salzburg v lions celebration GEPA Pictures/Red Bull Photofiles

Almost 1,000 spectators turned out at the Zell am See ice rink to witness EC Red Bull Salzburg defeat the ZSC Lions – their first home win of this year’s European Trophy.

The game was fast-paced from the word go, with the Red Bulls setting the pace. Although the Swiss team caused a stir with a shot that hit the crossbar in the third minute, they rarely posed a threat to Salzburg's calm and composed goalie Reinhard Divis. But his counterpart, Finn Ari Sulander, now a legend in Switzerland, also had no problem fending off the Red Bulls' relentless attacks.

'It was important for the team to believe in their own strengths' – Pierre Pagé

Both teams kept up the pace in the second period, with tackles now becoming increasingly intense. The Red Bulls were also forced to play catch-up twice. While on a five-on-three power play which lasted a good 80 seconds, the closest Salzburg came to scoring was a shot by Ryan Duncan that hit the crossbar, while the Swiss took a 1-0 lead with a power play goal scored on the back of a counter-attack. But the Red Bulls equalised in the same minute, Ramzi Abid capitalising on a great short pass from Danny Bois to score a short-range goal. Salzburg went on to force their opponents into the attacking zone, but a long pass to Patrick Bärtschi on a breakaway against goalie Reinhard Divis allowed him to take a merciless shot, putting the Zurich team back in front. And once again the home team managed to equalise in what was a real thriller of a game. Ryan Duncan took a pass from Thomas Koch and left goalie Ari Sulander no chance.  

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In the final period the Red Bulls left things until the closing stages to score the final two decisive goals. Salzburg scored twice within the space of a minute; first Steven Regier, who got himself into an ideal goal-scoring position right in front of the goal, followed by Ryan Duncan, superbly assisted by Andre Lakos. Then things hotted up again, with Salzburg shorthanded three-on-five and the Swiss pulling their goalie for a sixth attacker. During this phase Salzburg goalie, Divis consolidated a strong performance with several great saves which only frustrated the Swiss further. Ultimately, the Red Bulls were able to celebrate a solid performance in Zell am See and their first, well deserved, home win in the European Trophy.

Salzburg's head coach Pierre Pagé was in a relaxed frame of mind: "It was important for the team to believe in their own strengths. The lads believed in themselves today and they played with self-confidence. Every single one of them fought hard and – apart from a couple of unnecessary penalties – they did what was expected of them, and that was the key to our success."

For more from EC Red Bull Salzburg, head to www.redbulls.com.
 


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