Two of the best Norwegian hockey players of all time are looking forward to more barking together at Jordal on Sunday.
– It’s very special, but it’s a little fun until then. Two years without playoffs, and then making them into the quarter-finals… then they just jumped right in. It’s a lot of fun, Vålerenga coach Espen “Shampo” Knutsen told VG before meeting arch-rival Storhamar already in the NM quarter-finals. This is actually the first time they have met in the context of the play-off in eight years.
From a historical perspective, settlements between these two teams are among the largest in Norwegian ice hockey. Vålerenga and Storhamar have met in eight finals and eight semi-finals in the NC Finals over the past 30 years.
– I grew up with this derby, so it will be very special, says Storhamar captain Patrick Thorsen, and therefore the encounter with the Oslo rival is called a “derby”.
– I think that both sides know the level of ignition that comes in these settlements. We also know this throughout the game series. When we meet Vålerenga, there is something extra. Without saying anything ugly about the other teams, the matches between Vålerenga and Storhamar are the biggest compromise, no matter how they are at the table.
Over the past 30 years, Vålerenga and Storhamar together have won the qualifiers 17 times – Vålerenga ten wins and Storhamar seven. Their encounter as early as the quarter-finals happened only once in this period (2012).
– There are two very good teams to meet each other in the quarter-finals. Two teams have had a lot of injuries all season, says Shampoo.
– Obviously getting into the new Jordal is great, and then I hope Vålerenga can get his fans in too, so it’s not just yellow and blue. So I hope people can get off their sofas and fill the two halls, says Captain Storhamar Thoresen, who had peaked at Salavat Yulaev and SKA St. in the Russian League.
There was a lot of hate settlement and a lot of nonsense between the clubs. It has been accumulated over many years. Two greats in Norwegian hockey, Vålerenga coach says, bark at each other, have a solid past in the NHL and Especially in Columbus Blue Jackets.
Note! Vålerenga-Storhamar starts on Sunday at 17.30. You can watch it on TV 2 playing.
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