This game didn’t keep anyone in their seats in Salzburg. The Bulls met defending champion Rögle in the first leg of the Champions Hockey League. It was a tailor-made evening for Red Bull Salzburg. In the run-up to the event, the Mozart city-dwellers had set their sights on the CHL champion, who was only 12th in the Swedish league. Veteran Thomas Raffl made his comeback. He joined Peter Schneider and Nissner in the top line. On the other hand, all eyes were on Marco Kasper. The Carinthian (18), who plays for Rögler, stayed in Salzburg after his appearances in the national team at the Deutschland Cup. Kasper, who is used as a center by the Swedes, could make the leap to the NHL to join the Detroit Red Wings next year.
Salzburg got off to a strong start. Huber fired the first warning shot. However, Rögle definitely showed his qualities. In the middle third, the home side were the better team. Defender Robertson deservedly scored the lead after a faceoff. There were good scenes on both sides. So Kasper failed at the schooner of Salzburg Goalie Atte Tolvanen, who shortly afterwards parried again from a short distance. A superior number helped the Swedes equalize 1:18 minutes before the third siren, Larsson completed a deliberately played action.
Salzburg started the final third with a man down after a Robertson penalty, but in turn struck with a man more. After just a few seconds, Huber had space on the power play and sank the puck under the bar. The defending champion could no longer answer. Florian Baltram already had the 3:1 on the racket after a solo, before Nissner sank a quick counterattack after an assist from Schneider in the goal.
After the game, Salzburg coach Matt McIlvane was more than satisfied: “Today we set a new standard in all areas. Every detail, the contribution of everyone to the team, plus a fantastic goalkeeper. That was a good start to the round of 16 with a strong team performance. Also measured by the difficult preparation [gemeint ist die Abwesenheit einiger Nationalteamspieler letzte Woche] this is really remarkable.”