Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Neuberg Highlanders Grab First Victory in Shootout

Photo Courtesy of neuberg-highlanders.at
After traveling four hours on the bus, the Neuberg Highlanders won their first regular season game, 5-4, in a shootout against EC "Die Adler" Kitzbühel on Saturday.  The Highlanders took a 3-0 lead in the first 14 minutes of the game, with goals from Evelyn Hochegger, Chelsea Illchuk, and Jennifer Pesendorfer.  Neuberg seemed sure of the victory, but Kitzbühel kept fighting back as they put a tally on the scoreboard before the end of the first period.

The Eagles remained consistent in the second period as they added yet another tally.  The Highlanders entered the third period with a 3-2 lead and knew defense was the first priority.  Unfortunately, the Eagles tied the game 3-3 and later took their first lead of the game in the 49th minute.  Under pressure to regain control of the game, the Highlanders attempted to tie the game before the sound of the buzzer.  With just over one minute remaining in the game, Anna Johann gave me the puck at the far blue line and I skated alone toward the net.  I sailed the puck right, top corner to tie the game 4-4 and found myself celebrating with my fellow teammates.  From that moment, I knew we were not going to let Kitzbühel take the victory.

The game remained tied at the end of regulation forcing both teams into sudden-death overtime.  It was four-on-four in the overtime period, which allowed a lot of skating room for both teams.  Eventually, the referee called a penalty on each team, making it three-on-three and giving even more room on the ice.  Neither team scored in overtime, thus a shootout must determine one, ultimate winner.  Each team received one point for playing in an overtime period, but the team to win the shootout will receive an additional point for the game.

The Eagles took the first shot but did not score.  The Highlanders were next and sent Pesendorfer to shoot first.  She went unsuccessful.  The Eagles sent their next shooter but Highlanders' Bianca Feeberger kept them scoreless.  I was the next shooter for the Highlanders and scored right, top corner.  Feeling relieved, I hoped that Feeberger would stop the Eagles' next shot giving us the victory...and that, she did!  The Eagles' three shooters went scoreless, while the Highlanders' one shootout goal was enough to end the game!

The Highlanders earned two points from the match while they were also awarded an additional three points on Sunday.  The Highlanders were scheduled to play DEC Dragons Klagenfurt on Oct. 20, but Klagenfurt cancelled the game due to ill players.  The game failed to be rescheduled and will not be played; however, the Highlanders were given a victory and three points.

The Highlanders have a total of five points on the season after completing three matches.  The team is currently in fifth place out of eight teams.  We have scored 13 goals total while allowing 10 goals against.  To view a full list of the Damen Eishockey Bundesliga (DEBL) standings, click here.

The Neuberg Highlanders return to action as they are scheduled to play their first home game against EHV Sabres Wien II on Nov. 18 at 4:30 p.m. at Kapfenberg Eishalle. 


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