An exciting finale for the 2013/14 BHL regular season took place in Brest, where local HC Meshkov hosted Dragunas Klaipeda and took a hard-fought win by 30-26 (16-16). The Belarussian club thus finished fourth and qualified to the final tournament ahead of Dragunas. Final Four will be played on 12-13 April in the lovely Estonian city of Põlva.
Meshkov went to the game with a one-point advantage over Dragunas, but it was destined to be a tight affair, as both teams knew what was on stake. Half-time ended 16-16, but the hosts found some additional gear for the second half and took a hugely important 30-26 win. Aleh Astrashapkin scored 7 goals for the winners, Darius Jasinskas was Dragunas’ best with 6 goals.
Another “position deciding match” was played in Kehra, where hosts HC Kehra/Horizon Pulp&Paper suffered a narrow 27-28 (10-14) defeat in the hands of Celtnieks/LSPA Riga. A very tight match was decided at the end and it also meant that Latvian side moved past Kehra in the final table into sixth position. Jürgen Rooba scored 11 goals for Kehra, while Artis Kurmens recorded one less for Celtnieks/LSPA.
Serviti, who on Saturday secured the regular season win, found out few hours before their match against Cocks Riihimäki that the Final Four will be played at their home ground. Head coach Kalmer Musting played without four national team players and suffered a second defeat of the season with Cocks winning 29-25 (13-13). Pavel Turaev from Serviti and Antti Rogenbaum from Cocks both scored 7 goals.
A real goal fest took place in the Minsk derby, where last season’s BHL winners SKA hosted last-placed HC Vityaz. The latter was eager to earn first points of the season and put up a good fight, leading long times in the game. However, SKA – who rested most of their key players – managed to snatch a 39-37 (16-20) victory. Uladzislau Kulesh scored 14 goals for SKA, while Aliaksandr Padshyvalau was Vityaz’s best with 12 goals.
|4||HC Meshkov Brest||14||8||0||6||406:389||17||16|
|7||HC Kehra/Horizon Pulp&Paper||14||3||1||10||378:414||-36||7|
Baltic League Final Four (in Põlva, Estonia):
12 April 17:00 Serviti Põlva – HC Meshkov Brest
12 April 19:30 SKA Minsk – Cocks Riihimäki
13 April 13:00 3rd place play-off
13 April 15:30 Final