International Ice Hockey Federation

Austria defends lead

Austria defends lead

Hungary without promotion hopes after OT loss

Published 24.04.2014 19:15 GMT+9 | Author Martin Merk
Austria defends lead
Scoring chance for Austria in front of Hungarian netminder Zoltan Hetenyi. Photo: Soohan Kim
Austria remains undefeated after beating Hungary 5-4 in overtime. The Magyars meanwhile are out of the promotion race since they needed a regulation-time win.

Hungary outshot Austria 38-26 throughout the game but didn’t earn the three points it needed. Like the day before against Korea, Austria wasn’t ready for the game and needed a wake-up call to earn a come-from-behind win.

“We fulfilled our obligations but we made it unnecessarily difficult for ourselves with too many penalties,” said Dominique Heinrich, who scored two goals for Austria.

“Under no circumstances do we want to oversleep the beginning and run behind a deficit against Slovenia since it may not work out next time. We have to be ready from the beginning and cannot wake up just in the second period. Now we have one day to recover for this game.”

Hungary came out from the dressing room red hot and outshot the Austrians 16-3 in the first 20 minutes of play.

The biggest difference compared to yesterday’s goal galore against Korea in the Austrian game was that their goalkeeper Bernhard Starkbaum was in the form needed today. The 28-year-old netminder of Swedish club Brynas Gavle kept his team in the game and was one reason Austria survived three Hungarian power plays to keep the game scoreless for 27 minutes.

After 16 minutes in the opening frame the over 100 Hungarian fans who travelled to Korea were cheering for the first time. After a pass from Andras Benk it was Balazs Sebok who pushed the puck over the line but the officials had stopped the play because Benk was standing in the goal crease and interfered Starkbaum.

Hungary was also the better team at the start of the second period. Istvan Bartalis had a shot that was deflected by Starkbaum’s shoulder after six minutes in the middle frame.

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At 7:21 the Hungarians eventually earned the well-deserved opening goal. Bence Sziranyi’s shot from the blueline went through the legs of Austrian forward Michael Schiechl and past by a screened Starkbaum. Balazs Sebok made it 2-0 just 66 seconds later after a wraparound attempt of Andras Benk that landed at Sebok’s stick via Starkbaum’s pad.

After ten minutes Istvan Bartalis interfered Schiechl on a breakaway by hooking him close to the net but Zoltan Hetenyi saved Schiechl’s penalty shot.

Despite the missed opportunity the Austrian reaction came soon enough. At 11:50 Thomas Hundertpfund scored one of the highlight-worthiest goals of the tournament when he deked Hungarian defenceman Viktor Tokaji with fine stickhandling before moving the puck under his opponent’s skate and beating Hetenyi for the 2-1 goal.

And at 13:32 Heinrich tied the game after converting a horizontal pass from Thomas Koch. Two minutes later during a power play Heinrich scored again by capitalizing on a rebound after a Hundertpfund shot.

The Hungarians didn’t give up. Just tenths of seconds before the buzzer for the second intermission Sabok beat Starkbaum through his five-hole. The players and fans needed patience since the officials reviewed the play to confirm that the puck had crossed the line in the last second but not after.

The third period thus started with a 3-3 score but at 7:40 the Austrians found the right answer with Matthias Iberer regaining the lead with his shot at via the right goal post after Daniel Oberkofler’s pass from the end boards.

At 12:55 another tight decision had to be reviewed when Austrian defenceman Martin Schumnig cleared a puck on the goal line but the disc didn’t fully cross the line and the game went on with Austria’s 4-3 lead. But less than one minute later the Hungarians were able to celebrate the equalizer thanks to Csaba Kovacs’ precise shot from the face-off circle into the top-left corner.

Hungary coach Rich Chernomaz took his time-out and pulled his goalkeeper while the game was 4-4. The Hungarians needed a regulation-time win to have at least a theoretic chance for the first two places but the third period ended without a goal.

“It was an unbelievable game. I was satisfied for most part of the game but unfortunately we had two major brain farts,” a disappointed Chernomaz said. “One or two points wouldn’t be good enough, we needed three.”

At 3:45 of the extra time Brian Lebler found the hole between Hetenyi and the goal post to clinch the win for Austria and defend first place in the standings before the game against Slovenia on Saturday.


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