International Ice Hockey Federation

Austria bounces back

Austria bounces back

Hofer’s third-period goal seals win vs. Hungary

Published 25.04.2017 15:56 GMT+3 | Author Martin Merk
Austria bounces back
Photo: Andrey Basevich
Austria bounced back from the opening-day loss at the 2017 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship Division I Group A and beat Hungary 3-1. Both teams are now 1-1.

In a tight game with Hungary having a slight shot advantage of 29-28 the Austrians broke the deadlock with Fabio Hofer’s power-play goal early in the third period.

“We really wanted to win this game. It was a tough game. We did many mistakes in the first two periods, we have to improve that, we need to have less bad passes in our own zone. We have to play like in the third period,” Hofer said. “It was important that we finally scored a power-play goal. That’s important in such a tournament.”

Hungary coach Rich Chernomaz regretted the high-quality chances that were left unused when his team played a strong period.

“Both teams had a good start. Their first goal was a weak goal on our part but we came on the 5-on-3. We played pretty strong in the second period and forced them to create some turnovers but ultimately in the third period an unnecessary offensive-zone penalty allowed them the goal,” Chernomaz said.

It was the first encounter between these two close neighbours in IIHF play since 2014 when a 5-4 victory paved the way to promotion for Austria while Hungary stayed in this tier to earn promotion one year later. Hungary had since won four exhibition games against Austria but was left empty-handed when it mattered.

Austria didn’t capitalize on an early power play but when playing shorthanded Thomas Raffl got the puck in the neutral zone, skated away on the left and beat Hungarian goalie Miklos Rajna from a sharp angle to open the scoring at 3:49.

The Austrians continued taking penalties and Hungary was soon playing 5-on-3. Just went the first penalized players came out of the sin bin Keegan Dansereau scored from a similar position from left like Raffl to tie the game at one with his power-play marker at 6:23.

The teams continued to exchange chances at both ends while hundreds of fans from the two countries created a great atmosphere in their fan sectors. Five minute before the end of the middle frame Hungary’s Vilmos Gallo was close when his shot from a good position hit Bernhard Starkbaum’s shoulder while later the Austrian goalie caught a short-range shot from Istvan Bartalis with his glove.

“At the end they had more chances to score. In the first period we had a lot of chances. We had 5-on-3s, 5-on-4s, we should have used those better. If one team doesn’t capitalize on its chances, the other team will,” said Krisztian Nagy. “That’s how they won.”

With Andrew Sarauer in the penalty box for cross-checking the Austrians put pressure during the power play. After a blocked Martin Schumnig shot Hofer tried it and scored on his own rebound at 4:34. And just three minutes later, on the next power play, a long shot from Dominique Heinrich found its way through traffic into the net.

“It was a hard first period for us, we had many penalties and a good goalkeeper so it was 1-1. The Hungarian team was stronger in the second period. We changed a little bit the setup and were better organized in the third period and were lucky that we had two power plays,” Austria head coach Roger Bader said.

After the encounter both teams have now one win and one loss from two games.


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