A 6-5 win didn’t help the Black Wings

A 6-5 win didn’t help the Black Wings
Striker Nico Feldner (left) scored twice against Ljubljana.
Image: Business Administration/Reinhard Eisenbauer

The Steinbach Black Wings were a bit in the mood after their direct entry into the ice hockey quarter-finals on Wednesday in Asiago. For a long time it seemed as if the play-offs, which began on March 3rd and were held on the Lower Donaulände under the motto “Heart of Steel!” run, hurt no one. Nevertheless, the last match in the regular season, which Linz won against Ljubljana 6:5 (2:2, 1:2, 3:1) in front of 4,489 fans, had entertainment value.

Even a runaway win would not have helped the Wings to get the home advantage they were hoping for at the start of the knockout phase. There was no support from Klagenfurt. League leaders KAC, who qualified for the Champions League together with Fehervar (9:1 in Graz), lost 3-0 in Bozen. This meant fourth place was in South Tyrolean hands.

The Linzers go into the play-offs in fifth place, at least two home matches in the best-of-7 series are guaranteed – on Tuesday, March 5th (7:15 p.m.) and Saturday, March 9th (6 p.m.). Supporters lined up for tickets shortly after the end of the game.

The opponent will only be determined after the round of 16 (pre-play-offs) have been completed next Tuesday or Thursday. By then, the fever curve for the Black Wings, who are now enjoying a free weekend, should have fallen again. Brodi Stuart, Andreas Kristler, Raphael Wolf, Martin Stajnoch and coach Philipp Lukas, who was represented by his assistants Mark Szücs and Jürgen Penker, were missing against Ljubljana due to illness.

The two saw a brilliant Nico Feldner, who stood out with four scorer points. The 25-year-old scored the goals to make it 1-0 (5th) and 3-2 (28th). This is how you gain self-confidence for the hottest phase of the season.

Brian Lebler (16th), Sean Collins (41st) and Emilio Romig (44th) also entered the shooting list. Not to forget Shawn St-Amant, who made it 6:5 (59th) with a 5:3 advantage 65 seconds before the siren. This meant he was the match winner for the third time in a row.

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