Hockey fans in Stavanger were celebrating yet again this week after their hometown team beat Vålerenga of Oslo 4-3 over the weekend, in “sudden death” action on Sunday. Snorre Hallem was the hometown hero when he managed, after four minutes and 45 seconds, to shoot the puck past Vålerenga goalkeeper Steffen Søberg.
It was the third time the Stavanger Oilers won a championship title. “Nothing could please me more,” Oilers coach Petter Thoresen told newspaper Dagsavisen after Hallem’s goal.
Thoresen has become accustomed to winning national championship titles after three with Storhamar, two with Vålerenga and now three with the Oilers. He had recruited Hallem for reserve team at Storhamar 20 years ago. Thoresen was delighted Hallem, now 34, could enjoy another triumph.
“I’ve won so much, that I’m more happy to see others win than myself,” Thoresen said. “I’m thinking about all the people who have invested in this club and everyone who has come to this arena. We’ve had more than 3,500 spectators at every match.”
Stavanger has been enjoying a hockey boom of sorts in recent years and Thoresen and his players were thrilled to “be able to give something back,” as the coach said.
Vålerenga’s players were predictably disappointed, even though the Oslo club has won the championship 26 times before. Coach Espen “Shampoo” Knutsen’s strategy worked well in the beginning and was in the lead until the Oilers came from behind and evened things out. Until sudden death brought the Oilers’ dream to life.