After an even first half, where both sides had their chances, Johannes Wurtz capitalised on a period of Bochum dominance to give them the lead.
However, less than 60 seconds later they were pegged back by Salif Sané's towering header as the game ended 1-1.
H96 show why they're top, but fail to make chances count
Hannover began strongly and should have taken the lead when a long ball over the top from Sané found Miiko Albornoz finds him in space and behind Tom Weilandt, but his shot was tame and easily saved. Manuel Schmiedebach's superb through ball cut the hosts' open once more, only for Stefano Celozzi to spare his side's blushes.
Bochum, despite the shaky start, responded well as another accurate pass from deep found Kevin Stöger in behind the Hannover defence. He edged past Oliver Sorg, but couldn't find a way past Philipp Tschauner. Not long after Tim Hoogland headed over from a near post corner, while a Timo Perthel cross was cleared by Sané.
After the drinks break - due to the immense heat - it was all Hannover and all Felix Klaus. A good block from Felix Bastians denied his initial effort, before he shot straight at Riemann later on in the half. The major moment came when a tug on his shirt from Stefano Celozzi should have seen hannover given a penalty, but it wasn't given.
Bochum better in the second half
There were no changes at the break for either side, but it was Bochum who began the stronger of the two teams. Bastians came closer than anyone else had to opening the scoring as Thomas Eisfeld's free-kick was brought down brilliantly by the captain, but he fired at Tschauner from close range.
Hannover were threatening to trouble the hosts but that never really materialised, as crosses and through balls were relatively easy to cut out. Instead it was the men from the Ruhr who almost took the lead, as a good exchange between Stöger and Tom Weilandt saw the latter volley narrowly over the bar.
From there, the game went up a notch and resembled more pinball than football. Martin Harnik was denied by a brilliant save from Manuel Riemann after Hoogland managed to pass up possession. His game went from bad to worse after he tripped Klaus on the edge of the area, though against Schmidt opted against giving a foul.
Johannes Wurtz skips past Salif Sané to give VfL Bochum the lead. | Image credit: Bundesliga.de
Dramatic to the death
Controversy grew when Harnik lost the ball in the middle of the park immediately after, and Marco Stiepermann slipped in Wurtz. The striker slipped the ball past Sané and then went one-on-one with Tschauner, and calmly finished past the goalkeeper to give Bochum the lead.
That joy was shot-lived, however, and Hannover got the goal their play had deserved. Albornoz's delivery from a set-piece on the left flank was perfect for Sané, who rose above both Bastians and Russell Canouse to head powerfully past Riemann at the near post.
The game went from end to end right to the very final whistle, though another Hoogland mistake almost proved fatal once more. His header towards Bastians didn't find the Bochum captain, and Kenan Karaman managed to weave between both before being denied by a stunning, on-handed Riemann save.
Neither side could grab the crucial third in the end, in what was a fantastic advert for the 2. Bundesliga.