KLAGENFURT, Austria – Klagenfurter AC was too strong for defending champion Red Bull Salzburg in the Austrian final. Regular-season winner Klagenfurt carried their momentum to the finals which they won in seven games.
KAC completed a successful season winning the Austrian league trophy. They won the regular season with 80 points – seven more than the Vienna Capitals and twelve more than Red Bull Salzburg.
Klagenfurt beat Innsbruck, 4-2, in the quarterfinals and were even more concinving in the semis, sweeping Linz in four games.
Red Bull Salzburg, after a 4-1 quarterfinal victory against Slovenian team Acroni Jesenice, beat higher-seeded Vienna, 4-1, in the semis to challenge Klagenfurt in the best-of-seven final.
The final was a see-saw series with home wins in the first two games and road wins in games three and four.
After winning game five on home ice, 3-0, Klagenfurt lost the sixth meeting in Salzburg. Klagenfurt lead 2-1 late in the third period but Darryl Bootland equalized with 68 seconds remaining and then scored the game-winner 99 seconds into overtime.
In Sunday's game seven, Klagenfurt’s Andrew Schneider opened the scoring at 34:56. Patrick Harand equalized at 44:01 but only 13 seconds later, it was his brother Christoph Harand that regained the lead for KAC.
For Klagenfurt it was the 29th national championship but the first since 2004. The title, which coincided with the sports club's 100-year anniversary, earned KAC a place in the Champions Hockey League qualification for 2009-2010.
1. Klagenfurter AC
2. Red Bull Salzburg
3. Vienna Capitals
4. Black Wings Linz
5. Graz 99ers
6. Villacher SV
7. HC Innsbruck
8. Acroni Jesenice (SLO)
9. Alba Volan Szekesfehervar (HUN)
10. Olimpija Ljubljana (SLO)