SUMMARY: The Rittner Buam, that have to do without Sailio, Ramoser and Giacomuzzi, play with great intensity in the first match of the IHL finals and in the first minute they already take Furlong's goal under fire. The best chance comes from Simon Kostner, who tests the Gardena goalie in backhand. And it is always the blue-red captain who, after 8'12" of the game, brings his team to the advantage, when he is perfectly positioned on the rebound after Sharp's shot and sends the puck over the goal line. But Gherdëina doesn't hide on the plateau: especially Willeit shoots from all positions, but is beaten every time by Smith. After a good quarter of an hour the guests had to deal with a penalty kill, but the Rittner Buam couldn't do anything during the power play. The advantage remained at 1:0.
For a good part of the middle period. the house masters dictate the game. But the Furies are often dangerous in counter-attacks and waste two good chances with Galassiti (28th) and McGowan (36th) alone in front of Smith. Shortly after, the draw really arrives: Korhonen shoots, Smith can't keep the puck that rolls over the goal line (36'24"). The goal happens with Gherdëina on the powerplay. Not even two minutes later the Rittner Buam prepare the counter-attack. Manuel Öhler shoots from a defiladed position, his cousin Robert Öhler puts the stick on puck and the 2:1 goal comes (38'22"). In the Ritten Arena the "Zillertaler Hochzeitsmarsch" that accompanies the goals scored at home by the Rittner Buam is still playing when Pechlaner scores the 3:1 goal (38'52"). Furlong parries with his pads a shot of Fink and the number 39 takes the opportunity to shoot on goal.
The two goals scored by the Rittner Buam puncture the Val Gardena's team that starts the final period with commitment. With a brilliant save, Smith prevents Korhonens from scoring the goal (44th). Only one minute later, the blue-red goalie has to sweat more than he would like on a deflected shot of Nocker. Towards the middle of the last fraction, the house masters take the lead of the game again. So Sharp could close the game, but the post is in his way (50th). Then Quinz wastes all alone in front of Furlong. In the final minutes, the Rittner Buam have the game largely under control - even in the last minute, when Furlong gives way to a sixth skater. It remained at 3:1 for the hosts.
The next commitment of the Rittner Buam in the final tournament of IHL-Serie A will be on Thursday, when they will face Cortina at home. Also for this game, the whistle will start at 8 pm at the Ritten Arena. On Saturday, Heiskanen's team will be away against Asiago.
88th Italian Championship - Round Robin
Rittner Buam - HC Gherdëina 3:1 (1:0, 2:1, 0:0)
Goals: 1:0 Simon Kostner (8'12"), 1:1 Korhonen (36'24" /PP), 2:1 Robert Öhler (38'22"), 3:1 Philipp Pechlaner (38'52")
Photo: Max Pattis