In the best-of-seven Play Off Final between Nijmegen and Amsterdam Agio Huys Tigers went ahead 2-0 after two straight wins (6-1 and 3-6). For the third game I went to the city of the "Great Pohlmanov". So called after one of the players on the Amsterdam team, Arthur Pohlman. I arrived late and asked the lady cashier whether I had to pay. The woman generously offered me free admission (Thank you very much!). The game was allready under way and the moment I entered the Jaap Eden ice rink I was overwhelmed by a grand jubilation. At that exact moment Shawn Redmond had hit for the equilizer for Amsterdam, 1-1 at 10.56. Moments later 'oldtimer' Ron Berteling speeded on right wing and let go a shot at full speed. The puck went into the far corner of the goal and Amsterdam had the go ahead goal at 13.48, 2-1. By the way Nijmegen's Theo Kruger hit the net for 0-1 at 3.21. Frank Versteeg had the 3-1 on his stick, but was denied by the cross bar. On the counter attack Jason McKechnie tallied for 2-2 at 15.40. Less then a minute had ticked away when Ron Berteling feeded Shawn Redmond. No one attacked him and he had plenty of time to wait for the goaltender to go down and put the puck upstairs, 3-2 at 16.35.
On the powerplay Amsterdam's Chris
Eimers had two chances to ram the puck home, but failed. After a scrimmage
Shawn Redmond standing well at right beside the goal got the puck and his stick
and immediately fired. The goal judge ruled no goal, but Head referee and
Belgian Dutchman Sven Bergman, who had a excellent view on the situation
signalled: goal. To the delight of the home team and - fans. 4-2 after 19.05.
The second period started with strong
hockey by the home team. Jason Tatarnic tried a shot which went wide. But after
he had circled the goal he was presented the puck again and hit for 5-2
(25.42). Then oldie Ron Berteling showed his class. And not only he. The play
brought back memories about the Russian "Sbornaja". Ron Berteling
steamed ahead on the left wing. Passed backwards and the trailing player feeded
John Versteeg, standing well positioned near the goal crease. John hit for 6-2
at 28.04. Nijmegen's coach Dan Cameron ordered goalie Honoré Loos to the
bench. Dutch canadian Jeff Vijfschaft took his place. But not for long for Loos
retruned at 28.20
Alexander Schaafsma took center stage on a powerplay but couldn't connect. At the other side Nijmegen's Tom Speel hit only the cross bar behind goalie Clint Owen. With the four goal margin still intact both teams went for a second cup of tea. The match lost its brilliance in the third. Nijmegen took over. Tom Speel made it 6-3 at 43.16. Goalie Clint Owen didn't look good on a weak slapshot fromt the blue line by Nijmegen's defenseman Robert Prick van Wely, who netted the puck at 47.21 for 6-4. Then Frank Janssen had a break and put the puck into the net and it was a 6-5 hockey game at 47.47. Robert Herckenrath had the equilizer on his stick, but it was Mark Visschers who rammed the puck home for 6-6 at 56.50. No one beleived in the "Capitals" any more except the Belfe Tigers team. One could feel the tension. At full speed on the right wing Jason Tatarnic let go a shot which wnet past Loos, 7-6 at 59.28. Dan Cameron ordered Loos to the bench for a sixth skater. Chris Eimers set up play and Frank Versteeg hit the empty net. That is to say. Vacated by the goalie. A desperate Nijmegen defenseman impersonated a netminder, but couldn't prevent the 8-6 at 59.57. Thus Amsterdam made it 1-2 in games in this series.
For a full screen photo of Amsterdam's star Ron Berteling click here. For the lighting of the photo goes credit to the cameraman of the local Amsterdam TV station AT5.
The celebrating Belfe Tigers:
A 13-4 demolition of Amsterdam by the hands of Nijmegen followed. Match
number five was won by Amsterdam in overtime, 3-4. Then in the away match, but
played in Nijmegen, Tigers Nijmegen made everything clear after winning 2-4.
10.49 1-0 Milan Nohac (Arthur Pohlman)
17.10 1-1 Theo Kruger (Tommy Speel)
26.46 2-1 Erik Kristiansen
45.46 2-2 Gallagher (Tommy Speel)
46.31 2-3 Frank Janssen (Robert Prick van Wely)
58.03 2-4 Theo Kruger
Referee: Sven Bergman
Penalties: Amsterdam 10; Nijmegen 22.