Fehervar has fallen, HC Pustertal is celebrating. © Soos Attila

The Fairy Tale of Fehervar: Wolves on Cloud 7

The dream has come true, HC Pustertal is in the semi-finals of the ICE Hockey League: What seemed unthinkable just a few weeks ago has actually happened. The Wolves reached this historic milestone thanks to a fantastic, well-deserved victory in the decisive seventh game of the playoff series against Fehervar.

Leo Holzknecht

On Wednesday, HC Pustertal celebrated in their home Intercable Arena an unforgettable victory, 72 hours later, a dream came true in Hungary. Heroic Wolves broke the taboo, won the first away win of the series with an unequivocal 4-1 win and thereby secured promotion to the semi-finals. The almost 100 HCP fans who made the eight-hour journey were over the moon. Some people even shed a tear or two of joy.

Flashback: Last Thursday, the Black and Yellows had their backs to the wall in the third game of the series: After losing both games in Hungary - partly unnecessarily - they were also 0-2 behind to their own supporters. From this point on, however, Kasper Vuorinen's team showed their whole heart, their whole character and turned things around. The momentum spilled over to the South Tyrolean side – and stayed there. The upcoming semi-final against EC KAC is now an encore.

Akeson and Smith outstanding

When the going gets tough, a team's best players have to take responsibility. Jason Akeson took this sentence to heart on Saturday: The star purchase showed, of all things in the most important game of the season, why he played in the NHL, where the DEL was the top scorer and why he has exceptional qualities. He prepared two goals and scored a dream goal to make it 3-1. The second hero of the evening was an almost incredible Jacob Smith, who silenced the cauldron with his saves.

Jacob Smith braced himself against Fehervar like a wall. © Soos Attila

The bottom line is that ice hockey is and remains a team sport in which every individual player has to make their contribution. Without the tireless efforts of Matthias Mantinger or the willingness to sacrifice of Ivan Deluca, the Wolves would not be where they are now. With this unity, Raphael Andergassen & Co. now want to tackle the semi-final against the Red Jackets, which begins on Tuesday in Klagenfurt. HC Bozen, however, will face champions Red Bull Salzburg in the semi-finals.

The highlights

Smith and the post saveFehervar gains advantages and good chances: When McGauley shoots, the post prevents the deficit, and a little later Smith is there with a great feat when Markus Philipps is able to take the measure completely freely in the slot.
Strong power playWith one more man, the HCP is a force: Jason Akeson plays a hard pass towards the goal, David Morley is positioned there and deflects in to make it 1-1. A few moments later, Wyatt Ege has the 2-0 on his bat.
Caught coldIt's only 46 seconds into the second third when cheers break out: Tim Campbell tries from the blue line, Joel Messner can't clear it and Daniel Leavens is there with the follow-up shot.
Akeson again and againThe Canadian is the linchpin of all offensive efforts: First Zach Sill deflects a slap shot, then Akeson makes Campbell look quite old, also invites goalie Olivier Roy and scores with one of the most beautiful goals of the year.
That's itMorley fights for the puck behind the opposing goal and sees Christian Kasastul lurking in the slot, who takes a dry shot before Roy can intervene.

AV Fehervar – HC Pustertal 1:4

OASI: Roy (Horvath); Fournier-Campbell, Stipsicz-Nilsson, Robertson-Phillips, Roland Kiss-Csongor Ambrus; Magosi-Hari-Kuralt, Leavens-McGauley-Atkinson, Leclerc-Bartalis-Mihaly, Gergö Ambrus-Nemeth-Terbocs.
coach: David Kiss

HCP: Smith (Bernard); Stanton-Messner, Kasastul-Ege, Glira-Atwal, Althuber; Morley-Schofield-Akeson, Andergassen-Frycklund-Petan, Deluca-Sill-Mantinger, Catenacci-Berger-Hasler, Öhler.
coach: Mountainous

Gates: 0:1 Morley (17.29), 1:1 Leavens (20.46), 1:2 Sill (30.12), 1:3 Akeson (34.31), 1:4 Kasastul (50.57)

Viewers: 2815

Final standings in the series: 3:4


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