Saturday, March 12, 2016

Crvena Zvezda - HK Partizan 4:5 (play-off, 1st match)

This game was like an adventure.

I watched the first period on, without commentary. I realized only later - when I could find a working ArenaSport 2 link - how lucky I was to watch it hearing only fans’ chantings, and not the commentator.

Warming up
(photo: Twitter)


We skated out to the rink and immediately scored two goals. Seriously. In the 3rd minute Zhukov said ’hi’ to Zvezda’s goaltender, in the 6th Ogrizović came, saw and scored. We were leading to 0:2, Tikhonov made great saves, Zvezda struggled. They had attempts, but our domination was clear. All was going fine, it all looked like a smooth game.
Then right at the beginning of the second period Zvezda scored, from power play, of course, what else. Čuković had to stay on the penalty bench, after he (if I could see it well) had a verbal fight with a referee. Both teams fought hard. Filipović was thwarted right in Zvezda’s goalmouth, the red player earned a 2-minute penalty, but we got no penalty shot. We caused upheaval quite a few times in Zvezda’s goalmouth, they were all these screaming-shouting-collapsing-cursing kind of chances. It was always very close, but never a score.

Komazec, some time during the game
(photo: Twitter)

Only three and a half minutes were left from the second period, when Zvezda equalized.
And 43 (fourty-three!!!) seconds were left, when they took the lead.
No. Just... no. It can’t be. It’s impossible. Cold shower. The second period ended with 3:2.
The third one had a tough start. Vlasov clashed with a Zvezda-player so hard that our Russian player had his mouth covered with blood. He had to be carried off the rink (he couldn’t even stand up for long minutes, he was just laying on the ice).
The match continued, sometimes on the verge of a major fight between players. Then around the 14th minute there was a huge upheaval at Zvezda’s goalmouth. All that was visible was a big pile of players making traffic at the goal line, then Partizan’s players suddenly raise their hands, make happy dance and Nenad Raković skates along the bench high-fiveing with everyone, while teammates were hugging him. The slow motion replay showed him crashing heroically through the red wall and push the puck into the box. 3:3
Less than 30 seconds passed and we took back the lead. Filipović came and BANG, scored. 3:4

The commentator of ArenaSport 2 was amazing. Any time Zvezda had an attempt, he was screaming on the top of his voice. Seriously, the speakers next to my monitor were about to give it up. When Partizan scored, he just announced it with a totally casual voice, as if he was about to ask for a piece of bread.
(Okay, okay, I know that ArenaSport is one of Zvezda’s sponsors, but for hell’s sake, let’s not have double standards.)

Zvezda desperately attacked. As a result they knocked out Milovanović in the 6th minute so heavily that the Captain also had to leave the rink.

Milovanović, when he was still healthy

Only 5 minutes were left, when Zvezda equalized. 4:4. Impossible. Only a few minutes are left, goddamn it...
But Partizan is Partizan, not a bunch of whining pussies who just give it up.
Because Janković scored such a GIANT goal that the echo came from the Genex Tower, when only 2 minutes were left. We were leading again (4:5), we just had to survive the last seconds. 
It wasn’t so easy. Only 30 seconds were left, when Tikhonov stayed on the ice in a painful pose after a big save. Zvezda tried everything to equalize. They failed. We won, return match will be on 14th March.

(photo: Twitter)

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