Luxembourg ice hockey team, the Beaufort Knights, won their home game against Belgian opponents Olympia Heist 11-0 on Saturday.
After two home defeats to Mechelen and Charleroi, the Beaufort Knights managed to secure victory over current Royal Belgian Ice Hockey Federation (RBIHF) Division 1 leaders, Olympia Heist, in an intense game held at the Beaufort Ice Park on Saturday evening.
The game got underway after a ceremonial puck drop from Luxembourgish Porsche Supercup racer, Dylan Pereira. In the early stages of the first period, it was a close contest, mimicking the away matchup in Heist which ended in a 3-4 overtime victory for the Belgian team. From the offset, Olympia played a very physical game and were penalised four times in the opening ten minutes, giving the Knights plenty of possession but nothing to show for it on the scoreboard.
This changed at 11:10 minutes when Ben Houdremont got set up in his left wing position. Kevin Grönlund sent a pass over and Houdremont ripped it first-time into the net. On the face-off following the 1-0 goal, Sacha Backes, returning to the lineup following illness, burst through the Olympia defence, rounded the goalie and put Beaufort up 2-0. Less than four minutes later it was 3-0 for the Beaufort Knights.
However, Knights’ forward Natan Weyders was checked into Olympia’s goalie Wouter Maurien by his own defenceman. Thinking it was a foul, Maurien and the Heist players all stopped playing, leaving Brian Schleimer to tap into an open net completely unchallenged. Tempers were beginning to flair on the Heist bench and at 17:22 minutes Jeffrey Van Den Eede took the team’s fifth penalty of the period. This time, the Knights' Ben Houdremont, Benny Welter, Sacha Backes and Mirko Mosr joined forces to score a goal and end the period 4-0 in their favour.
The second period saw Mosr score his second goal of the game. Using their speed, he and Backes blasted into the Heist zone on a 2 on 1, then after a pass from Backes, Mosr rounded the Heist goalie. Shortly after, it was Mosr’s turn to be the provider and after his shot was saved, Kevin Grönlund charged in from defence to slam in the rebound. The score was now 6-0. A further nine penalties, including a game misconduct for Alexander Verherstraeten, took Heist's total penalty minutes for the game to 67 after 40 minutes of play. The Knights in comparison had eight. Powerplay goals from Benny Welter and Claude Mossong would give the home team a commanding 8-0 lead entering the final period of play.
The third period was much the same as the second. Another eight infractions took Heists' game total in penalty minutes to 91. Three more powerplay goals from Backes, Schleimer and Nicolas Mossong added to the score with the Knights winning the game 11-0.
Only one point now separates the four teams currently challenging for the final playoff spot of the 2019/20 ice hockey season. The Beaufort Knights will next host the Kortrijk Spurs this Saturday 22 February 2020 at 19:30 in Luxembourg, following a 2-4 loss back in October 2019.