaga has made it difficult on numerous occasions for today’s guests at Jordal Amfi. However, the difference in squads and current form should be decisive in this season’s first meeting. Valerenga has lost important players while Stavanger Oilers has built onto the already great squad that they had. It should be a tough fight here with high tempo and lots of frustration involved, but Stavanger Oilers has deserved the stamp as favorites tonight.