On Sunday (5:30 p.m., PULS 24) the Upper Austrians will be able to enjoy their home premiere of the season. It’s something like déjà vu, because last year the starting opponent was Villach. Goals from Lebler (1st) and Andreas Kristler (33rd), who is out injured this time, guaranteed a 2-1 win.
They would take a result like that with a kiss of the hand this time too, because the Carinthians, who were still free to play on Friday, had previously warmed up with victories over Straubing (5:1) and Pustertal (4:3).
“It was always my dream”
Ten players left the club in the spring and six new ones arrived. The VSV coach remains unchanged: Rob Daum, who won the second and last title in the club’s history with the Black Wings in 2011/12. The third strike has been twelve years in coming, and the longing for a trophy in Linz is correspondingly great.
“It was always my dream to win a title here,” says Kristler, who has worn the Wings jersey since 2017, in the OÖN podcast “Eisbrecher”. Only the “local heroes” Gerd Kragl (not yet match-fit after tearing a cruciate ligament) and Stefan Gaffal as well as Lebler, who had the puck for the first time in Linz in 2011, have been with the club longer – since childhood. Back then, alongside current head coach Philipp Lukas in the fourth line of attack, he was immediately decorated with gold.
“The most instructive phase”
4,865 fans are allowed into the hall, there should be more than 3,000 tomorrow, especially since the Linz team recently broke the 1,500 mark in season tickets sold. There is a spirit of optimism, which comes as no surprise after the thrilling quarter-final series against Bolzano, in which the Wings only lost out in overtime of the seventh game. The team has regained a lot of credit, even though things didn’t go well at all in January and February.
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