EC Red Bull Salzburg got off to a losing start as their home run in the European Trophy began against the Frölunda Indians at the Eisarena.
Finding themselves 2-0 down in the fourth minute, the home team's night was not exactly going to plan. Even after that Salzburg struggled to find their feet. Not until the closing stages of the first period did the Red Bulls manage to put the Swedes under any kind of pressure, creating a number of great opportunities. One of which Ramzi Abid capitalised on two minutes before the end of the period, scoring the first home goal of the season to close the gap to a well-earned 1-2. Meanwhile, Dan LaCosta had his work cut out in the Salzburg goal. By the end of the period, though, the Red Bulls were dominating the game.
In front of a good 1,200 spectators, the Red Bulls came out fighting in the second period, equalising after just 28 seconds courtesy of Daniel Welser. Shortly afterwards Matthias Trattnig was handed a five minute + game misconduct penalty for a head check. Salzburg then played strongly on the penalty kill, with goalie LaCosta largely to thank for the score remaining equal. But the Swedes never let up, regaining the lead while shorthanded, of all things, following a brief breakaway by one of their attackers. Salzburg were brought back down to earth again three minutes before the end of the period when last season's Swedish quarter-finalists used a power play to restore their two-goal lead after a great set piece.
But the Red Bulls bounced back again in the final period, closing the gap to 3-4 after just 32 seconds courtesy of captain Thomas Koch. But the Swedes went from strength to strength, repeatedly putting the kibosh on the Red Bulls' game plan and largely forcing Salzburg back into their own zone. The Red Bulls struggled to defend against the Swedes' relentless attacks, but managed to dig deep in the closing stages. Their efforts were rewarded when Doug Lynch equalised 15 seconds before the end of normal time – Salzburg had already pulled their goalie for a sixth attacker – taking the score to 4-4 and the game into overtime. Salzburg's best opportunity came during a power play but they were unable to capitalise, and in the 65th minute of what had been a fast-paced game conceded the game-winning goal.
Head coach Pierre Pagé rued the team's missed opportunities after two great come-backs, and Daniel Welser's frustration at letting possible victory slip through their fingers was also apparent: "We were forced to play catch-up after getting off to a poor start and same again in the second period. We frequently lost focus, allowing mistakes to creep in, and at such a high level you quickly pay the price. But at least we picked up a point."
European Trophy results – 18/08/10
TPS Turku 4-3 Oulun Kärpät
EC Red Bull Salzburg 4-5 Frölunda Indians
ZSC Lions 1-6 HV71
ZSC Lions 5-1 HV71
Sparta Praha 5-1 Färjestads BK
Jokerit 3-1 HIFK
Adler Mannheim 3-0 Djurgårdens IF
Eisbären Berlin 4-3 Linköpings HC
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