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HC Erlangen grabs a draw against Hanover

Erlangen, 03-21-2019

HC Erlangen produced a fighting display to capture a 25:25 draw against TSV Hannover-Burgdorf on Thursday evening. The team of Head Coach Aðalsteinn Eyjólfsson battled fiercely against the team of German internationals Häfner and Böhm and refused to give up even when trailing by five goals. The point against the “Warriors” from Hanover means the club from Franconia has moved up into ninth in the “world’s strongest league.”

The visitors from Hanover went ahead through a goal from German international Fabian Böhm. However, Christoph Steinert equalized from the seven-meter penalty spot on the next attack (1:1). Christopher Bissel put his side in front for the first time by finishing a fast break (2:1). Erlangen’s defense picked up where it had left off in Wetzlar on Sunday. Fired up by team spirit and passion, Petter Overby & Co. battled ferociously against the team of world champion Olsen. After Nikolas Katsigiannis saved a seven-meter penalty, Nico Büdel capitalized right away to put his side 5:4 ahead. The lead changed hands after 15 minutes and the Warriors went 7:9 in front after a goal by Brozovic. The HC now committed mistakes as it built its moves and so the visitors were able to open up a three-goal gap. With the opposing side short-handed, Erlangen was able to cut the deficit to 8:10 in the 20th minute. Katsigiannis continued to make strong saves between the posts and Bissel pulled another goal back despite his side having one man less (9:10). Both teams produced a fiercely contested affair, although the visitors too often resorted to unfair means in the first half. As a result, Steinert reduced the gap to 12:13 with a seven-meter penalty in the 26th minute. Shortly after that, Petter Overby was likewise given a two-minute penalty and so HC Erlangen was short-handed for the last minutes of the first half. The HC Erlangen survived that period well, but still went in at the break trailing by three.

After the restart, Gorazd Skof replaced Katsigiannis and saved the shot from Timo Kastening, after which his teammates forced two of Hanover’s players to concede a two-minute penalty one attack later: Schröder and Büdel were both fouled unfairly and so the HC – with its six men against the other side’s four – was able to reduce the deficit to 13:15. The club from Franconia kept on carving out good scoring opportunities, but all too often was thwarted by the opposing goalkeeper. The TSV pulled four goals in front for the first time after a seven-meter penalty by Mövers in the 36th minute. With the scores standing at 14:19, Aðalsteinn Eyjólfsson was forced to call a timeout and prepare his team for the final 20 minutes. Trailing by 15:19 and then 16:20, the HC clawed its way back to within two goals in the 45th minute, yet the Warriors kept on finding a way through despite selfless defending by the home side. Kastening snapped up a rebound and extended the lead to 18:21 from the wing. HC Erlangen again summoned up all it had in crunch time and cut the gap to one through goals by Büdel and von Gruchalla. The 3,555 spectators in the ARENA NÜRNBERGER Versicherung saw an exciting finish, where Erlangen hit the post a total of four times and so were unable to turn the game around. Häfner, Böhm and Olsen played out each of their attacks up to the verge of being punished for passive play, yet even with the score standing at 20:23 with six minutes remaining, the home side did not give up. Florian von Gruchalla and Petter Overby scored after two strong saves by Katsigiannis and, even though Hanover hit back with two goals, HC Erlangen continued to battle away valiantly. Playmaker Nico Büdel managed to score two in a row to equalize (23:23), by which time no spectator was able to remain seated. In the 58th minute, Nejc Cehte overcame Nikolas Katsigiannis to put his side 25:24 in front. The first-division club from Franconia now had a little over 20 seconds to snatch a draw. Erlangen played its final attack cleverly and precisely: On his return to the team, Nicolai Theiligner was able to get in a shot to score a crucial goal that tied the final score at 25:25.

“We never stopped believing in ourselves today. Even though we were four behind at one stage, we kept on fighting thanks to the great support from our fans. The morale the team showed today makes me very proud,” said Head Coach Aðalsteinn Eyjólfsson afterwards.