THE SUMMARY: After the success in the first game of the Master Round - a 4:0 away win in Cortina - for the Rittner Buam the second phase of the season continued on Saturday with the home game against the Fassa Falcons. As in the last game, coach Heiskanen has to do without Sailio, Frei and Brunner. The game starts with Jake Smith between the posts. In the start Fassa shows their strength and in the second minute fails against Renon's goalie with Trottner. Halfway through the first half Robert Öhler wastes a great chance. But the Rittner Buam's performance doesn't seem to please coach Heiskanen at all, who raises his voice on the bench during the "power break". Even if the next occasion is for the guests with Lindgren - parried by Smith with his pads - soon after the Rittner Buam take the lead. After a nice solo action all over the ice, Lutz shoots the puck in the far corner with a dry shot (15'11"). When the intermission arrives, the score is still 1:0, also because in the penalty kill Smith highlights himself on an occasion of Iori, who from the shortest distance has to surrender to the extreme defenseman (18°).
In the second period, the Rittner Buam found themselves short of strength, because for four times they had to deal with one man less on the ice and for 43 seconds they even played with three against five. Fassa is not able to capitalize on their powerplays in a draw, because Jake Smith overcomes himself several times and alone neutralizes 20 shots in the second period. He has one oversight when he passes the puck to Forte, but Fassa's number 41 is unable to hit the empty goal (38th). The best occasions for the Rittner Buam are an unlucky wrap around of Pechlaner with (25°), followed by the shots of Eisath (31°) and Simon Kostner (36°), both stopped by Vay.
In the final straight, the blue-reds pushed to close out the game, but had to wait until a numeric superiority in the 52nd minute. Julian Kostner shoots from the inside right position and the not very dangerous conclusion slips to Vay and ends in the goal (51'38"). Less than two minutes later Robert Öhler could close the games, but his very angled shot misses the goal. Fassa risks all for everything, one minute from the end takes the goalie off the ice for a sixth skater, but it remains 2:0 for the Rittner Buam. Goalie Jake Smith can celebrate his second shutout in a row. This is the sixth time he has not conceded an opponent's goal this season.
Next week the Master Round of the Alps Hockey League will go on. On Thursday the Rittner Buam will be engaged in Jesenice, while on Saturday they will be at home against Asiago.
Alps Hockey League - Master Round 21/22
Rittner Buam - Fassa Falcons 2:0 (1:0, 0:0, 1:0)
Goals: 1:0 Andreas Lutz (15'11"), 2:0 Julian Kostner (51'38" /PP)
MVPs of the match powered by Loacker: Iori (FAS) and Julian Kostner (RIT)
Photo: Max Pattis