This is the 11th time when “Akroni Jesenice” wins the Slovenian Hockey Championship having beaten the Ljubljana Olimpija in the overtime. Considering past victories, this is already the 34th title in the history of the city of metallurgists located in the heart of the Julian Alps.
The guest tribune of the hockey hall in the Tivoli Sports Palace was filled to capacity with fans from the Upper Carniola Statistical Region, who understood the great importance of this game for their team. The leadership of “HDD Jesenice” reacted with understanding to the feelings of the club fans and on the eve of the match in advance invited them to attend the festive ceremony in the Podmežaklo Palace in case of success. As a result, hockey fans from the Upper Carniola Region were celebrating the champion title of their idols for the whole night.
The starting minutes of the match confirmed the words of Nik Zupančič, the coach of the Slovenia’s national team and the head coach of “HDD Jesenice”, that the final victory in the playoffs is always very difficult. The debut of the meeting was for the club from Ljubljana. The hockey players from the capital lead a competent and calm defensive game, and their goalkeeper Jeff Frazee instilled confidence in the actions of his partners. It is no wonder that it was the Ljubljanians, who managed to score the first goal – an accurate shot by the captain of “Olimpija” Aleš Mušič.
When the score reached 2:0, the capital fans were already looking forward to the next championship of their favourites. However, when the fate of the match was by the width of a hair, the fans of “HDD Jesenice” said their weighty word. They behaved vigorously and energetically as in the good old days (20–30 years ago). As a result, the players in the white-red uniform first managed to equalize the score, and then, thanks to the Čimžar’s puck, jumped ahead.
However, in the finals, as you know, the fight goes to the last second. At the end of the meeting, Aljaž Uduč managed to complete the counterattack with a shattering shot, which again established the balance on the scoreboard. In overtime, the puck shot by the Gorenjska team’s defender Miha Logar, who previously played for the Ljubljana club, decided the fate of the gold medals. The players and fans of “HDD Jesenice” started celebrating the champion title already in Tivoli, and then continued festive events at home – in the Podmežakla Sports Palace.