U20 team from the Upper Austria Ice Hockey Academy with the best chance of winning the title

U20 team from the Upper Austria Ice Hockey Academy with the best chance of winning the title

Image: Ice Hockey Academy Upper Austria via Facebook

The Upper Austrian ice hockey juniors are on the verge of bringing another title to Linz. Fueled by the re-sweep in the semi-final series against their counterparts from the Salzburg Red Bull Hockey Academy, the Linz team won the first two final games in the Hungarian capital Budapest. Coach John Bierchen’s team has secured two match pucks in front of their home crowd. The first opportunity to win the title will be on Thursday at 6 p.m. in the Linz AG ice arena.

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Eleven minutes made the difference

The first final game on Saturday evening started badly for Linz. Levente Szilassy gave the hosts a 1-0 lead in the seventh minute of the game. But the Upper Austrians seem to have a penchant for pressure situations in these playoffs. Because what followed were four (unanswered) goals from Linz, which decided the game in favor of the guests between the 9th and 20th minutes of the game. Fabian Richter (9th), Arttu Nikupeteri (13th/pp), Rodrigo Strautins (17th) and Jonathan Oschgan (20th) paved the way, and the game was decided after the fifth Linz goal by Raffael Aigner (52nd). . After two more goals, the game ended 6:2 for the Stahlstadters.

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Stöttner shot Linz to the match pucks

Less than 18 hours after Linz left the ice victorious on Saturday, game 2 was already scheduled for Sunday. The Linz team, who acted with significantly more confidence in the first third and fired almost twice as many shots as the Hungarians (15:8), had to wait until the 39th minute for a goal. Lukas Stöttner made it 1-0, which turned out to be the deciding factor in the game. The second and third thirds were – based on the number of opportunities – an affair for the home side. But Ujpest couldn’t find a way to make up the deficit against Linz’s defense. Stöttner’s goal is worth two match pucks.

The Linzers want to continue their current run in the third final game and decide the final series in their favor. Moral support from the fans would certainly be helpful. The second match puck – i.e. game 4 in the best-of-five final series (on Friday, 4:15 p.m.) – or even a decisive game 5 in Budapest (Sunday) should no longer be needed.

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