Norway’s oil capital of Stavanger, suddenly struggling with the effects of the recent dive in oil prices, finally got some good news over the weekend: Its local hockey team managed to defend its title on Saturday as the country’s national hockey champions.
It took the Stavanger Oilers all seven matches to win four of them, as they faced off against Storhamar, their determined opponent from Hamar on the other side of the country. The Oilers beat Storhamar on home ice in Stavanger by a score of 4-2, thus snaring the title in the “best of seven” tournament.
Some commentators had thought the Oilers, the reigning champions who also led the league by a wide margin, would have won the finals after just four or five matches. Storhamar put up a fight, though, and rebounded from a 3-0 score at halftime to score two goals and provide some extra excitement for the cheering crowds.
The Oilers won in the end, to wild jubilation and, as newspaper Aftenposten noted, sheer relief. The DNB Arena where they play was sold out and the championship tournament proved to be an economic success for both clubs. Nearly 120,000 spectators attended the championship playoffs and finals, with the last 4,000 filling the arena in Stavanger on Saturday night.