Kaunas City wins the Baltic clash and it’s a step away from the qualification

Kaunas City wins the Baltic clash and it’s a step away from the qualification

Davide Tuniz23 Sep 2023Davide Tuniz»

The captain Lukas Zukauskas shines in the home team triumph


Halfway through the first period, a bad charge from Rasmus Kiik costs the player a major penalty and fortunately no consequences for the opponent. The clash especially unnerved the Kaunas players who received 2 penalties in sequence, allowing the Panter to find the opening goal at 14:40 with a good move by the power play unit, concluded with a first-time shot by Andre Linde. Filip Hudec also scored the equalizing goal for the hosts in power play
The central period sees the two teams battle aggressively with Kaunas City maintaining a slight territorial dominance, bringing various dangers to the Estonian cage, defended by an attentive Koitmaa. The balance was broken in the 30th minute, when Denys Honcharenko tapped in a Machala's shot blocked by goalkeeper Koitmaa on power play. But the Panter equalized almost immediately with a first-shot by Danil Fursa. The match is always very lively and with great pace. Two minutes before the siren Kaunas found their third lead with captain Lukas Zukauskas deflecting Daniel Klinecky's pass into the goal. The Panter protests for a skate deviation but the goal is validated after the review.

The third period ignited immediately in the first minutes with a lethal 1-2 for the home team, who scored the 4-2 with Zukauskas at 41:37 and then immediately made it 5-2 with Ondrej Machala who took advantage of the goalie's uncertainty Koitmaa. The Estonian team seems to have lost mental strength, they don't take advantage of a power play and are punished again in the 50th minute by Lukas Zukauskas, the main architect of the victory. The captain left his mark again by scoring the goal to make it 7-3 after Fursa had brought Panter back under and the one to make it 8-3. Nazar Ruzhnikov in PP2 and Nikita Puzatov on a mix-up by the Lithuanian defense seal the final result 9-4, with which Kaunas books the ticket for the second round

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