Prague 5, Edinburgh 3
Prague’s Bryan Little, fresh off a hat trick against Geneva two nights earlier, collected 4 more points Thursday in Edinburgh. He had a goal and three assists and is the early season league leader in scoring. The line of Little, Zach Parise and Ryan Getzlaf is tough enough to handle at even strength; it didn’t help the Capitals’ cause to give Prague 8 powerplays to their none. Getzlaf had 4 assists and teammate Eric Brewer scored twice from the blue line. Edinburgh was led by Jay Bouwmeester, who scored 2 points including his second goal of the season, and James Neal, who had a goal and an assist.
Belfast 5, London 2
Three new members of the Belfast Giants led them to a win in England. The Giants came out flying in this one, sending 22 first-period shots on Marc-Andre Fleury in the Dons net. Jaromir Jagr, the 40-year-old who bolted from Dublin in the off season, scored twice and assisted on a Cody Hodgson goal, all in the first period. The $9 million free agent goalie, Ondrej Pavelec, got the start and stopped 26 of 28 London shots for the win, and Tony Martensson, a young Swede who was the first of back-to-back second round picks for Belfast in the draft this season, was named the third star for his performance which included 2 assists, 2 shots, a plus 2 rating, 3 hits and a blocked shot in 17 minutes of ice time. London’s best player was Devin Setoguchi, who had a goal, 4 shots, 3 hits and a blocked shot.
Bern 6, Bratislava 2
For the second year in a row, the Bern Bears have come out of their off-season hibernation snarling. They cooked the Eagles 6-2 while outshooting them 47-20. Bern had 20 shots in the third period alone. Martin Havlat, who entered the game with one goal from the other night, added two more in the first period off passes from Mike Cammalleri to put the Bears up 3-0 on Thursday. Dennis Seidenberg, Tobias Enstrom, Steve Sullivan and Johan Franzen also scored for Bern. Martin Erat and Jonathan Toews scored for Bratislava and Craig Anderson was in goal for the Bern barrage, making 41 saves. He would have faced more pucks if Paul Martin wasn’t playing defense in front of him. Martin was credited with 5 blocks.
Madrid 3, Zurich 1
R. J. Umberger scored twice and Tomas Vokoun stopped 30 Lions shots to help Madrid to a win in Switzerland. The Royals made good on one of 3 powerplay chances, while their penalty killers stopped Zurich on 7 man-advantage situations. Jeff Carter scored the other Royal goal, while Sergei Gonchar was credited with 5 hits for Madrid. Manny Malhotra scored the lone Lions goal and teammate Joni Pitkanen blocked 4 shots.
Minsk 5, St. Petersburg 4 (OT)
Both teams came into the game with 1-0 records and the game was a close one throughout. Patrik Berglund of Minsk, appeared to be on his way to goat of the game honors by taking 3 of the Hussars’ 12 minor penalties. But in overtime, with less than a minute to play, he curled around behind the St. Petersburg net, passed across the front of it to Sergei Kostitsyn who quickly returned the puck to Berglund for an easy game winning goal. Berglund also had two assists earlier in the game. A battle of two of the better goalies in the league – Pekka Rinne of the Red Stars and Minsk’s Carey Price – saw each give up 4 goals in regulation. Erik Cole scored a pair of goals for St. Petersburg, one just 8 seconds into the game.
Geneva 6, Berlin 4
Two second-period goals by Dennis Wideman helped the Generals pull away from the Smurfs in a game they won by 2 goals. Thanks to two goals and an assist by Patrick Marleau, Geneva had a 3-1 lead after a period in front of their home fans. Berlin had goals from Nick Bonino and Logan Couture in the first. But Wideman widened the gap in the second period with two goals that were about 5 minutes apart. Former Bern star Ray Whitney scored his first in a Smurf uniform to draw Berlin to within two goals before the end of the second, but the teams traded a goal apiece in the final period. Whitney was the only Berlin player to record 2 points, while five Generals had multi-point games. Marleau had 3, while Wideman, Michael Del Zotto, Marian Gaborik and Chris Kunitz all had 2.