As in the past, the Austrians gave a solid performance during the tournament, and he did not receive a sufficient reward. “We played very excellent ice hockey, and Austrian ice hockey sold very well. We have to win the match in 60 minutes,” said team boss Roger Bader. The point does not change the starting position in the battle for relegation.
His team took the lead through Benjamin Nesner (22), made up twice for a deficit by Dominic Heinrich (32) and Thomas Raffel (47) and pressed for the winning goal in the final third, which was unsuccessful. “The first third was very good, in the second we had very few pinch losses. The last third was brutally strong, we played them against the wall,” Bader said.
For the Latvians, Rudolphs Ballchers (26, 36), the only NHL professional on ice, and Rihards Bokarts (30/PP) scored in the game. In the penalty shootout, Latvia’s Nikolaajs Jelesijeevs and Roberts Bukarts scored, only Heinrich scored a goal for red, white and red.
In the match, which was very important to both of them, caution and defensive discipline prevailed on both sides in the first third. The Austrians, without suspended defender Philip Weimer, were the most active team. Latvia only hit the first shot on goal in the sixth minute, in the 12th minute goalkeeper Bernard Starkbaum was the winner against Balchers, who rushed towards him alone.
At the start of the middle third, red, white and red selection were rewarded, Nissner Kruzek hit a one-to-two dimension with Ravel. Balten immediately upped the tempo and took the lead with the Balcers, who defeated Starkbaum in the close corner, and Bokarts in a power game.
With two more men on the ice, Heinrich equalized, but the joy was short-lived. After losing a goal in the middle third, things went too quickly for the Austrians in the poor positions, the Balcers didn’t let the opportunity go to waste. In the last third, Badr’s team put a lot of pressure on them and equalized again through Rafel, who saved a shot from Zündl.
Peter Schneider and Ravel missed the three-point chance. In extra time, Austria was lucky with a shot into the corner, but not in the penalty shootout. “Every defeat is bitter, this defeat stinging of course. We were in a very good position as a team, and we were ready from the start, both mentally and physically. You can only give one message: great respect to everyone for our performance,” said Captain Raffle,
However, Austria still had everything in its hands. Given the current situation, and if there are no more surprises, a single point against Great Britain on Monday will be enough to hold them up for the second time since 2004. That was last achieved in Copenhagen in 2018. “There is no time to press. Although Defeat, I’m so proud. “I have great confidence in the boys,” Ravel said confidently.
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