The looks of the Kalter ice hockey players go nowhere. The Hechte failed in the semi-finals against Pergine.

End, end, amen: Überetscher duo fails in the semi-finals

The decision was made in the Italian Hockey League (IHL) on Tuesday. Both HC Eppan and SV Kaltern were challenged abroad when the all-important game 5 came up. However, the evening did not end well for either team.

Oh, how much everyone in Überetsch dreamed of a dream final between Eppan and Kaltern. The Hechte (against Pergine) and the Pirates (against Varese) saw themselves as underdogs, but they still had a chance. In the all-important Game 5 on Tuesday, both teams had to compete away from home – and experienced a nightmare. Both Kaltern (3:4 nP) and Eppan (2:3) lost out in their respective games and have now already been eliminated.

The pike around ex-HCB coach Kai Suikkanen soon took the lead in Pergine. After a pass from Creator, Teemu Virtala scored to make it 1-0 (10th). A little later Kaltern had to accept the equalizer: Mocellin scored in the majority (15th). Things got even worse for Kalterer in the second third when Christian Buono made it 56-2 after 1 seconds. However, Kaltern was not shocked and responded immediately through Marko Virtala, who equalized the game again (25th).

Decision only in the shootout

With the score 2-2, we went into the third period, where things went back and forth at first. But then the shock for the Überetschers. Once again it was Mocellin who gave Pergine a 3-2 lead (56th). But anyone who thought that Kaltern would give up was completely wrong. In the 59th minute, veteran Thomas Waldthaler scored to equalize 3:3 - so it went into 20 minutes of overtime.

The game there was balanced, as the shot ratio of 13:10 for Pergine shows. But there was no goal here either, and so it went to the decisive penalty shootout. There the Kalterer Hechte's nerves failed completely: Teemu Virtala, Marko Virtala, Thomas Waldthaler and Luca De Doná all failed because of Pergine keeper Rudy Rigoni. For the Trentino team, Enrico Bitetto and Christian Buono did a better job, sinking their attempts and shooting Pergine into the final. For Kaltern, on the other hand, it is now time to get up and attack again next year!

Eppan loses after a 2-0 lead

In the PalAlbani in Varese, which was packed with 1057 spectators, Eppan started the game optimally: after just 16 seconds (!) the Pirates were already in the front thanks to Erno Räisänen. In the 12th minute, Tobias Chizzali even increased the score to 2-0 in the power play. Eppan's joy was then marred by Naslund's goal (16th). When Borghi made it 2-2 in the second half, the game was finally level again (35').

Andreas Radin and Co. were eliminated against Varese. © Max Pattis

In the final third the Pirates acted more concentrated and determined, but the Überetscher team were unable to score. And then things got tough for Eppan: When there were just under six minutes left on the clock, Gianluca Tilaro scored out of nowhere to make it 3-2 for Varese (54th). Suddenly the Pirates were under pressure and had to score a goal to avoid an early end to the season. But they were no longer able to do that, and so after a hard-fought series, the Lombards moved into the IHL final - and wanted to defend their championship title from last year.

Final start on Saturday

In this year's final, HC Pergine and HC Varese will meet. In the best-of-seven mode, the two teams duel for the IHL championship title. The first game of the final series will take place on Saturday in Varese.

IHL semifinals, game 5

HC Pergine - SV Kaltern 4:3 nP
Goals: 0:1 Teemu Virtala (9.03), 1:1 Mocellin (14.43/PP), 2:1 Christian Buono (20.56), 2:2 Marko Virtala (24.38), 3:2 Mocellin (55.09), 3:3 Waldthaler (58.21); Decisive penalty: Bitetto.
Final standings in the best-of-five series: 3:2

HC Varese - HC Eppan 3:2
Goals: 0:1 Räisänen (0.16), 0:2 Chizzali (11.11/PP), 1:2 Naslund (15.45/PP), 2:2 Marcello Borghi (34.56), 3:2 Tilaro (45.49).
Final standings in the best-of-five series: 3:2

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