The Croatian Championship will be ended next week.
Mladost defeated Jug 12:8 in the fourth game of the final and equalized the score in the series (2:2). So, the fifth game, in Dubrovnik on Wednesday, will decide which team will be a new champion.
Jug won the first two matches in the series, and it had a 2:0 lead. Four days ago, Mladost upset Jug in Dubrovnik (12:10) and extended the final series. Today, the Zagreb-based team recorded a convincing home win and came just a step away from the title.
Mladost – Jug 12:8 (1:3, 5:1, 3:1, 3:3) – score in the series 2:2
HAVK Mladost: J.Vrlic 3, Radu 2, Milos 2, Bukic 2, Viskovic 2, Dasic 1.
Jug AO: Fatovic 2, Krzic 2, Tomasovic 1, Merkulov 1, Papanastasiou 1, I.Vukojevic 1.
After Jug took a 2:0 lead in the final series, few could predict that the fifth match would be played. But, Mladost proved its quality and got back into the battle for the title.
Today, the visitors had a good start. Jug led 3:1 at the first break and 4:2 early in the second period. However, Mladost netted four consecutive goals by the middle break and went ahead (6:4).
Jug halved the distance in the 17th minute (5:6), but Mladost, led by Josip Vrlic, responded with five straight goals and jumped to an 11:5 lead (28th minute). Jug started coming back after Mladost’s stunning 5:0 series, but it was too late.
The conversion of the extra player shots made the difference. Mladost defended very well with a man down. Jug scored just two goals with a power-play advantage, with a poor percentage (2/9). Mladost converted seven man-ups (7/10).