January 2023

Brescia roll on, hit season-high 16 in Berlin

Day 6, Group B – Spandau 04 Berlin (GER) v AN Brescia (ITA) 10-16 In the first five rounds, Brescia offered rock-solid defending in most of their matches, limiting their rivals to 4-6 goals at home, got only 8 in Dubrovnik, the only exception was their defeat in Belgrade when the Serbs managed to break them with 11 hits. After the action-packed opening period where the Italians took a 3-5 lead, it seemed that this might be a different game – at least in the number of goals the spectators might see. It was, but only from that aspect – otherwise Brescia took firm control already in the second period. Though Spandau pulled one back for 4-5, soon the Italians produced the perfect storm. Four possessions, four goals in a span of 2:15 minutes, three of those from Edoardo di Somma, and Brescia were 4-9 up – against them, barely any team had a chance to come back from five goals down. Indeed, Spandau couldn’t do any miracle either. Brescia switched back a gear or two for the third, but the Germans could net only one in the first four minutes, while soon the Italians hit three again in quick succession for 6-12. From that point, goals were galore, six came apiece – credits to Spandau that they could end with double digits against Brescia, while the Italians set a new scoring record on their own for this season.

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An evening at the shooting range, FTC outpowers NBG

Day 6, Group B – FTC-Telekom Budapest (HUN) v Novi Beograd (SRB) 14-12 Since Barceloneta was thrashed by Recco in Group A on Tuesday, Novi Beograd remained the only unbeaten side in the field. However, the Serbs chances of keeping this record got slimmer and slimmer as their Budapest appearance was commencing. They arrived without their Greek stars Vlachopoulos and Skoumpakis and their top Serbian gun Nikola Jaksic, and soon before the start their centre-forward Dusko Pijetlovic also opted to skip the game as he didn’t feel well in the dressing room. Despite lining up only nine field-players, NBG took a flying start, three blasts from the perimeter made the game look so easy as they led 1-3 after the opening period. It could have been more but young goalie Daniel Szakonyi – still replacing injured starter Soma Vogel – stopped a penalty, just like in the game against Jug last December. Back then that had also been a sign that the hosts started climbing back – now, in 76 seconds in the second, FTC levelled the score. Though NBG took back the lead soon, they were shut out for th following 3:30 minutes while Stylianos Argyropoulos hit a double for 5-4. After missing two man-ups, the Serbs managed to put away one to equalise, still, the Serbian centre-forward of the hosts Nemanja Ubovic netted a great action goal, so by halftime Ferencvaros led 6-5. Then in the third it was the Magyars who made the game look so simple – their shots beat NBG goalie Joao Fernandez with ease, Adam Nagy’s brilliant lob and Denes Varga’s fine shot from the distance gave the home side a 9-5 lead and they were still 11-7 ahead late in this quarter. Radomir Drasovic came up with two fine bouncing shots while the Hungarians’ scoring machine ceased to function (they netted five apiece in the middle two periods but none in the last 2:27 minutes in the third). With 11-9 on the scoreboard, the game was very much open before the final chapter began. A block denied the Hungarians in their first extra and two minutes into the fourth Drasovic found the back of the net once more for 11-10. Fernandez managed to bounce back with a series of saves to offer a couple of possessions for his side, however, the equaliser never came. Instead, after long minutes of intense battling, Daniil Merkulov’s pinpoint action shot ended FTC’s 7:46 minute-long draught. Gergo Fekete added another one from extra 48 seconds later, and at 13-10, with 2:32 to go, the Hungarians seemed to have it. Dusan Mandic pulled one back with a trademark 6m shot, but his next attempt was blocked, and Argyropoulos hit his fourth from a man-up for 14-11, 43 seconds from time – Mandic converted a penalty lately, to end this brilliant shooting contest. How they saw it Zsolt Varga, coach, FTC “Today we got an opportunity to take back the three points we had lost in Berlin. Though when a team come without key players, the psychology can work the other way and those playing may gain some extra energy from deep inside. And they started well but we also reacted well, and then we could go all the way, apart from a minor setback late in the third period. In that phase we forced the attacks a bit too intensively, we didn’t pay that much attention to defending, especially to mark Mandic but at the end we could still win the game.” Zivko Gocic, coach, NBG “For sure, today this was our maximum effort. If we had one or two more players, the game might have ended differently, but all in all, we fought from the very beginning till the last moment which was great. At the end, this is a realistic result for today, congrats to FTC as they played really well.”

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Cabanas hits seven, leads Sabadell to their first win

Day 6, Group B – Astralpool Sabadell (ESP) v CN Marseille (FRA) 13-11 Sergi Cabanas opened the scoring right from the first possession while the French had to wait more than three minutes before Andrija Prlainovic buried a penalty. But this was Marseille’s only goal in the first eight minutes as the Spanish defence worked really well and soon Luc Bertrand netted another one from action while Cabanas sent the ball home from a 6 on 5, 22 seconds before the first break. Eduardo Lorrio came up with a great save early in the second, Bernat Sanahuja finished off the ensuing counter to make it 4-1 – Sabadell were really on fire. And they carried on – Marseille could score twice from man-ups, but the hosts always found the way to reply. At 5-3, Sanahuja hit another one from an extra and after killing two man-downs, Kanstantin Averka also was on target in the last 6 on 5 of the first half.  Sabadell began the third with a fine man-up goal by Dusan Banisevic. In the following minutes Marseille could score twice but Cabanas replied on both occasions, so the hosts led 10-5 deep into this quarter. The French had a better spell inside the last minute, came back to 10-7 – but not further. They had an extra early in the fourth, but Lorrio denied them once more, and Cabanas made no mistake at the other end in Sabadell’s man-up.  Instead of 10-8, Marseille slipped back to 11-7 and there was no way back for the French. They missed their next extra, then buried a 6 on 4, but again, the Spaniards could reset the four-goal gap with an action goal in their next possession. This was repeated a bit later and when Cabanas scored his 7th from action for 13-9 with 1:27 on the clock, it was all over. Marseille got some consolation by netting the last two – still, they were dropped to the last place in the group and never looked to be so far from the Final 8 as now. How they saw it Quim Colet, coach, Sabadell “We deserved this first victory as the team played very well. We played a very good defence, and our balance in the 6 on 5s were also good. Sergi Cabanas is a very good player, I’m happy that he showed it in this game.” Milos Scepanovic, coach, Marseille “This is not a surprising defeat, we expected a lot from Sabadell, even though they didn’t win a game in the previous rounds, they had some great games so we were ready for this one. Of course, this is a difficult situation for us, we will try out best in the next games as I’m sure we can win against the good teams, it’s not over for us. We knew this group would be really difficult, every win

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NBG, the last unbeaten side fall in Budapest, Brescia top the group

No unbeaten side remained in the field after injury-hit Novi Beograd fell in Budapest where Ferencvaros won a kind of shooting contest. Since Brescia made no mistake in Berlin, the Italians took back the top spot in this group. OSC and Jug played a thrilling tie, not the best result for these two who are chasing the top ranked sides. Sabadell claimed its first win in the season, at the expense of Marseille which were dropped to the bottom. Day 6, Group B: FTC-Telekom Budapest (HUN) v Novi Beograd (SRB) 14-12, Spandau 04 Berlin (GER) v AN Brescia (ITA) 10-16, Genesys-OSC Budapest (HUN) v Jug Adriatic Osiguranje Dubrovnik (CRO) 9-9, Astralpool Sabadell (ESP) v CN Marseille (FRA) 13-11 Standings: 1. Brescia 15, 2. Novi Beograd 13, 3. Ferencvaros 12, 4. Jug 8, 5. OSC 6, 6. Spandau 5, 7. Sabadell 4, 8. Marseille 4 Brescia didn’t let the Spandau players think of anything similar they had achieved two weeks ago when they had stunned Ferencvaros. The Italians brought their disciplined, aggressive and highly effective game to the pool. Though their defence did not work flawlessly as in the previous rounds – got three goals right away in the first quarter –, their win was never in danger. Ferencvaros bounced back from the Berlin shock and beat Novi Beograd in an entertaining game which sometimes was more similar to practice day out at a shooting range. The health issues of the Serbs definitely played to their hands – NBG missed four of their key players – and the Magyars made most of their chances. This also means that the last unbeaten side fell in the prelims (after Recco thrashed Barceloneta in the other group on Tuesday). And the two winners also got some ‘great’ news on the ‘chasing camp’ as none of their most dangerous rivals could win. OSC and Jug staged a thrilling battle where the Croats led by three late in the second period, but the Magyars managed to come back and after shutting out Jug for 10:45 minutes, took a 9-7 lead in the fourth. Jug woke up in time and veteran Maro Jokovic saved the game to a draw with a fine action goal 40 seconds before the buzzer.  Marseille sank further – the French team, which had reached the Final Eight in the previous two seasons, suffered their fourth defeat in six rounds. Sabadell came up big to win their first game in the season, in fact they left no chance for their rivals, dominated for four periods as Sergi Cabanas netted 7 goals.

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After leading 3-6, Jug had to save a point at the end

Day 6, Group B – Genesys-OSC (HUN) v Jug Adriatic Osiguranje Dubrovnik (CRO) 9-9 OSC took the lead with a fine centre shot after a minute or so, while Jug needed four minutes to find the back of the net. Though once the Croats hit the first, they added two in quick succession – the three goals came in a span of 1:51 minutes –, while OSC struggled to penetrate the rivals’ defence. When Loren Fatovic scored in the last second of the first for 1-4, the hosts seemed to be in trouble already. With some luck, Vince Vigvari pulled one back from a dying man-up and soon more signs followed that the Hungarians were still alive – they killed a man-down and deep into the fourth did a nice play in a 6 on 5 for 3-4. The Croats seemed a bit lost once more in offence and could score again after four minutes – Ivan Vukojevic surprised the goalie from a sharp angle. That made some difference, and it was just enhanced by Toni Popadic who stopped Krisztian Manhercz’s penalty. Jug then needed two man-ups to score once, they regained the ball twice in the first, then the second ended in an easy put-away for Matias Biljaka. OSC earned another penalty with 15 seconds to go, and this time Daniel Angyal made no mistake, so it stood 4-6 at halftime. A quick exchange of man-up goals kicked off the third period, then Manhercz – who had netted the previous one – missed an extra but stood up for the next penalty, earned in a 6 on 5, and this time he sent the ball home for 6-7. Then his following shot was saved by Popadic, however, a counter after a turnover foul brought the sides back to even as Marton Toth easily scored from the one-on-one for 7-7. The Magyars had two possessions to take the lead – denied Jug in a 6 on 5 in between – but couldn’t create any a real threat, though Jug weren’t on top in offence either, could not score in the last 5:45 minutes of this quarter. And the inevitable came early in the fourth when Vigvari managed to stun Popadic from the perimeter with a distant shot. The Croats’ faced higher and higher mountains to climb – they missed another man-up (a block denied them), then Popadic delivered two saves in a man-down, but the defenders couldn’t clear the ball and Angyal pushed it in from close range for 9-7. Reserve goalie Daniel Bisztritsanyi, jumped in for the second half, did an amazing job, posted a series of saves, including another one in a man-down so with 3 minutes left – and 10:45 gone since their last goal – Vjeko Kobescak had to call for a time-out. That helped, Fatovic could finally send the ball behind the veteran goalie with a fine one-timer in another 6 on 5 so it was 9-8 with 2:33 to go. OSC’s next man-up came after a time-out but that had no similar effect, as young Vigvari’s shot was blocked, but the good old left hand of Maro Jokovic also missed the target in Jug’s 6 on 5. Not the next shot though, from action he equalised with 40 seconds remaining on the clock. It was 0:23 when OSC got a last man-up, but they didn’t go for a shot in a promising position and the Croats made a steal, thus the teams had to settle for a draw. Jug were perhaps the happier with that as they managed to climb out from a really deep hole. How they saw it Daniel Varga, coach, OSC “First of all, congrats for both teams, I think we played a good game and at the end we got one-one point. Nobody can be satisfied with that. We started the game very slowly, both in thinking and in moving, then we changed the pace, and it became a great match. We were two goals up at the end, this team need to learn how to keep this advantage against such a quality team like Jug. This game proved once more that we are able to play at this level, so we have everything we need to catch the fourth place and qualify for the Final Eight.” Vjekoslav Kobescak, coach, Jug “It was a very hard match as it was expected. In the end, both teams should be satisfied with the draw, but dissatisfied as well. We played a bad game, in the first part we had problems with our defence, then OSC changed the goalie who stepped up for the game, while we started having problems in offence. Luckily, we scored those last two goals which saved a point for us, but we didn’t play with discipline and that was a big problem, also didn’t have the right choices of shots. All in all, both goalkeepers were amazing, they were the best in the pool this evening.”

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Jadran score two in the last 58 seconds to save a point

Day 6, Group A – Jadran Split (CRO) v Radnicki Kragujevac (SRB) 10-10 In the 3-1-0 scoring system draws usually don’t make the sides happy, especially when they are direct rivals in a chase – but this tie and the way it was achieved made both coaches so unhappy that they blasted their teams openly for the poor performances. Indeed, the first half didn’t really reach the level one got used to in the Champions League. Especially the second period was painful to watch – and especially from the host side’s angle as they couldn’t score in that quarter. Altogether, they had a goalless phase of 13 minutes – but Radnicki weren’t much better in any aspect, could find a single goal to lead 2-3, but alone in the second period 9 man-ups were missed in total (5 by the Croats, 4 by the Serbs). Jadran could equalise early in the third, then Radnicki missed a 6 on 4, then another extra, before netting two in 52 seconds to take a 3-5 lead deep into this period. Jadran also showed they could waste a 6 on 4 and two more man-ups, so when Dejan Stanojevic netted an action goal for 3-6 with 26 seconds remaining on the clock, the hosts’ hopes seemed to be fading fast. Zvonimir Butic pulled one back, though, so it stood 4-6 before the last break. Then all of a sudden, after so many wasted chances and missed shots, the teams geared up and produced the same amount of goals in eight minutes what they could put together in the previous 24.  The pattern remained the same for quite a while: Jadran halved the gap, but Radnicki replied almost immediately every time to lead by two. They netted four action goals including three from the perimeter and held on for an 8-10 lead with 1:23 to go. Split’s European Championship hero Jerko Marinic-Kragic also sent the ball home from the distance with 58 seconds on the clock and after the host defence survived the next Serbian possession, they could set up a 7 on 6 (goalie in front too) for the last 21 seconds after a time-out. And they managed to complete some fine passes, the Serbs were unable to interrupt them or commit a foul and with 6 seconds to go leftie Ivan Zovic let the ball fly from the right side and the shot was good for an equaliser. How they saw it Jure Marelja, coach, Jadran “At the end we should be satisfied to get one point at least. I wouldn’t say that it was an awful match but… To have such a great players in the pool and see them playing such a bad game – it was a bit shocking… We conceded a lot of easy goals, so we didn’t deserve more.” Uros Stevanovic, coach, Radnicki “I really don’t know what to say… no words describe my feelings, my impressions after this result… Both teams played really bad. Maybe this is the rightful result. If we continue to play like this, I really don’t know where we can get.”

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Olympiacos are still the ruler in Greece

Day 6, Group A – Olympiacos Piraeus (GRE) v Vouliagmeni (GRE) 14-6 Olympiacos didn’t let its domestic arch-rival into the game for a single moment. The Greek champion set the pace right from the beginning, defended extremely well and attacked very efficiently. They netted their first three man-ups – Marton Vamos hit two, then Andro Buslje added another one – to take a 3-0 lead in 3:10 minutes. The fourth came early in the second but more importantly, they shut out Vouliagmeni in the first 11:13 minutes.  Though Marios Kapotsis managed to break the ice finally, Vouliagmeni still trailed 6-2 at halftime and soon it was 7-2 after Filip Filopovic’s blast in a man-up. The No. 2 Greek side had a better spell a bit later, they came back to 8-5 with a couple of man-up goals but Christodoulos Kolomvos’ fine centre-shot made it 9-5 after 22 seconds in the fourth to send a strong message that Olympiacos were no way letting this match turn into a dogfight. They kept their opponents under pressure and despite Panagiotis Tzortzatos delivered some fine saves, later he couldn’t do much when the hosts top guns kept on gunning their bullets. Vouliagmeni’s defence crashed once more and conceded five more goals, including two from action in the last 90 seconds.  Indeed, this outcome was not surprising as Olympiacos could hardly be challenged at home, they downed Vouliagmeni 3-0 last May in the championship final – though none of those matches were so lop-sided as this one. How they saw it Igor Milanovic, coach, Olympiacos “At least during the last ten day we could practice with all players on board, no one was missing with health issues. At the end, the difference was much bigger compared to the intensity of this fight and I’m hundred per cent sure that our next game in the cup will be much tighter. Congrats to my players, apart from some minutes in the third period they followed all instructions, played well in defence, especially in man-down, had a beautiful rhythm during the game so I’m satisfied with their performance.” Vladimir Vujasinovic, coach, Vouliagmeni Was not available for comment.

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A masterpiece from Recco as they hold Barceloneta on 5 goals

Day 6, Group A – Zodiac CNA Barceloneta (ESP) v Pro Recco (ITA) 5-11 Since both sides have tremendous offensive potential, it was obvious, that only the very best of defending could win this game for either side. Accordingly, the opening eight minutes were dominated by the defences. The Italians were especially effective as they could kill four man-downs in the first period, only Alberto Munarriz’s 6m shot found its way to the net after four minutes – that was Barceloneta’s lonely goal in this quarter. By then Recco took the lead from a counter, finished by Gergo Zalanki, two minutes after Francesco di Fulvio’s penalty was well saved by Unai Aguirre. Though the Spaniards also did well in the back, but couldn’t do much with Aaron Younger’s pinpoint finish in a 6 on 5, 36 seconds from time. The title-holders carried on their momentum in the second, last year’s F8 MVP Giacomo Cannella came up with two brilliant action goals in 1:50 minutes, between the two hits Recco denied two more man-downs so the Italians led 1-4. Then, with some luck, thanks to a deflection, Luke Pavillard finally netted a 6 on 5 for Barceloneta (the first one out of 7), but Gonzalo Echenique responded a fiery bouncer, this was the third action goal for Recco in four minutes. Then came one from an extra, after a time-out, a patient passing set up Younger once more and he did a clean job for 2-6. The Spaniards had another 6 on 5, but the ball ended up in Marco del Lungo’s hands – soon Echenique’s fantastic lob made it 2-7 and Recco seemed to be very much in control. Lately, a fine block denied di Fulvio in extra – while Pavillard was on target once more at the other end, with 0:05 left on the clock, so it stood 3-7 at halftime, not 2-8, a small piece of good news for the local crowd. Pavillard carried on in the third, hit another one from the first man-up for 4-7, but before the house would have started to burn, Recco’s master-shooters blasted two from the perimeter in 52 seconds – first di Fulvio found his ‘scoring hand’, then Cannella fired his third for 4-9. A trademark counter by the hosts, the first (and the last…) in this game, brought them a bit closer as Marc Larumbe finished it off, however, they couldn’t make their next man-up and as time was passing by, all these misses became more and more crucial. And when Del Luongo stopped Perrone’s shot in a 6 on 4 in the dying seconds, it was hard to see that Barceloneta would come back from four goals down in the last period. And they never came – instead, the Spaniards were simply shut out in the last eight minutes. Recco were rolling on, they added two more in the final chapter while holding Barceloneta on 5 goals – an amazing feat. The ingredients were Marco del Lungo’s outstanding performance in the goal, he had 10 saves on 15 shots – also, the defence limited their rivals to 28 shots and only 15 were on target, had 7 blocks and killed 12 man-downs out of 15.  It was a masterpiece from the title-holders, led by Sandro Sukno who had been part of Croatia’s Olympic winning side when Elvis Fatovic was the assistant coach of that team – now the fellow Croatian in charge at the Barceloneta bench, but Sukno politely avoided answering the question in the post-game interview if this evening the student taught a lesson to his former master.  How they saw it Elvis Fatovic, coach, Barceloneta “This was a game we could lose as we had plenty more to come. Congrats to Recco, they were much better and much sharper both in defence and in offence. We need to learn from this game as we need to change something since Recco were absolutely dominant right from the beginning.” Sandro Sukno, coach, Recco “I’m very satisfied with my guys. I can say this was our best performance so far in this season, we played really well in the entire game.”

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Recco back to destroyer mood

Barceloneta had gone 5/5 before this round but today were simply blown away by Recco as the title-holders turned the highlighted match into a one-sided contest. The Italian did a tremendous job in defence, limited Barceloneta to five goals while killing 12 man-downs out of 15. Olympiacos beat fellow Greek side Vouliagmeni with ease, so the three favourites top the ranks with equal points. Jadran and Radnicki had to settle for a dramatic draw after the Croats could score twice in the last 58 seconds – and that expanded the gap to eight points between the big boys and their chasers. Day 6, Group A Zodiac CNA Barceloneta (ESP) v Pro Recco (ITA) 5-11, Jadran Split (CRO) v Radnicki Kragujevac (SRB) 10-10, Olympiacos Piraeus (GRE) v Vouliagmeni (GRE) 14-6, Dinamo Tbilisi (GEO) v Waspo 98 Hannover (GER) 11-14 Standings: 1. Recco 15, 2. Olympiacos 15, 3. Barceloneta 15, 4. Radnicki 8, 5. Vouliagmeni 7, 6. Jadran 7, 7. Hannover 3, 8. Dinamo 0 Though they lost their opening game back in November, by now Recco seemed to finish the rebuilding process of their well-known shape which doesn’t let much chance to any rival across the continent. As a power demonstration, they simply blew away Barceloneta, the only team with a perfect record in the first five rounds – and they did that in Barcelona. A missed penalty at the beginning was Recco’s only weaker moment in the game, as it turned out. Their defence worked extremely well – keeping Barceloneta on five goals was a monumental effort from the title-holders. They limited their rivals to 28 shots, only 15 were on target and Marco del Lungo stopped 10 of those. The Spaniards weren’t as sharp as in the previous rounds, however, this was crediting rather the Italian defence which killed 12 man-downs, out of 15. With a brick wall behind their back, the Recco offence delivered the destroying blows by halftime already – late in the second they led 2-7 –, and held on for 5-9 before the last break, thanks to three brilliant action shots by 2022 F8 MVP Giacomo Cannella and a fantastic lob from leftie Gonzalo Echenique. To highlight the difference between the teams, Recco shut out the Spaniards in the entire fourth quarter to claim a brilliant win – and to make it 8-0 in their head-to-head over the last six years. Now the top three sides are on level in points as Olympiacos made no mistake and downed fellow Greeks Vouliagmeni with ease. The only good news for the losers came from Split where Jadran and Radnicki had to settle for a tie. The Croats were trailing all the way, were 8-10 down with 83 seconds to go, still managed to save at least one point as Ivan Zovic hit one with 0:06 on the clock from a 7 on 6 at the end. After five straight defeats, it was Hannover which cashed the first three points of the season in the battle of the winless teams – a 0-3 opening in Tbilisi set the tone and the Germans managed to maintain that gap till the end. Fixtures for Wednesday, Group B 19.30 Genesys-OSC Budapest (HUN) v Jug Adriatic Osiguranje Dubrovnik (CRO) 19.30 Spandau 04 Berlin (GER) v AN Brescia (ITA) 19.30 Astralpool Sabadell (ESP) v CN Marseille (FRA) 20.45 FTC-Telekom Budapest (HUN) v Novi Beograd (SRB) Standings: 1. Novi Beograd 13, 2. Brescia 12, 3. Ferencvaros 9, 4. Jug 7, 5. OSC 5, 6. Spandau 5, 7. Marseille 4, 8. Sabadell 1 For stats, game reports with the coaches’ comments and more, visit www.championleague.len.eu

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First victory for Waspo

Day 6, Group A – Dinamo Tbilisi (GEO) v Waspo 98 Hannover (GER) 11-14 Missing four man-ups and hitting the post from a penalty in the first period wasn’t exactly a dream start for Dinamo. Indeed, this disastrous offensive performance combined with three fine goals from Hannover forced the hosts into a chasing game which they couldn’t handle. Their best spell came deep into the second period – once they fell 0-4 and 1-5 behind, they managed to score three connecting goals in 90 seconds and trailed 4-5, but the Germans halted their run as Marko Macan put away a man-up (after well-timed time-out). Then in 48 seconds, fellow Croat Luka Lozina reset the three goal-difference with an astonishing centre-shot. Though Dinamo pulled one back once more, a lucky rebound in a 6 on 5 helped Waspo a bit to score another goal with 0:09 on the clock for a 5-8 halftime lead. As it turned out, Dinamo’s last real chance came early in the third – Andrija Vlahovic hit one from action right away, then the Georgians earned an extra, but this time the post denied Vlahovic. Soon Linus Schuetze copied his last-grasp goal from the second period: the first shot wasn’t good from the Germans in a man-up, but they collected the rebound and Schuetze sent it home for a 6-9 lead. In 39 seconds, it was virtually over: Andrija Basic netted one from action for 6-10 and that broke the hosts somewhat. In the remaining time they were unable to get inside three goals – missed two more man-ups late in the third –, the pattern saw Hannover taking a four-goal lead, then the Georgians pulled one back, but could never reduce the gap further. At the end, Waspo managed to maintain the three-goal lead they had built in the first eight minutes till the very end.

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