Daniel Frank caused the Bozner Sparkasse Arena to shake repeatedly. © Vanna Antonello

Simply frankastic: Bolzano conjures up the start of the playoffs

A completely unleashed Daniel Frank and an equally frenetic Foxes won the first quarter-final game in the ICE Hockey League hands down. Villacher SV was mercilessly shown how playoff ice hockey works.

From the Sparkasse Arena in Bolzano

Alexander Foppa

That was a sheer demonstration of power that HC Bozen delivered in game one at home against VSV. At the end of nearly 60 minutes of one-way hockey, the Foxes won 5-2. The result was still far too close. But be careful: it's just the beginning of what could be a long best-of-seven series.

However, if Bozen and Villach continue at this pace, the quarter-final duel could end earlier than initially expected. Bolzano offered everything that was needed in the playoffs: speed, toughness and a lot of effort to get to the goal. The Carinthians, who were otherwise so strong offensively, around ex-NHL star Andrew Desjardins and league record scorer John Hughes, felt like they were losing every duel, were repeatedly pushed against the boards by the people of Bolzano and were torn apart in a textbook manner on defense.

The only shortcoming in Bozen in this game: the evaluation of chances. The white-reds failed five times in total. But one man made up for all of this, namely Captain Daniel Frank. He led the Foxes to victory with a brace. It was the third time this season that the 29-year-old from Merano scored two or more goals in one game. With 21 scorer points, he has already set his personal record for points in a season.

Lots of goals, lots of aluminum

Double FrankAfter Daniel Mantenuto's remarkable opening goal (15th), the captain puts the HCB on the road to victory. First he directs a DiPerna shot into the net (20th), then he hits the target from an acute angle (29th). Enrico Miglioranzi increased the score to 4-0 with a blueliner in the second third (31st).
Wild DiPernaThis scene is emblematic of the game: After a violent scramble, HCB giant Dylan DiPerna pulls the kneeling Maxime Golod meters across the ice and repeatedly hits his head violently. There was no resistance from Villacher, his frustration only vented in the penalty box (45th).
Rejoicing VillachersThe Bolzano victory never actually seemed in danger. Actually. Because in the final third the Eagles suddenly come back to 2:4. Andrew Desjardins (45th) and Dylan McPherson (57th) ensure tension again.
Unhappy FrigoThings get strange in the final phase: While Villach is pushing, Bozen simply doesn't hit the empty goal. Domenic Alberga, Dustin Gazley and Frigo hit the post. The Piedmontese striker failed to hit the rafters a total of three times in this game.

While Bolzano achieved an acclaimed home victory, Pustertal started its quarter-final series against Fehervar with an unfortunate overtime defeat. The Wolves' next away game continues on Monday, with Bolzano playing in Villach on Tuesday.

HCB Südtirol Alperia – IDM Heat Pumps Villacher SV 5:2

HSBC: Harvey (Vallini); Valentine-Vandane, Miglioranzi-Parlett, Teves-Di Perna, Pietroniro; Halmo-Ford-Gazley, Frank-McClure-Thomas, Frigo-Mantenuto-Miceli, Brunner-Alberga-DiGiacinto, Felicetti.
Coach: Hanlon

VSV: Lamoureux (Swett); Cap-MacPherson, Lindner-Katic, Wetzl-Wall; Sabolic-Hancock-Hughes, Steenbergen-Desjardins-Golod, Wallenta-Rauchenwald-Benjamin Lanzinger, Viveiros-Maxa-Florian Lanzinger.
Coach: Rodman

Gates: 1:0 Daniel Mantenuto (14.44), 2:0 Daniel Frank (19.52), 3:0 Daniel Frank (28.14), 4:0 Enrico Miglioranzi (30.19), 4:1 Andrew Desjardins (44.25), 4:2 Dylan MacPherson (56.44), 5:2 Brad McClure (59.16)

Viewers: 3820

The other quarter-final duels:

Fehervar AV - HC Pustertal 3:2 aet (click here for the report)
Goals: 1:0 Philipps (1.37), 1:1 Sill (27.52), 1:2 Ege (31.22), 2:2 McGauley (54.48), 3:2 Kuralt (62.46)
Audience: 2.889
Best of 7 series: 1:0

Klagenfurter AC - Pioneers Vorarlberg 0:2
Goals: 0:1 Pastujov (0.17), 0:2 Owre (26.34)
Audience: 4.395
Best of 7 series: 0:1

EC Salzburg - Black Wings Linz 4:0
Goals: 1:0 Schneider (24.32), 2:0 Raffl (34.3), 3:0 Rymsha (47.20), 4:0 Rymsha (48.17)
Audience: 3.087
Best of 7 series: 1:0

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