Goal at the last second

Finland vs Austria – LIVE from 16:20

16.05.2024 05:00

Completely crazy! Austria beat Olympic champions Finland at the Ice Hockey World Championships in Prague. Roger Bader's team turned the game around against the heavy favorites, Benjamin Baumgartner scored in the very last second to make it 3:2.

After the historic comeback from 6:7 down against Canada, head coach Roger Bader gave his team the day off on Wednesday. On the following day, they were unable to build on their historic 5:0 final third in the match against the next medal contender. Although the team, in which Lucas Thaler was called up instead of Ali Wukovits and Kilian Zündel instead of Nico Brunner, fired the first shot in front of 15,300 through Nissner, Finland clearly put its role as favorites on the ice in the opening period.

Lots to do for Kickert
In the Austrian goal, David Madlener was given a break after the highly intensive Canada match, and against the next top team there was now plenty of work for David Kickert right from the start. The Salzburg goalie was still able to make a save against Oskanen, but it was already in minute 3: Paladinen got through Steven Strong behind the goal, Thaler was too late against Maenalanen in the slot for his pass - 1:0 for the 2022 Olympic and world champions, who missed further chances through Saarijarvi (7th) and Kaski (7th) before making it 2:0 early on (9th): The Austrians, who have to spend a lot of time in the defensive zone chasing the puck, fumble the puck in the high slot - Oliver Kapanen says "thank you", shooting himself to the top of the scoring charts with his sixth goal of the tournament.

(Bild: GEPA/GEPA pictures)

As a result, the puck is also moving well in Suomi's first overtime game, but Innala shoots over the empty net (9'). The Austrians try to at least make some pinpricks, but the most efficient team of the tournament so far does not manage to get on the scoreboard in the first period: Haudum's shot is blocked (12.), Schneider's attempt is saved by EHC Biel goalie Harri Sateri with his stick hand, Raffl also fails (19.). With a deserved 2:0 (on 14:4 shots) for the favorites, who are superior in all respects, they go into the first period break.

Pressure for the equalizer
After that, however, Red-White-Red performed much better and were able to keep the middle period completely even! Raffl missed the first opportunity (21st) and Kapanen had a great chance at the other end. Before the underdogs managed to score, the defensively strong Finns conceded only their third goal in their fourth game: The Salzburg forward line with a beautiful combination: Raffl to Nissner - and Mario Huber lifts the disk under the goal roof for his first goal of the tournament - 1:2 (24.)! The Scandinavians were furious and responded with shots from Maat (25), Innala and Granlund (26) - but Kickert was always on hand. The Austrians were then fully in the game in their best phase and also made their mark physically with a nice check from Zwerger against Maenlanen. "Equalizer", demanded the numerous red-white-red supporters in the Prague Arena, and Roger Bader's team came close. Schneider served Heinrich first, but he failed (31'). Bernd Wolf tries from the blue (35'), and they also come very close to equalizing in two overtime situations: Rossi, Raffl, Heinrich, Baumgartner and Haudum find chances, but the goal does not come. Thanks to luck, Finland remain without a short-handed goal for the time being.

(Bild: GEPA/GEPA pictures)

However, Austria go into the final third with a broad chest and the momentum, which was historic against Canada. The shots from Unterweger (42') and Baumgartner (43') are still too harmless, but the Finns are on fire when they are again outnumbered. Austria let the ice run well and tired out the Scandinavians. Raffl fails to score from close range, but then Zwerger unpacks the harpoon - the supposed 2:2 (45')! But it didn't count - Raffl was offside in the goal area - and the decision stood even after Roger Bader's challenge.

Austria were then short-handed, but Kickert made a brilliant save against Oskanen and Kaski (37) - and Austria were within striking distance against the next top team. Before the equalizer is actually scored: Thiemo Nickl takes a shot from the blue line - and the puck hits the crossbar - 2:2 (50')! Things got dicey again when Wolf was sent to the cool box with four minutes remaining. But Kickert makes the wall against Puustinen's hammer, Rohrer and Co. bravely block shot after shot, a goal by the Finns is disallowed, Oskanen hits the side netting, Kickert makes a great save against Riikola.

Baumgartner makes the sensation perfect
Four seconds before the end, the magnificent Austrians once again. Haudum fails, but Benjamin Baumgartner flicks the puck into the Finnish goal - and the puck actually hits the net in the last second (!). After video evidence, the decision is made - and all the red-white-red on the ice and in the stands break. The Austrians actually pulled off a sensation against the two-time world champions, turning a 2-0 deficit into a 3-2 victory. Simply unbelievable, this ÖEHV team!

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