In the first match of this demanding week with three games scheduled, the Rittner Buam have to do without Quinz, Spinell and Ivo Prast, while Jari Sailio returns to the team. The hosts started off determined and after only 13 seconds Fink had a first chance, followed shortly after by an attempt by Sharp - both times Egger was at his place between the posts. The Rittner Buam kept on attacking, with a total of 21 attempts in the first period, but the guests' goalie proves to be an insurmountable obstacle. Even the first power play in favour of the blue-red ends without goals. On the second powerplay, however, the goal arrived. With Brikmanis in the penalty box, Simon Kostner passes to Sharp who, lurking, sends the puck into the far corner with a wrist shot (14'04"). One minute and a half before the siren, the draw's goal comes from nowhere. Treibenreif thinks he has firmly covered the puck, but Gaffal pushes it over the line.
In the second frame, however, the blue-reds take off. In the 27th minute Pechlaner, lurking in the slot, managed to send the puck in the corner and to extend the score with 2:1 on the powerplay. Shortly after Lutz scores the 3:1: he goes around Linz' goal and catches Egger's skates with the puck rolling into the goal (34'00"). The stadium's speaker has not yet finished announcing the scorer, when another reason to celebrate arrives. This time it was Julian Kostner's turn to score with a one-timer from the slot (34'51"). But that's not enough, as at the 37th minute Osburn unleashes a torpedo, the puck hits the balustrade and ends up with Frei who shoots it into the net (36'51"). In the penultimate minute of the middle third, the Rittner Buam could reach the half-dozen with Fink, but Egger reacts with extraordinary reflexes and saves with his leg.
Only 31 seconds of the last period of the game passed when Linz shortened the distances. Too much space was left to Farren, who went to the middle of the left wing and beat Treibenreif with a diagonal shot. If in the Ritten Arena one expects a surge from the guests, one expects it in vain. On the contrary, in the 49th minute Simon Kostner restored the four length advantage of the house masters, by deflecting a shot of Lutz that became impregnable. After 50'05" minutes, the game is closed by Uusivirta who, in a 4-on-4 situation, puts the turbo and beats Egger with a precise wrist shot (7:2).
For the Rittner Buam the demanding week will continue on Thursday with the away game against the HC Gherdëina. The starting whistle at the Pranives stadium will be at 8.30 pm.
Rittner Buam - Steel Wings Linz 7:2 (1:1, 4:0, 2:1)
Goals: 1:0 MacGregor Sharp (14'04" /PP), 1:1 Gaffal (18'31"), 2:1 Philipp Pechlaner (26'50" /PP), 3:1 Andreas Lutz (34'00"), 4: 1 Julian Kostner (34'32"), 5:1 Alex Frei (36'51"), 5:2 Farren (40'29"), 6:2 Simon Kostner (48'04"), 7:2 Lasse Uusivirta (50'05")
MVP of the match(powered by Loacker): Pechlaner (RIT) and Stuart (SWL)
Photo: Max Pattis