As in 2014, HC Erlangen is a very difficult team to beat in its fortress, the Nürnberger Versicherung Arena. Once again, there was not only a team on court that fought every inch of the way, but also 2,881 spectators who were like an extra player in the way they got behind their team. The lead kept on changing hands in the first ten minutes. Nikolai Link and Martin Stranovsky managed to finish incisive moves in the opening spell. After that, the HC was not really able to open up a gap. Nikolas Katsigiannis was able to impress repeatedly with spectacular saves during this period. The HC was then able to pull away slightly at the end of the first half, when Nikolai Link, Oliver Heß and birthday boy Moritz Weltgen made it 16:14.
After the break, Jonas Link scored three goals in the space of four minutes. His brother Nikolai, who like Jonas extended his contract with HC Erlangen in midweek, put his side ahead by five goals for the first time. However, the HC then missed the chance to seal the game. Inaccurate passing on fast breaks and open shots that were missed enabled the visitors to get back to within striking distance – and the tension reached fever pitch when they tied the scores in the final minute. But then Oliver Heß stepped up to the plate. Frank Bergemann called a timeout directly after the equalizer. The players of the 58-year-old Head Coach had repeatedly practiced this situation in their preparations during the winter. Bergemann put on Christoph Nienhaus as a seventh field player and Erlangen managed to set up Oliver Heß with a clever move. The 26-year-old used this opportunity to score the winner. HC Erlangen again has the chance to capture important points in the battle to avoid relegation when FRISCH AUF! Göppingen comes to the Arena Nürnberger Arena this Saturday.
Frank Bergemann commented: “Taking the game as a whole, we definitely deserved the win. My team played with great discipline today, in both defense and offense. And at the end of the day, you need that little bit of luck on your side in games like this.”