Late goals too much for EHC Winterthur

Late goals too much for EHC Winterthur

Andreas Reiner07 Aug 2015Andreas Reiner»

While the fans were sweating at around 35 degrees outside temperatures, the players of both teams had to get in motion to warm up in the Eishalle Deutweg in Winterthur. Kloten had the better end in this first pre-season game as the Flyers beat Winterthur 7:2.


Winterthur, who won last years Swiss amateur Championship and advanced to the National League B this year is Klotens new partner team and it made sense that both teams met to play their first friendly game of the pre-season in front of circa 2'200 spectators.

As usual, when teams come out of the summer training, automatisms have to be relearned and new line partners have to find a way to get that feeling for the timing and passing. The Flyers had a slightly better start and presented two of their new players, Erik Gustafsson and Mark Olver. Both players signed a one-year contract and hopes are high that both will help stabilize the defense (Eriksson) as well as produce in the offense (Olver). With 7 minutes played it was Mark Olver with his first goal on Swiss ice, assisted by Philippe Schelling and youngster Vincent Praplan.

Winterthur's Thomas Büsser took a 2 minute penalty with 13 minutes played and the Flyers puck just needed a minute to find a way into the net as Finnish forard Tommi Santala scored on a pass from Patrick von Gunten and Lukas Frick. Another penalty by number 69 of Winterthur, Nigel Wollgast gave Kloten another chance on the powerplay but the sirene marked the end of the first period.

Just as the penalty against Winterthur expired at the beginning of period 2 the home team started an attack by Philip Beeler who gave a long forward pass to Michel Grolimund. The forward shot the puck just above goalie Gerbers right pad and gave Winterthur the first goal of the game with 22 minutes played. Now the Flyers seemed to have gotten a little too overbearing, Denis Hollenstein's slashing penalty in the 25th minute enabled the red coloured home team a first powerplay. Thöni had a chance to score but Gerber was prepared this time, keeping his team ahead with a one-goal lead. Mark Olver, was benched just seconds after the penalty expired, again for slashing but the one-man advantage didn't hold up for long as Thomas Vesely took a seat in the cooling box for interference. Klotens powerplay formation worked well and so von Gunten and Frick with their second assists of the game and Denis Hollenstein as the scorer of the 3rd goal increased the lead for the guest.

The 3rd period started with a fourth Flyers goal in the 44th minute when Romano Lemm burried the puck behind goalie Oehninger. But Winti kept on attacking, proving that they earned themselves a spot in the second highest League and when Kloten's Obrist was benched for high sticking it was Timon Vesely with his first scoring point of the game on the powerplay. It got even better when Xeno Büsser sat down for hooking but EHC Winterthur couldn't capitalize on the second one-man advantage in a row. Unfortunately, it was Vesely who was assessed with a penalty for holding just seconds later and again the Flyers powerplay striked down the defense with a goal by Lukas Frick, assisted by Denis Hollenstein and Romano Lemm, all with a multiple-points game tonight. 

With 2 minutes left in the game, Patrick von Gunten also got on the goal scoring board, making it 6:2, assists were assigned to Lemm and Hollenstein again. But it got worse for Winterthur as just half a minute before the end of the game Robin Leone assisted by Steve Kellenberger and Corsin Casutt made it 7:2 for the NLA team.

It's difficult to say after just one game how and if the Flyers team has gotten better compared to last season. The next friendly games against teams of the same caliber will determine if Kloten's optimism for this coming season is justified or if the fans will have to mourn through yet another painful year of defeats and play-outs. Olver definitely made an impression tonight, while others like Bieber, Liniger or newly acquired Chad Kolarik watched the game from the stands but will get involved in the coming games.

Surely the new Canadian owners like the positive attitude that has infiltrated the staff on every level in the Club. It remains to be seen if it's enough to make last season forgotten, the fans certainly haven't but are willing to forgive.

EHC Winterthur: 1st Line:
G: Oeninger, Etter; Büsser, Gähler; Homberger, Hoffmann Thöny
2nd line: Mettler, Hurter; Keller, Geiser, Vesely
3rd Line: Wollgast, Grolimund; Theodoridis, Beeler, Staiger
4th Line: Weber, Huber (Zuber); Ottiger (Celio), Tonndorf, Zahner (Aerni)

Kloten Flyers:
1st Line: G: Gerber, Boltshauser; von Gunten, Frick; Santala, Hollenstein, Lemm (C),
2nd Line: Gustafsson, Schelling; Olver, Obrist, Praplan,
3rd Line: Collenberg, Büsser; Kellenberger, Casutt, Leone;
4th Line: Back, Stoop; Studer, Hartmann, Wieser

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