Once again the prestigious honour of hosting the final tournament in the European Trophy fell to Austria and Red Bulls Salute at the weekend, with the eight top teams in Europe battling for glory over three days.
EC Red Bull Salzburg had won ‘their’ tournament previously, back in 2009, and in training Pierre Pagé, their coach, pictured below, was keen on a repeat performance.
In their first match, EC Red Bull Salzburg beat HC ČSOB Pojišťovna Pardubice 2–1, with all of the goals coming in the second period.
Earlier in the day on the same Salzburg ice, the clash between Frölunda Indians and Linköpings HC ended in a 4–2 win for the latter to set up a semi-final match with Salzburg.
Meanwhile, in the other Salute venue in Vienna, Jokerit thrashed HC Mountfield České Budějovice 7–2 in the first game of the day, while Luleå Hockey needed penalties to see them past HC Plzeň 1929 after a 1–1 draw.
As all the action moved to Vienna on Saturday, there was a much tighter semi-final result for Jokerit, but they still managed to win, 3–2 after overtime, against Luleå Hockey.
Linköping’s semi-final against the Red Bulls was also as close as could be, with the score 3–3 in the game, and Salzburg needing penalties to go through.
On Sunday, Luleå edged Linköpings by 3–2 (what else?) in the third-placed play-off before the big event of the evening.
The final was a thriller, especially for the Salzburg supporters, as they saw their side fight back from 2–0 down against Jokerit to win 3–2.
And so once again Red Bull Salzburg won Red Bulls Salute! "It's an historic win,” said coach Pierre Pagé. “I'm delighted that the team were able to turn things around."