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    #51
    Good question that, ursus, been pondering the same thing myself. They've always been a well financed club, often putting out a strong team, and it's far from unusual seeing them lead the table mid-season or thereabouts. Maintaining this over the length of a whole season has previously eluded them, however, as injuries and dips in players' form take their toll. This season though, they seem to have avoided these negatives and just kept on going strongly. They may have been less affected by Covid than most other teams, though that may be me extrapolating too much from their being the only team to complete all of their league matches in what has been a disjointed season. Nothing earth shattering has happened that I'm aware of, just a lot of solid performances.

    Undoubtedly helping them has been the fall of both K?rp?t and Tappara this season from their dominant position in the last decade or so. We've been very erratic this season, starting very well and then having a good run in February, but other times playing some real rubbish. Tappara haven't been much better, though they have just tonight got past KalPa 3-1 in games to secure their semi-final place against Lukko. Pelicans squared their series against TPS 2-2, so that will now go to the deciding leg in Turku.

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      #52
      The KHL Final has been a very good series

      https://twitter.com/khl_eng/status/1386002442903592961

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        #53
        Sadly for my good friend from Lahti, TPS finally scraped past Pelicans to complete the quartet of semi-finalists. It's been a heavy schedule for them, with 5 games in 7 days. We're down to the top four league finishers:
        Code:
        Lukko v Tappara
        HIFK  v TPS
        I presume that these will be the usual best of 7 games.

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          #54
          Can anyone confirm that Avangard Omsk of the KHL are named after a Russian "hypersonic glide missile". I presume so as they are owned by a military manufacturer.

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            #55
            I'm not sure they are. Omsktransmash makes military vehicles like tanks, not missiles, and that particular hypersonic glide vehicle was developed decades after the club adopted the name and is manufactured by a different company.

            They had some risible names back in Soviet times: Rubber, Chemists, Tiremakers, as well as being called Aeroflot.

            The promotion of the "Hawk" identity is a KHL era change.

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              #56
              Ah, thanks. So do we know what does the prefix does refer to then? I did think being named after a current mission was a bit much.

              They're current beating CSKA 0-2.
              Last edited by Ray de Galles; 26-04-2021, 18:35.

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                #57
                It is just the Russian equivalent of avant-garde or vanguard

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                  #58
                  This evening Cs?kszereda beat Galati in the playoffs for the Romanian championship to ensure that the final will be exactly the same match up as the cross border Erste Liga.

                  Galati have a bunch of Russian players who have a very short season - they have no problem finishing in the top 4 of the league here as the gap between the 4 biggest teams and the rest is huge. But because they're right out by the Danube delta the Hungarian teams don't want them in the Erste. So they've essentially played 4 important games all season (in the last week) and now it's over

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                    #59
                    Originally posted by ursus arctos View Post
                    It is just the Russian equivalent of avant-garde or vanguard
                    Ah, vanguard makes a lot of sense in a sporting context, thanks. I was intrigued by the idea of a club naming themselves after the avant-garde movement though.

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                      #60
                      Not exclusively European, but not NHL either, but anyway in the UK Freesports are showing 25 games from the World Championship, including all seven GB games. Tournament starts 21 May, GB start the following day.

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                        #61
                        Both best of 5 (not 7) semi-finals concluded last night with 3-1 victories for Lukko and TPS, the latter reversing their generally poor end of season form to defeat HIFK. One thing's for certain, the Canada Cup will be going to the south-west of the country.

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                          #62
                          Last night's bronze medal match was a heavily one-sided affair with HIFK mangling Tappara 7-1. The final series starts tomorrow.

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                            #63
                            Romanian league final is down to the decider. Csikszereda went 2-0 up (in a best of 5 series), and were 3-0 up in the third game after the first period, but Brasov managed to come back to win that one and the next, so the last game will be in Brasov tonight. So far every game has been won by the away side, so it's tough to call. Momentum is with Brasov, but who knows.

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                              #64
                              Fishtown Penguins kicking ass

                              https://twitter.com/championshockey/status/1390756788371431437

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                                #65
                                Lukko moved to the threshold of their first championship in nearly 60 years and only second ever by beating TPS in Turku last night to lead the final series 2-1 in legs. A repeat performance tonight, at the same venue, will guarantee them victory. Should it be needed, the deciding leg will be in Rauma on Thursday.

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                                  #66
                                  https://twitter.com/eurohockey/status/1392148848089473028

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                                    #67
                                    By far the most consistent team in the league this season wins the championship. Congratulations to Rauman Lukko.

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                                      #68
                                      https://twitter.com/iihfhockey/status/1395826598369271809

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                                        #69
                                        The Kazakhs beat us 3-1 on penalties after the match finished a goal apiece after OT. I thought that we were the better team over the four periods, certainly having a lot more shots on target than our opponents, but at the same time often not seeming very threatening. Quite entertaining was the tournament mascot trying to enthuse the cardboard cut out crowd.

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                                          #70
                                          Canada were beaten 5-1 by the USA to start the tournament 0-2 for the first time.

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                                            #71
                                            GB leading Belarus 1-0

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                                              #72
                                              And leading 3-1 now

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                                                #73
                                                3-1 after two periods, with GB very much the better side in the last five minutes of the period (when they scored twice)

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                                                  #74
                                                  ...and they hang on to win 4-3

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                                                    #75
                                                    Britain currently above both Sweden and Czechia (albeit both having played a game fewer) in the league table. In other shock news, Canada finally get round to winning a game, beating Norway 4-2.

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