Home ice advantage reverts right away in EBEL quarter finals

Home ice advantage reverts right away in EBEL quarter finals

26 Feb 2016Lucas Bradelj»
 

Salzburg was the only team to start the EBEL playoffs with a win on home ice. In the other three match-ups the road team celebrated the lead in the Best-of-Seven series. So was also the case in Vienna.

 
 
 
 

In the Austrian capital, the team coached by Jim Boni was awaiting Villacher SV. Boni coached Vienna in 2005 when the Capitals won their only championship trophy. On the other side, also VSV coach Greg Holst is the last coach to have won a championship for his club, when the Eagles hosted the trophy in 2007.

The Capitals had to start Game 1 with young David Kickert in net. The 22-year-old homegrown talent took his chance with important saves on Ziga Pance and Brock McBride on the 2-on-1. The Capitals also found themselves a good opportunity on the blade of Matt Dzieduszycki, but with four minor penalties they had problems finding the momentum. In the initial frame VSV-defenceman Peter Weihager came closest to finding the go-ahead-goal, as his hammer from the point hit the crossbar.

Also in the second period both teams created chances, but again VSV looked smarter and hungier for the win. In the 23rd minute Stefan Bacher fed Patrick Platzer for the lead, before Mario Fischer capitalized from a turnover to tie the game at one apiece. Villach regained the 2-1 lead in the 37th minute, as Christof Kromp went face-to-face on Kickert, putting the puck right under the crossbar.

Mark Santorelli, who delivered the gorgeous long pass on the 2-1 goal, almost found the Carinthians third goal, only to be denied by the left post of Kickert. Ziga Pance, who scored the championship-winning goal for Bolzano in 2014, showed why he is considered to be a clutch player. In the 50th minute the Slovenian power-forward tipped in the rebound for the 3-1 marker.

The Capitals though did not want to give up the home ice advantage that easily. With 3 minutes left Rafael Rotter somehow squeezed the puck between the five-hole of goalkeeper JP Lamoreux. However, it would not be enough for the Caps to find the tying goal.

The last ten seconds also saw a rather unpleasent scene. The puck bounced off a linesman and out of Vienna's offensive zone. Troy Milam decided to take revenge, pushing the official. This play will certainly be a heated discussion among the league after Salzburg's Brett Sterling was not suspended as a result of an incident involving a linesmen a few weeks ago.

Vienna will try to take back the home ice advantage with a win on Sunday.

Red Bulls on track, Znojmo and Bolzano lose

Also the other three games saw some surprising results. A 34-save-perfomance by goalkeeper Florian Hardy led the Dornbirn Bulldogs to a 3-1 win in the Czech Republic, beating Orli Znojmo. Defending champion Red Bull Salzburg took control of the series against record champion Klagenfurt with a 4-1 victory. In Italy, the Bolzano Foxes were looking for revenge in a rematch of last season’s quarter finals, but it was the Black Wings Linz to take a 3-5 win.

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