Fribourg secure spot in next round, Znojmo still winless
Fribourg-Gotteron secured their place in the Round of 32 with a tightly contested 2-0 win in Znojmo. The hosts had a decent amount of possession, but it was the NLA side which created the more clear-cut chances.
Julien Sprunger opened the scoring for Fribourg with 13:59 played in the opening period, giving the visitors a lead which they held through the middle session as well. With 48:12 played and Znojmo down to three skaters, Czech international Roman Cervenka grabbed Fribourg's second of the game to give them a cushion going into the closing stages. Znojmo huffed and puffed as the period ticked down, and were eventually rewarded with a goal shortly before time – the referees consulted the video replay before awarding Kevin Brujsten's goal with 2:35 to play.
With Marek Schwarz pulled, Znojmo pushed for the game-tying goal but were unable to find a way past Dennis Saikkonen, and Marc-Antoine Pouliot added a late empty-netter for Fribourg to give them a 3-1 win.
"It was a more difficult game than last time," said Fribourg coach Gerd Zenhausern, referring between the meeting between the teams in Fribourg on Thursday. "Znojmo played excellent hockey today, they were the better team and we were lucky to win with a good goalie. It's good to win those games when you don't play well, and we have qualified, so we've met out objective to this point."
Znojmo could be eliminated on Tuesday if Munich get at least a point in their home game against the Swiss side. Should Fribourg win that in regulation, Znojmo will need to win in Munich in the final group game by more than a goal to make it through.
"There's not really anything to criticize the players about, because they tried and fought until the end," said proud Znojmo coach Jiri Reznar. "Those other guys are just a little bit above us, talent-wise. It's a shame that we didn't do it. Now we hope for a Fribourg win in Munich, and also that we win there on Friday by the necessary goal difference."