HC Pustertal needed everything in Villach to come away victorious. © René Krammer

Ups and downs: Pustertal trembles two points

In a turbulent and varied game in which the consistency and efficiency of HC Pustertal had to be questioned, the Wolves clinched an important victory against Villach in the penalty shootout.

Some parallels could be seen between the two teams that met on Friday. Both HC Pustertal and VSV started the season strongly, but experienced a negative series around Christmas. Both clubs reacted and put a new man in the coaching bench - both times the assistant coach was promoted. This change was particularly good for the wolves: they traveled to Carinthia with four wins from the last five games. In addition, Kasper Vuorinen was officially confirmed as head coach on Thursday. After an exciting and trend-setting game, the Wolves won 3-2 in a penalty shootout and thus kept the race for the playoffs alive.

In addition to the successful coaching effect, the Wolves also started the trip to Villach with the desire for revenge. It wasn't until December 30th that the Eagles overturned a 0-3 deficit and won 6-3 in Bruneck. What the Puster fans who traveled with them then saw was a team with two different faces. While the Wolves impressed at the beginning with a lightning-fast pace, a lot of control and four dominant lines, the Vuorinen players completely lost their nerve in the second third - also due to Villach's undeserved lead, who played their way into the front with two dirty goals.

In the meantime, Pustertal failed because of its own self-confidence, as the level fell sharply as a result. There was nothing left with the offensive pinpricks or the courageous fights for every puck. With a goal from Morley after an impressive individual performance from Kasastul, the HCP fought its way into extra time and then into the penalty shootout with a score of 2-2. There the wolves rewarded themselves for their excellent performance at times and took 2 points from Carinthia.

The highlights of the game

Schofield single-handedlySabolic makes a serious bad pass in the middle third, which Schofield intercepts. The striker skillfully dances the puck into the goal alone against Lamourex and celebrates the first goal of the game – 0:1 (11.08).
The VSV strikes backThe puck flutters over Bernard into the Pusterer net after a shot from MacPherson and an unfortunate deflection from a Wolves skate – 1:1 (19.53).
The VSV from nowhereThe dominance of the Pusterers can only be seen on the ice, not on the scoreboard. Lindner flicks the disc from the blue line into the right cross corner – 2:1 (27.15).
The HCP is aliveKasastul carries the play equipment all over the ice and serves Morley in the middle, who sends his own rebound into Lamourex's goal - 2:2 (45.51).
Morley and Bernard save the HCPHannoun and Schofield shot first for Pustertal, while Bernard saved Villach's first two attempts. Morley then sinks between the Lamourex schooners, while Bernard remains victorious against Hughes and celebrates the victory.

This victory in the penalty shootout could have important consequences for the table and keep the Wolves' dream of a top 6 placement alive. The next chapter follows on Saturday in Brunico against the Vienna Capitals. HCB Südtirol was also happy about a win against Fehervar.

EC VSV – HC Pustertal 2:3 nP

VSV: Lamoureux (Swett); Lindner-Wall, Katic-MacPherson, Viveiros-Kulda, Bruckner; Rebernig-Desjardins-Hughes, Sabolic-Rauchenwald-Tomazevic, Wallenta-Hancock-Lanzinger, Tschurnig-Maxa-Richter

HCP: Bernard (Smith); Stanton-Messner, Kasastul-Ege, Glira-Atwal, Hasler-Baumgartner; Hannoun-Ikonen-Petan, Morley-Schofield-Akeson, Deluca-Andergassen-Mantinger, Catenacci-Sill-Öhler

Gates: 0:1 Schofield (11.08), 1:1 MacPherson (19.53), 2:1 Lindner (27.15), 2:2 Morley (45.51), 2:3 Morley decisive penalty

Viewers: 2917

The other games

Klagenfurter AC – Graz 99ers 3:1
Goals: 1:0 Hundredppound (5.40), 1:1 Salinitri (6.40), 2:1 Maier (55.57), 3:1 Kraus (59.32)
Audience: 4216

HC Innsbruck – Red Bull Salzburg 4:3
Goals: 1:0 Roy (0.45), 2:0 Roy (8.41), 3:0 Roy (18.48), 4:0 Roy (24.58), 4:1 Raffl (27.14), 4:2 Nissner (30.32), 4:3 Baltram (56.59)
Audience: 2800

Pioneers Vorarlberg – Vienna Capitals 3:2 aet
Goals: 1-0 Oden (5.03), 2-0 Kirichenko (29.38), 2-1 Wardley (46.24), 2-2 Donohue (46.44), 3-2 Owre (61.12)
Audience: 1636

Asiago Hockey – HK Olimpija 4:5
Goals: 1:0 Marchetti (17.42), 2:0 Ierullo (23.31), 3:0 Rapuzzi (27.57), 3:1 Leskinen (27.57), 3:2 Leskinen (39.26), 3:3 Gooch (41.03), 4:3 Oskanen (41.38), 4:4 Cosic (49.19), 4:5 Mahkovec (4:5)
Audience: 1466

HCB South Tyrol – Fehervar AV19 4:2
Goals: 0:1 Magosi (7.56), 1:1 Ford (8.37), 1:2 Stipsicz (17.48), 2:2 Ford (36.54), 3:2 Miceli (44.32), 4:2 Gazley (59.53)
Audience: 3513

The table

1. Klagenfurt3825013135:8977
2. Salzburg3825013114:9173
3. Fehervar3924015129:11073
4. Innsbruck3822016113:10565
5. Villach3821017129:11263
6. HCB South Tyrol3822016104:9862
7. Linz3719018121:9461
8. HC Pustertal3820018112:10459
9. Olimpija Ljubljana3818020116:11953
10. Vorarlberg3916023122:13148
11. Vienna Capitals381302596:14240
12. Asiago Hockey371102696:14435
13. Graz99ers381102775:12332

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