Eindrucksvolle Leistung

Salzburger goalie Gerd Nowak and center Jean-Pierre Mallette try to prevent lion Earl Anderson (#16) to score


Goal Erwin Klaus, Gerd Nowak

Defence Horst Gumpold, Franz Kotnauer, Sepp Mössmer, Valentin Kitajev (RUS, loan from Kapfenberg), Berek (loan from Kapfenberg), Duffy McCarthy (London Lions)

Forwards Josef "Sepp" Kriechbaum (captain), Ron Roberts (CAN, 1973 topscorer with 59 goals in 28 games), Jean-Pierre Mallette (CAN), John St. Del (Austro-Canadian), Gerd Zwickl, Hermann Ausweger, Eric Pfeifer, Günther Burkhardt (loan from Innsbruck), Herbert Haiszan (loan from Kapfenberg), Brasna (loan from Gastein), Mike Jakubo (London Lions)

London Lions arrived at beautiful Salzburg, the hometown of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, on 2 February 1974 to play against local team HC Salzburg. Despite the fact that Salzburg had no less than seven reinforcements, Lions won easily with 9-1. Duffy McCarthy and Mike Jakubo played for Salzburg in this game. To lend a player or two when playing against weaker oppositions may have been a common practice - the same thing would happen in the "British final" against Altrincham Aces on 26 March 1974. Siegbert Stronegger wrote about the game in Salzburger Tagblatt on Monday 4 February, stating that the "eindrucksvolle Leistung" (impressive capacity) of McCarthy earned him the title "besten Salzburger".
"Must be true"
, McCarthy commented in an email in March 2005. "It's funny because after our season with London I played pro lacrosse that summer with Toronto Tomahawks. Once it was known there was not going to be a league in Europe Detroit sent me to Kalamazoo Michigan of the International league. Once I got there I decided to hang them up and get a job. Detroit paid me out and I came home. Then I got a call from an agent who offered me a job in Salzburg. I almost went but was offered a job with the Fire Dept which I took, and had 25 great years there. Salzburg must have seen something they liked after that game."
The seemingly effortless skating and stick-handling of the Lions impressed the Austrians. Early in the first period, Salzburger goalie Erwin Klaus received a puck in the face and while he was out for some stitching, his replacement Gerd Nowak admitted three goals in 90 seconds! Lions' goalies Holmqvist and Richardson played 30 minutes each, shifting in the middle of the second period. It's also notable that Terry Clancy was still playing with the Lions while in Austria.

Sepp Kriechbaum in the mid-70s
Captain Sepp Kriechbaum scored the only goal for Salzburg in this game. "To beat a goalie like the famous Honken Holmqvist and to play against opponent center Ulf Sterner was one of my career highlights", Kriechbaum commented in an email in March 2005. Sepp Kriechbaum was born in Zell am See and played 11 years in the Austrian Bundesliga with clubs like EKZ, GAK Graz, Kapfenberg and five seasons with HC Salzburg. Sepp scored 111 goals in 287 Bundesliga games, which was more than some of the import players at the time. He also played 44 games for the Austrian National team, including four World Championships in the 70s and the 1976 Olympics (when playing against famous Russian Superstars like Tretjak, Jakushev and Charlamov was another career highlight). Beside playing hockey he studied economics and business administration in Graz and Linz. After ending the hockey career in 1980, Sepp Kriechbaum turned to coaching. Apart from a lot of success and happiness, Kriechbaum has also experienced problems over the years, at times feeling misused and being worked against. However, his main work for the past 25 years has been as a teacher for accounting and business administration in Zell am See. In 2004 he took a sabbatical year to be a volunteer coach in Kitchener, Canada. He worked with a junior B team and also studied the practices of OHL teams.