THE SYNTHESIS: From the very first engagement between Lustenau and the Rittner Buam, it can be seen that the points up for grabs are important to qualify directly for the playoffs. Both teams play cautiously from a safe defensive position and want to avoid conceding goals at all costs. In the middle of the first period of the game the first goal arrives and the Rittner Buam are the ones to suffer it. Marzolini and Manuel Öhler are not able to bring the puck beyond the danger zone, Giftopoulos grabs the puck and beats Jake Smith scoring the 1:0 (12'44"). The home masters' advantage is maintained until the first siren sounds.
In the second period the game continues with the same trend and in the 32nd minute Lustenau extends the lead (2:0). Häußle turns around the Rittner Buam's goal, on the far post he sees Giftopoulos who, "forgotten" by the blue-red, has no difficulty in placing the puck in Smith's goal. So the forward of the Vorarlberg team scored his second goal of the day, the 16th of the season. The reaction of the Renon's team comes close with the goal that shortens the distances. Hanses is unable to keep the puck thrown by Lutz and Markus Spinell takes advantage of it from short distance (36'06"). The number 22 of the Rittner Buam scores the 14th goal of the season, and an important one.
The goal spurs the Rittner Buam who try to draw. But the players of Lustenau are the ones to rejoice, when after an engagement the puck remains still in front of Moosbrugger who has no difficulty in pushing it over the goal line (49'59"). But the Rittner Buam come back and 36 seconds later Di Perna shortens again the distances for the guests with a remarkable one-timer. The almost 400 spectators present at the Rheinhalle witness a nice exchange of shots! Santeri Heiskanen's team throws itself forward, with 94 seconds to go he calls a time out and later takes off the ice goalie Smith for a sixth skater. A few seconds from the end Sharp wastes one last chance, but it doesn't change the outcome of the game that ends with a measure victory of the house masters.
EHC Lustenau - Rittner Buam 3:2 (1:0, 1:1, 1:1)
Goals: 1:0 Giftopoulos (12'44"), 2:0 Giftopoulos (31'25"), 2:1 Markus Spinell (35'06"), 3:1 Moosbrugger (49'59"), 3:2 Dylan Di Perna (50'35")
Photo: Max Pattis