On Wednesday six Sky Alps Hockey League games will be played. The focus is on the battle for sixth place with Migross Supermercati Asiago Hockey welcoming leaders Rittner Buam in the top game, while Sportivi Ghiaccio Cortina Hafro hosts second-placed HC Pustertal Wolves.
Migross Supermercati Asiago Hockey - Rittner Buam
Asiago almost equaled Ritten’s winning record but the team of Tom Barrasso suffered a defeat in Brunico after 13 successive wins. Because of this defeat their deficit to fith place became bigger as well as sixth place is in danger now. Anthony Nigro and Lorenzo Casetti are still suspended for the upcoming game against Ritten. After a win in Fassa, the leader hits the road again. They have earned 32 points out of 13 away games, best record of all teams. In the first season meeting the Italian champions got a 3:2 win thanks to a strong first period.
EK Zeller Eisbären - EC Bregenzerwald
Only two days after the energy-sapping derby against Kitzbühel, EK Zeller Eisbären host EC Bregenzerwald on Wednesday. It’s a big game for the polar bears who try to keep eighth place despite losing the last seven games. In the last couple of years there were some big clashes between these two clubs with Zell am See winning the first leg this campaign. But the Vorarlberg team is self-confident after a 6:1 win in their 2017 opener. Now they want to get as many points as possible for Qualification Round. Christian Haidinger has a scoring streak of three games, he has eight goals and assists each this season.
Red Bull Hockey Juniors - EC 'Die Adler' Stadtwerke Kitzbühel
The Salzburg side started the new year with a clear-cut defeat. Theyhave only three games left in the Sky Alps Hockey League regular season, all of them on home ice. On Wednesday they welcome Kitzbühel, a team they have good memories: In the first season meeting the Red Bulls got their biggest season win, 7:0. But the Eagles have done well in the past weeks, beating Sterzing and Zell am See while stretching Pustertal to the limit. Both sides don’t have Master Round chances anymore but they try to get a good starting position for the next stage.
HC Gherdeina valgardena.it - WSV Sterzing Broncos Weihenstephan
Despite Neumarkt outplaying their opponents from Gherdeina in the first two period, the „fury“ took an important 4:3 win on Monday. Thanks to the second consecutive win they climbed to 13th place. They also won the first leg against the Broncos, beating them 3:1 on the road – now the teams face off again. Due to a tragic accident within the team, Sterzing’s planned first game of the year 2017 against Cortina was rescheduled for next week. The Broncos have become better and better in the past weeks. They would be fifth-placed team, if only the last 15 rounds have counted.
Sportivi Ghiaccio Cortina Hafro - HC Pustertal Wolves
Thanks to Asiago’s defeat in Brunico, Cortina’s chances for a Master Round spot have risen again. Now the team of head coach Drew Omicioli takes on the Wolves. In the first leg Cortina suffered a 4:1 away defeat. Pustertal can already plan with the playoffs as they are the second team qualified for post season. Now they target first place, having a six-point deficit to Ritten with one game less. The Wolves have still the best defense available with Thomas Tragust getting his fourth season shutout lately.
HC Fassa Falcons - HC Neumarkt Riwega
Both Fassa and Neumarkt started the new year with a defeat. The falcons did well in their home game against Ritten for long time but conceded a 1:4 loss in the end, their 17th season defeat. HCN has conceded one defeat less but they only have a two-point deficit to eighth place. The Wild Goose won the first meeting, when Fassa’s Geoff Walker earned another two points, in shootout. The 29-year-old Canadian is the league’s second best scorer with 43 points.
Sky Alps Hockey League:
04.01.2017, 19:30: EK Zeller Eisbären - EC Bregenzerwald
Referees: WALLUSCHNIG, WIDMANN, Bartl, Höller
04.01.2017, 19:30: Red Bull Hockey Juniors - EC 'Die Adler' Stadtwerke Kitzbühel
Referees: DURCHNER, KUCHER, Kontschieder, Krausz
04.01.2017, 20:30: Migross Supermercati Asiago Hockey - Rittner Buam
Referees: RUETZ, SUPPER, De Zordo, Pinie
04.01.2017, 20:30: HC Gherdeina valgardena.it - WSV Sterzing Broncos Weihenstephan
Referees: LEGA, VIRTA, Biacoli, Giacomozzi
04.01.2017, 20:45: Sportivi Ghiaccio Cortina Hafro - HC Pustertal Wolves
Referees: BAJT, HOLLENSTEIN, Bergant, Rezek
04.01.2017, 20:45: HC Fassa Falcons - HC Neumarkt Riwega
Referees: KAMSEK, LESNIAK, Bedynek, Tschrepitsch