SUMMARY: For this crucial challenge, coach Heiskanen modified his team's set-up. The first line includes Sailio, Sharp and Julian Kostner in attack and Uusivirta and Osburn in defense. Instead, Fink, Simon Kostner and Spinell will be on the ice in the second line together with Marzolini and Lutz. In the third offensive line Giacomuzzi, Pechlaner and Manuel Öhler are engaged, while Eisath, Robert Öhler and Quinz form the fourth offensive block. The change proves to be effective, as the Rittner Buam show themselves to be quicker than in the two previous matches and hold up well also in defense. Cortina remains faithful to the winning game of the past games, that is to wall the defence and attack with very fast counter-attacks. The first period develops into a hard-fought challenge, in which neither team is able to make the decisive blow. The best occasion, halfway through the first period of the game, belongs to Lacedelli who is defeated by Smith. Both Ampezzo and Rittner Buam have a power play each, but neither team manages to exploit the advantage to score. So, at the end of the 20 minutes, the score is 0:0.
Also in the second third, the two teams don't want to score and, consequently, they act with caution. The Rittner Buam gain some advantage on the ice but without significant results. Only towards the end of the second quarter, the two teams open up a bit and create some good occasions. So, after having won an engagement Simon Kostner passes the puck to Fink, who at the last moment is disturbed in a decisive way by Luca Zanatta. For Cortina, two great occasions came from Lacedelli, but the forward did not score in the goal protected by Smith.
The third period of the game starts with two consecutive power plays for the house masters. The best chance is by Fink who, in a situation of numeric superiority, hits De Filippo from a very short distance (46th). On the opposite side, 120 seconds later, Johansson tries with a covered shot, but is stopped by Smith. Another power play follows, the best of the game, for the Renon team that takes advantage of it to create several occasions. Uusivirta and his mates, however, couldn't get the better of De Filippo. Afterwards another numeric superiority arrives also for the Venetian team, but it ends without goals. Then, in the exciting final minutes of the period, Manuel Öhler (59th) and Spinell (60th) waste two pucks that could close the game. The game then goes to the overtime.
Even in the overtime, people kept waiting for an adversary's mistake, such as the one Sharp failed to exploit in the middle of the first overtime: he arrived alone in front of De Filippo, but his conclusion ended just above the goal. Shortly after Simon Kostner has to go to the penalty bench, but it's the house masters who score the long-awaited goal in front of 487 fans. After a counterattack, Sailio tricked a Cortina defenseman with a fake shot and put the puck in the far corner.
The best-of-five series will continue with game 4 on Tuesday, March 22 at Cortina's Olympic Stadium. The Rittner Buam will have to win this game as well to avoid ending the season early.
Alps Hockey League 2021/22 - Game 3 of the quarter finals
Rittner Buam - SG Cortina Hafro 1:0 OT (0:0, 0:0, 1:0)
Goals: 1:0 Jari Sailio (75'20" /SH)
Series (best of five): 1:2 (2:4, 2:4, 1:0 OT)
Photo: Max Pattis