There is still no “break” in the final of the playoffs of the Croatian League. A home team recorded a win in each of the first three games.
Jadran beat Jug 8:7 in the third match, played Split this evening and took a 2:1 lead in the series. The Split-based side is just one step far from its first title of the Croatian champion, but Jug will be the host of the fourth game.
2022/23 Croatian League, final (best-of-five), Match 3
Jadran S – Jug AO 8:7 (4:2, 1:3, 1:2, 1:1) – score in the series 2:1
Jadran Split: Marcelic, Buric 2, Marinic Kragic 1, Cagalj 1, Butic, Pejkovic, Bukic 2, Tomasovic, Delic, Dobud 1, Setka, Duzevic, Anic 1, Zovic 1. Head coach: Marelja.
Jug AO: Popadic, Burdjelez, Fatovic, Zvono, Jokovic 3, Vukojevic, Biljaka, Lazic, Krzic, Kakaris, Grgurevic 2, Zuvela 2, Jurisic, Mozara. Head coach: Konescak.
As in the previous two games, Jug was the team that got off to a better start. The visitors led 4:2 at the first break. Jadran opened the second quarter with three straight goals. In the 14th minute, Luka Bukic put the hosts in front for the first time. At the finish of the first half, Jug’s veteran Maro Jokovic leveled from a counter-attack and the teams were at the new beginning before the third period.
The teams traded the goals in the third quarter. Jadran took a one-goal lead twice, and Jug leveled on both occasions.
The hosts made more chances to score, but Toni Popadic, who posted 15 saves today (ten more then Jadran’s goalie Anic), kept his team in the game. But, early in the fourth period, Jadran took a two-goal lead for the first time. Jadran earned a man-up in its first possession in the fourth quarter, and Luka Bukic converted a 6 on 5 to a 8:6 lead.
In the following minutes, both defenses were up to the tasks. There were no goals until the 31st minute. Marko Zuvela made it 7:8 and Jug’s hopes were live again. Twenty seconds before the end, the visitors had a great chance to level the score, but Mate Anic saved a shot from Toni Mozara and everything was decided.
In the last second, Jadran’s goalkeeper Anic set the final score.