Nelson's Kinrade scores twice in first European Trophy game, sparks HC Plzen 1929 to 3-2 overtime victory
Nelson’s Geoff Kinrade is making the transition from the American Hockey League to the Euro-game look amazingly easy.
Kinrade scored twice in his first European Trophy game Friday to lead HC Plzen 1929 a 3-2 extra time victory over HC Mountfield in Ceske Budejovice.
Kinrade scored both goals in regulation time for HC Plzen 1929, pulling the visitors even in the third after HC Mountfield had taken a 2-1 lead.
The former Michigan Tech grad, who played in the KIJHL for Nelson Leafs and BCHL for Cowichan Valley, earned a game star for his offensive display.
Kinrade, 26, inked a one-year deal with the Czech Republic franchise after declining another minor league contract with the NHL’s Ottawa Senators.
Kinrade was a key cog Ottawa’s minor league affiliate, Binghamton Senators, run to the 2011 Calder Cup Championships.
However, the six-foot, 207-pound blueliner did see himself in the future plans of Ottawa and bolted to Europe where he is quickly adapting to play.
Friday’s game for HC Plezen was the first in the 24-team European Tournament.
The other teams in the East Division, which HC Plezen 1929 is slotted into, include HC Slovan Bratislava, KalPa, Oulun Kärpät and Vienna Capitals.
The European Tournament has each team play one game against the five other teams in the same division and one game against one team from each of the other three divisions, for a total of eight games per team.
The other three has HC Plezen 1929 up against HC CSOB Pojistovna Pardubice from the South, Tappara from the West and HC Slavia Praha from the North.
The top two teams from each division qualify for the playoffs December 16-18 at the Salzburg Eisarena and Vienna’s Eisarena.
After the European Trophy event, HC Plezen 1929 begins play in the Czech Republic Extraliga.
HC Plzen 1929 finished fifth last season.
HC Plzen 1929 split a pair of exhibition games prior to the Euro opener, defeating BK Mlada Boleslav 3-2 before losing to HC Energie Karlovy 5-2.