As the morning session ended here in Vienna it is UHC Hamburg, Partille SC, SV Arminen and Dinamo Stroitel Ekaterinburg who progress to the semi-finals.

Match 9: UHC Hamburg 8 – 6 (5 – 3) Partille SC

Partille needed at least the losing bonus point to keep their dream of making the semi-final alive, so this made for a top class game full of passion. Johan BJÖRKMAN opened the scoring with a rocket of a pc strike in the 3rd minute, KORN equalised in the 5th minute for UHC. Johan BJÖRKMAN was again on target, this time converting a penalty stroke in the 7th minute. A passionate performance from FÜRSTE for UHC saw him score a hattrick in 3 minutes (12,13,14), adding another in the 16th. Partille got on the scoresheet again, this time the elder BJÖRKMAN (Joakim) and so the game remained 5-3 ahead for UHC.

A frantic second half as UHC extended their lead and Partille fought back to the 2 goal deficit, only for UHC to go ahead again. The final goal from Partille coming from a rare UHC defensive error in the 35th minute. Johan BJÖRKMAN put it away to bring the score to 8-6 and the vital losing point to put Amsterdam under pressure in their upcoming game. The final 5 minutes were pulsating but with no more scores, Partille had to wait to see the outcome of the next game.

Match 10:  HC Rotweiss Wettingen 4 – 6 (1 – 5) AH&BC Amsterdam

Amsterdam had a mountain to climb as nothing less than 6 clear goals would be good enough to secure their place in the semi-final. They had a dream start with 2 early goals, but Wettingen was having none of it and scored in the 7th minute, each goal against making the job for Amsterdam harder. The finished the half 1-5 ahead, well on target for their challenge.

Wettingen came back after the break calm and played the second half more disciplined, denying Amsterdam some chances. Interestingly both teams opted for a power play in the second half, but it was Wettingen who took advantage and scored. The game ended 4-6 in favour of Amsterdam, not enough to make the semi-final, but at least they carry the result of this game into the relegation C pool.

Match 11:  Racing Club de Bruxelles 6 – 3 (4 – 1) HC Minsk

Nothing short of a win would be enough for Racing to make it to the semi-finals, for Minsk they needed to take the best advantage of this game if this was the one they carried into the Pool C.

MARAITE struck early for Racing in the 1st minute but Minsk replied via a pc strike from MIKHEICHYK in the 11th minute. Boon scored a hattrick of goals in the 8th, 16th and 19th minute to bring the score to 4-1 before the break.

In the second half, the Belgian keeper GUCASSOFF  saw lots of goalmouth action as Minsk pressed hard to reduce the deficit. HANCHAROU broke through in the 22nd minute. Both teams went for a powerplay in the final 3 minutes. A success for Racing as Boon got 2 more, in spite of MIKHEICHYK’s in the 37th. The game ended 6-3 in favour of the Racing and a wait for them to see what would happen in the next game.

Match 12: SV Arminen 5 – 5 (1 – 1) Dinamo Stroitel Ekaterinburg

Whilst a draw would be good enough for both teams to make the final, this game never looked like that was in the head of either team. Arminen opened the scoring in the 8th minute, a direct strike from a pc from STEYRER and in spite of plenty of goalmouth action it took Stroitel until the 20th minute to equalise via NADYRSHIN.

In the second half, Dinamo went ahead via captain BORISOV, putting Arminen under pressure. GRANDITS put Arminen ahead, only to be countered by Stroitel. A really open game was played in the second half by both teams. Arminen opting for a ‘do or die’ powerplay with 7 to play. Stroitel pushed ahead and it looked dire for the host team as their semi-final slot was slipping away! An all hands on deck approach as they took the ball off the line, but missed 2 pcs. Finally, STEYRER was rewarded with 2 more, the final one in overtime and a draw which was enough to push Racing out and Arminen into the semi-final.

This evenings games:

16:30 WETTINGEN – MINSK
17:40 AMSTERDAM – RACINGBRUX
18:50 DIN STROIT – PARTILLE
20:15 UHCHAMBURG – ARMINEN

All photographs: World Sport Pics, Frank Uijlenbroek (C)

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