SUMMARY: In the most important match of the 14th round of the Alps Hockey League, the Rittner Buam arrived weakened by absences. Against the Vorarlberg team, in Santeri Heiskanen's roster, Jari Sailio, Lasse Uusivirta, Markus Spinell, Alexander Eisath and Stefan Quinz are absent. On the other hand, Manuel Öhler, who was absent from the friendly match against Merano (21st August) due to a long injury, is back. Also at the Finnish coach's disposal are the youngsters Tobias Graf and Lois Fink. Before the beginning of the match, a minute of silence was observed in memory of Boris Sadecky of the Bratislava Capitals, who passed away on Wednesday.
Despite the many absences in the Rittner Buam ranks, the hosts took the lead after five minutes of play. Kevin Fink beats Erik Rickard Hanses deflecting in a decisive way the shot of captain Kostner and rolling the puck between the suspenders of the Lustenau goalie. The Rittner Buam's game is more effective and they fight valiantly. At the 17th minute they reach the 3:0 thanks to two goals scored by Kostner: first Simon Kostner finalizes an exemplary pass of Frei and only 15 seconds later Julian Kostner sends the puck to the cross of the posts at the end of a solitary action. Both goals happened in a 4-on-4 phase. But it wasn't enough. While Kevin Puschnik is in the penalty box, Andreas Lutz takes courage, overcomes all the adversaries and scores the 4:0 in numeric superiority (18'09"). Heiskanen's team gets busy. So, 35 seconds before the break and with only four skaters per team on the field, MacGregor Sharp scores on Frei's assist.
The Rittner Buam start the second half with a change between the posts. From now on it's Hannes Treibenreif to protect the goal of the blue-reds who, at the 28th minute, score the sixth goal with Simon Kostner. On the other side of the rink, the first goal for the guests came from Haberl who shortened the distances (6:1, 27'51"). At the 37th minute Treibenreif makes a great play with quick reflexes to stop the second goal, ready on Wallenta's stick.
At the beginning of the final period, Renon's team has to spend 83 seconds down a man because of a penalty taken by Osburn at the 39'23" minute. Renon's number is also the player who, at the end of a beautiful solo action at the 44th minute, could score the 7:1, but Hanses is found in position. The puck, instead, ends up in the goal on the opposite side, when Connelly scores the second goal for the guests. But this would not be the last goal of the night. First, at the 51st minute, Alex Frei finalizes an assist by Manuel Öhler for the 7:2, then Lucas on the powerplay completes his double with the goal of the 7:3 (52'27) that closes the game.
For the Rittner Buam the Alps Hockey League will continue on Saturday with the away game against EK Die Zeller Eisbären. The match at the ice stadium of Zell am See will start at 7.30 pm.
Rittner Buam - EHC Lustenau 7:3 (5:0, 1:1, 1:2)
1:0 Kevin Fink (5'03"), 2:0 Simon Kostner (16'35"), 3:0 Julian Kostner (16'50"), 4:0 Andreas Lutz (18'09" /PP), 5:0 MacGregor Sharp (19'25"), 6: 0 Simon Kostner (27'39"), 6:1 Lucas Haberl (27'51"), 6:2 Connelly (46'07"), 7:2 Alex Frei (50'33"), 7:3 Lucas Haberl (52'27"/PP)
Photo: Max Pattis