Full focus during the face-off between Zane Franklin and Rick Schofield. © HC Pustertal/I. Foppa

Resolute wolves win emotionally charged fights

Almost 3000 fans turned the Intercable Arena in Bruneck into a madhouse on Saturday evening and celebrated HC Pustertal's next important victory. The race for a place in the top six, which means direct playoff qualification, is more open than ever.

From the Intercable Arena

Leo Holzknecht

The Wolves and Capitals crossed bats for the second time in eight days. As in the Austrian capital, they also had a thrilling exchange of blows in Bruneck, at the end of which Raphael Andergassen & Co. retained the upper hand. The 2-1 win was well deserved considering the proportion of the game, but the home team had to work harder than they would have liked.

Since the HCP entered the league, the Caps have been the Wolves' feared opponents. The capital city team won seven of eight matches. The black and yellow have reversed this trend this year – and how. All four duels of the season were won by the men of new coach Kasper Vuorinen, who has now won six of seven games since taking office. The Finn saw on Saturday how his players had the action under control for 60 minutes. Jason Akeson & Co. had a hard time scoring goals, which is why it remained exciting until the last minute. Cheered on by the frenetic fans, who quickly reached operating temperature, not least due to questionable decisions, the Wolves managed to get the three points.

The decisive scene occurred at the end of the second third when Ryan Stanton and Alex Petan had to go into the cooler at the same time. However, the best shorthanded game in the league survived this phase unscathed and took the wind out of Vienna's sails. In the final third, the defensive structure around the always attentive goalie Jacob Smith skilfully managed the minimal lead.

The highlights

Petan lies in wait and hitsThe Capitals lose the assignment, Arvin Atwal sees the free-standing Alex Petan, who stays ice cold from close range and gives goalie Stefan Steen no chance with a shot into the top corner.
That was fastOnly 17 seconds had passed in the middle third before Vienna equalized: The Capitals penetrated the zone at great speed, Joel Messner lost sight of Reid Stefanson, who had an easy game.
Overdue 2:1The HCP is the team that dominates the game, but struggles with the evaluation of chances. But then Raphael Andergassen comes onto the scene, who shakes the Intercable Arena with a precise finish from the face-off circle.
The bulwark cannot be crackedBeing twice outnumbered, the Wolves impressively demonstrated their strength: Vienna did not come to a single dangerous conclusion.

The gap to sixth place is now only one point for the HCP. The next groundbreaking game is on the program on Tuesday, when the Wolves visit Olimpija Ljubljana (19.15 p.m.). Then they also want to make up ground on arch-rivals Bozen. He also celebrated his second win within 24 hours at home against champions Salzburg on Saturday evening.

HC Pustertal – Vienna Capitals 2:1

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

VIC: Steen (Wraneschitz); Heinrich-Fischer, Hackl-Donohue, Wardley-Posch, Pallierer; Böhm-Ticar-Weinger, Kainz-Stefanson-Franklin, Piff-Cheek-Preiser, Widhalm-Kromp-Hartl.
coach: Dolezal

Gates: 1:0 Petan (15.00:1 p.m.), 1:20.17 Stefanson (2:1 p.m.), 36.58:XNUMX Andergassen (XNUMX:XNUMX p.m.)

Viewers: 2817

The other Saturday results:

HC Bozen – Red Bull Salzburg 4:1 (click here for the report)
Goals: 0:1 Hochkofler (22.22), 1:1 Ford (23.58), 2:1 Halmo (32.35), 3:1 Halmo (44.13), 4:1 Vandane (58.51)
Audience: 3820

Asiago – Fehervar 3:4
Goals: 0:1 Hari (00.20), 0:2 Kuralt (10.21), 1:2 Vallati (27.05), 1:3 Nemeth (32.23), 2:3 Marchetti (39.31), 3:3 Gazzola (41.48); 3:4 Leavens (59.44)
Audience: 1971

1. Klagenfurt3926013139:9180
2. Fehervar4025015133:11376
3. Salzburg3925014115:9573
4. Innsbruck3922017117:11066
5. HCB South Tyrol3923016108:9965
6. Linz3820018126:9863
7. Villach3821017129:11263
8. HC Pustertal3921018114:10562
9. Olimpija Ljubljana3919020122:12056
10. Vorarlberg4016024124:13548
11. Vienna Capitals391302697:14440
12. Asiago Hockey381102799:14835
13. Graz99ers391102876:12932

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