SUMMARY: At the Olimpico stadium in Cortina d'Ampezzo only 41 seconds have passed in the first period and the Rittner Buams are already on the powerplay, but they don't find any opening in the solid defense of Cortina led by goalie De Filippo. At the 4th minute, on the other side of the field, Smith manages to keep his goal immaculate on Lacedelli who intercepts a wrong pass of Osburn and rushes alone towards the goal. The game passed into the Rittner Buam's hands, but the first powerplay brought a cold shower for Heiskanen's team. Luca Zanatta threw the puck into the slot, where it was deflected by Sanna. Smith saves, but has to surrender to Basaraba on rebound - 1:0 for S.G. Cortina (9'30"). The Rittner Buam are spurred by the goal, but they don't succeed against the strong defense of the house masters. At least until the final minutes of the first period, when, after a Julian Kostner's shot, Sailio was in position twice: on the first rebound, De Filippo had the better of it, but Sailio immediately made up for the mistake and scored the backhand goal of 1:1 (19'02").
With the same impulse, the Rittner Buam begin the third period and after only 27 seconds Sharp extends the lead: he deviates from the blue line a shot of Lutz and scores the goal of 2:1. Cortina answers only minutes later, when Basarba serves with a splendid pass Luca Zanatta, who equalizes without any effort (24'52"). Not much time passes and the house masters take the advantage again: in power play De Zanna finds Kaskinen all alone and the latter doesn't leave Smith any chance with a slap shot in the corner (27'22"). The Rittner Buam are challenged again, but Cortina's defense is firm and allows very few shots of the blue-red. However, interesting actions come from both sides. If Basaraba wastes a 4:2 almost sure from a perfect position (34th), Sailio is beaten by De Filippo in a one-on-one (35th). Seconds later Sharp follows, also stopped by the strong Cortina goalkeeper (36th). In the final seconds, first Julian and then Simon Kostner missed the draw, so the Rittner Buam went into the locker room with a slight disadvantage.
At the beginning of the final period some good occasions for the house masters arrived, but then the Rittner Buam started to put pressure for several minutes. In the initial phase, almost all of Heiskanen's players tried to shoot at the Ampezzo's goal, but they were constantly hindered by an adversary skater or by De Filippo. As already happened in game 1 of the quarter finals, Cortina defended with mastery and took advantage of the counter-attacking occasions, such as when at the 48th minute Finucci intercepted a pass of the Rittner Buam and then, alone in front of Smith, shot to the side of the goal. In the final minutes, Simon Kostner and his mates were not able to create significant occasions, so Cortina had the chance to close the game. And it was taken advantage of: Lacedelli was ready on a shot of Alverà from a defiladed position and put his stick on the rebound for the 4:2 (55'46"). This goal underlined the tiredness of the Rittner Buam at the end of an exhausting game and sanctioned the second defeat in the second game of the series.
Game 3 of the best-of-five series is scheduled on Saturday. At 8 pm the Rittner Buam will face Cortina at the Ritten Arena in Collalbo.
S.G. Cortina Hafro - Rittner Buam 4:2 (1:1, 2:1, 1:0)
Goals: 1:0 Basaraba (9'30" /PP), 1:1 Jari Sailio (19'02" /PP), 1:2 MacGregor Sharp (20'27"), 2:2 Luca Zanatta (24'52"), 3:2 Kaskinen (27'22" /PP), 4:2 Lacedelli (55'46")
Series (best of five): 2:0 (4:2, 4:2)
Photo: Max Pattis