THE SYNTHESIS: The gritty derby starts immediately with a good chance for the Rittner Buam, who, decimated, have to renounce to Spinell, Quinz, Pechlaner and Ivo Prast. Fifty seconds have passed when Osburn serves Julian Kostner who is unable to beat Cloutier, as the puck hits the post. Shortly after, when Robert Öhler goes to sit in the penalty box, Gellon is about to score but his conclusion from the very short distance is stopped by Smith, very careful between the posts. Afterwards both the Eagles and the Rittner Buam fail to take advantage of a power play each, while Julian Kostner has to surrender against Cloutier. Shortly after, Merano takes the lead with an extra man on the ice: the Ahlström twins start a splendid and quick triangulation, successfully ended by Tomasini (16'54"). The answer of the Rittner Buam arrives immediately. Lutz sees Kevin Fink lurking in the neutral zone, passes him the puck perfectly in depth and number 91 doesn't let himself get nervous in the 1-on-1 with Cloutier (17'57").
As it has often happened in the last weeks, the guests put the jets on in the middle period. First the blue-reds got lucky when Gellon missed against Smith (25th) from a very short distance, then Robert Öhler took the advantage for Heiskanen's team. Perfectly placed by Julian Kostner and Manuel Öhler, the number 8 of the Rittner Buam scores the 2:1 (25'17"). Things get even better when 81 seconds later MacGregor Sharp extends with a precise shot in the left corner. After that, the Rittner Buam have the game under control, even if the Eagles manage to attack on several occasions. For example in the 35th minute with Stolyarov, who is unable to beat Smith. On the opposite side, Manuel Öhler does him better and takes advantage of a mistake in the Merano's defense to score to make the score 4:1.
In the final period, Merano came out of the locker room "nasty" and was rewarded at the 48th minute. While Simon Kostner sits in the penalty box, Luca Ansoldi shortens the distances scoring the goal of the 4:2 served by a nice pass from Zherdev. But the house masters immediately restore the distances. At first, after an admirable solo action, Sailio, in backhand, has to surrender to the Merano goalie, but shortly after, the Finnish player brings the Rittner Buam in advantage of two goals (49'17"). The final result was established, however, by the Eagles who realized the third goal 35 seconds before the end of the game with Oscar Ahlström. However, the outcome of the match does not change: the blue-red wins the fourth game in a row.
Rittner Buam - HC Merano Pircher 5:3 (1:1, 3:0, 1:2)
Goals: 0:1 Tomasini (16'54" /PP), 1:1 Kevin Fink (17'57"), 2:1 Robert Öhler (25'17"), 3:1 MacGregor Sharp (26'38"), 4:1 Manuel Öhler (36'18"), 4:2 Ansoldi (47'09" /PP), 5:2 Jari Sailio (49'17"), 5:3 Oscar Ahlström (59'25")
MVPs of the match (powered by Loacker): Manuel Öhler (RIT) and Victor Ahlström (HCM)
Photo: Max Pattis