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Black Wings on the road to victory with minimalism

Black Wings on the road to victory with minimalism
Rasmus Tirronen (right) held on to win. Photo: APA/Georg Hochmuth

If you only fire 13 shots at the opponent’s goal in 65 minutes, the chances of success in ice hockey are relatively low. But there are days when that’s enough. Today there was one of those in the Linz AG ice arena, where 4,150 fans watched the Steinbach Black Wings’ 2:1 (0:1, 0:0, 1:0/0:0/1:0) triumph after a penalty shootout cheered the reigning champion Red Bull Salzburg. These are two “big points”.

Among the eyewitnesses was Austria’s team boss Roger Bader, who saw a disjointed match – without any major highlights, with a lot of struggle and cramps. But the Upper Austrians found a way, as they did last time in Innsbruck (5:4 n.P.). And that even though they had been caught cold.

After just 76 seconds, the puck fidgeted in the net behind goalie Rasmus Tirronen, who would subsequently be in top form. “It was a close game. It’s extremely important for the head to have come back,” said Stefan Gaffal, who was the focus of the player presentation.

The 27-year-old was received with a standing ovation and chants before his first home game after a four-month injury break. That had style.

The match was less exciting for a long time. The Black Wings were wobbling, Nico Feldner breathed new life into them practically out of nowhere with the important 1-1 (44th minute). The decision was only made in the shootout, in which Graham Knott confidently shot the EHC to victory. Very important in the tough fight for a direct play-off ticket.

Four Haudum goals at 12:0

While record champions KAC, who outclassed Asiago 12-0 with four goals from Linz-born Lukas Haudum, are circling at the top, the tug of war for sixth place (equivalent to the quarter-finals) is merciless. The Black Wings are above the line with nine games to go – two points ahead of seventh-place Villach (2:3 in Szekesfehervar) and eighth-place Pustertal (3:4 a.e.t. in Ljubljana).

It remains extremely exciting, the next hurdles are just around the corner. On Friday the Wings will be visiting HC Pustertal, and on Sunday the twelve-goal KAC will be coming to Linz.

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Source: Nachrichten

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