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Friday, March 31, 2023

The Black Wings reported back impressively

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Brian Lebler (right) hit the bull’s eye three times in Graz.
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The 50th ice hockey game of the season was not the last for the Steinbach Black Wings. The trip goes into overtime, the people of Linz definitely don’t feel like going on vacation yet, but now have good cards again to reach the play-off quarter-finals for the first time since 2020.

In the game of the last chance in the “Bunker” in Graz, the EHC showed the hoped-for reaction to the 2:4 home defeat and scored in the best-of-3 series with a convincing 6:2-(2:0, 2:1, 2:1) success to 1:1.

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The decision is made on Sunday (5.30 p.m., live ticker on nachrichten.at) at the Untere Donaulände, where the Upper Austrians have been without a win against the Styrians since February 14, 2021. But even five home bankruptcies in a row should not cloud the optimism.

The “emergency nail” made it 1-0

The Black Wings have shown that they are the better quality team. Even if it took a stroke of fate to take the lead.

Because the goal scorer for the 1-0 (5th), Marc-Andre Dorion, is actually no longer intended for the A-Team, only due to Matt Murphy’s illness-related absence did the 35-year-old slip into the one-s formation.

“It’s special. I didn’t find out until the morning of the game, but I was ready right away. We stick together,” emphasized Dorion, who was celebrated by the more than 300 Linz battlers after his solid shot from the blue line.

The Wings really wanted this victory – and in contrast to the first round of 16, they didn’t afford any serious failures.

The 99ers had them, with whom goalie Nicolas Wieser spent a very unlucky evening this time and had to leave his box after 21:58 minutes for the fit star keeper Christian Engstrand.

Three goals from Captain Lebler

At this point, the Black Wings were already comfortably 4-0 up because Brodi Stuart, outnumbered, made a successful run (17th) and captain Brian Lebler scored his 20th and 21st goals of the season within 86 seconds (21st/pp, 22nd).

The 22nd strike was to follow in the 54th minute to make it 6:2. “We knew what was at stake – win or fly. We really wanted to hit back and we did it. I’m really proud of us,” emphasized the 34-year-old, who was able to rely on goalkeeper Rasmus Tirronen with his teammates. The Finn defused 25 of the 27 shots.

Fehervar is now the seventh of eight quarter-finalists. The Hungarians prevailed 5-4 in Asiago and 2-0 in the series and joined Bozen, Salzburg, Innsbruck, Villach, KAC and the Vienna Capitals. One is still missing.

more from Black Wings

2:4 – Black Wings have to give up a 2:0 lead against efficient Grazers

6:2 – Black Wings returned to winning ways in Graz

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A fine line in the fifth season

: Nachrichten

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