I swear someone up there surely hated Partizan constantly winning the championship title, so they ordered the referees to help Zvezda to achieve victory, by any means.
But let’s keep the chronological order.
High five and respect to those Grave Diggers who had been to Pionir Ice Hall to support the team. I have no infos about the number of Zvezda-fans being present, but Grobari were much louder than them.
The two teams clashed like two packs of roaring lions. Really. The first period brought an exciting, spectacular, great game. I wish everyone to watch such an ice-hockey match as this first period was.
Seriously I wish everyone to experience this atmosphere.
Our goalkeeper Tikhonov was fantastic. This man saved the unsaveable. Zvezda got into double power play after 7 minutes and it all looked that they were waiting for this very moment. They made a brutal class-firing on our goal.
And Tikhonov saved.
Tikhonov saved everything. Sometimes Average Fan cried for defibrillator, but Tikhonov was like a fortress.
Make a statue of Tikhonov. NOW.
Around the end of the period we put Zvezda’s goal under pressure, but either they blocked our hits or we just missed them out. The first period ended with 0:0.
Teams entered the second period even more combative. Our dominance was clear, we had a row of chances and there were points when fight almost lashed out.
Zvezda had some chances, too, once they hit the puck twice to our goal, but both attempts were too wide
cardial arrest, cerebral haemorrhage, screaming
then Krivov blocked one of their attempts with a genious movement.
We continued the aggressive dominance. Here it looked so that Zvezda can be dangerous only when they are in power play.
They scored their first goal from power play, of course. What is more, it was a double power play. There were barely 4 minutes left from the period, when the referees sent off Zubov and Brkušanin. Novaković took advantage of our weakened defense and with an evil grin he hit and scored. 0:1
Was it just me or did Zvezda-players really push Partizan-players on the ice just for fun, even when our player was not in action? And needless to say, referees didn’t give a damn. But when Ristić pushed a Zvezda-player to the pale, he immediately got a 2-minute-penalty. It happened not just once.
Only 2 minutes and 20 seconds were left, when Zvezda scored their second goal. It was an exceptional goal, because all Partizan-players were on the rink. Popravka hit the puck from the distance and it flew next to Tikhonov and fell into the net. 0:2
Less than two minutes were left, when all that you could see was Filipović getting into a fight with a Zvezda-player (it looked as if the red one would have said something rude to our player), he had to be carried away by teammates (even a referee joined). A bit later Milovanović was literally bulldozed by the opponent, he even had to leave the rink for a short while.
Then at the end of the period, when players were about to go back to the locker-room, hell broke loose. It was FIGHT, it was PARTIZAN RIOT!
There’s nothing better than hitting the opponent’s head with his own helmet.
The teams got a tough welcome-back in the third period. Raging Grave Diggers were booing, hissing and chanting the song "Grmi pesma sad sa južne strane", sending it to all Zvezda-players, with lots of love, possibly.
While on the rink the two opponents got into a bitter, rude fight. Then, barely 7 minutes passed, when Zubov scored our first goal from power play. 1:2
Meanwhile it got into my attention that there are at least 6, but rather 7 sponsor logos on Zvezda’s jersey. Telekom Srbija, Arenasport, Lasta and others, while Partizan had only Big Pizza as their official supporter. By the way, Big Pizza is an excellent pizzeria in Pančevo, if you are there, you must try it. Our captain Marko Milovanović is the owner of the place.
Only 2 minutes passed, Zvezda scored their 3rd goal, in power play, what else (Brkušanin was suspended). Hell almost broke loose again, Novaković and Vlasov started to hit each other.
The game was about to end soon, barely 7 minutes were left, when Ristić scored our second goal (2:3). From then on we attacked with full force. We definitely wanted to equalize. Less than 5 minutes were left, when Zvezda could finally build up an attack, but their player fell on the ice just in the very last moment, in our goalmouth. The slow motion replay showed a Partizan-stick suddenly appearing right in front of the Zvezda-player’s feet, then the red dude obediently fell and slid away on his butt. The referee whistled, penalty shoot.
Novaković got the puck. He slid, shot...
...AND TIKHONOV SAVED!!! My God, Tikhonov saved a penalty!!! What a save it was!!!
For the rest of the game we attacked, but eventually we couldn’t equalize.