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Thread: Serie A 2015-2016

  1. #1
    IHF Staff Marc Brunengraber's Avatar
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    Italy Serie A 2015-2016

    Use this thread for all stats, scores, discussion, video and pictures for the 2015-2016 season.

  2. #2
    IHF Staff Marc Brunengraber's Avatar
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    Unfortunately Serie A is down to only 8 clubs after having 12 teams last season.

    The Italian federation's decision last season to force the Italian teams who were in the lower level (& lower financial cost) Austrian-Italian-Slovenian INL to play Serie A instead was disastrous for the most part both competitively and financially, and this is the sad result.

    Together with Bolzano having left for the higher level EBEL a few seasons back, Serie A is suffering from declining interest and declining level. Hopefully things will turn around for the better sooner rather than later.

  3. #3
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    I hope that it will turn around sooner than later for Serie A but i'm not sure it will. I really hope that the clubs take better care about the economy then they have done before.

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    IHF Staff Davide's Avatar
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    Rittner 'Buam', Italian champion of 2014, has requested to leave Serie A and applied to join Erste Bank Eishockey Liga in the 2016/2017 season. Ritten would be the second Italian team in the Austrian based league, as the Bolzano Foxes already play in this competition. Biggest obstacles for the South Tyroleans to become the league's 13th member are their arena, which only offers space to approximately 2000 spectators, and the geographic proximity to Bolzano.

    It seems also Milano want to apply to join EBEL in next future

  5. #5
    IHF Member PhilHell37's Avatar
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    After an intense end to the regular season where 8 teams battled for 8 playoff spots, now finally teams play for something worthy. Asiago grabbed the third place in the last game after it was in control of surpsing team Sterzing/Vipiteno almost since Day 1.

    The quarter finals (Best-of-7) have started now and after 2 games this is how the situation looks like:

    Ritten - Cortina 2:0 (1:0 OT, 5:0)
    Ritten is the favourite to win the title and were not expected to have any problems against Cortina, who played a terrible regular season. Head Coach John Parco (who won 2 championships for Asiago) does not seem to be the best fit for this young team.
    Surprised Game 1 had to go to OT, but in Game 2 Ritten showed that they can score as well. Andrew Engelage with two shut-outs so far.

    Pustertal - Gherdeina 2:0 (5:3, 5:4 OT)
    Gherdeina played a pretty good regular season after the coaching change and are continuing so in the playoffs. Pusteral is the clear favourite, but Gherdeina is proving to be a pesky opponent. Young goalkeeper Gianluca Vallini is keeping them in the games and they have some weapons like Justin Mercier and Luke Moffat up-front. However, Pustertal has some of the best Italian player like Armin Helfer or Max Oberrauch, whereas Gherdeina's local players are not more than average.

    Asiago - Valpellice 1:1 (3:7, 3:2)
    Asiago played a so-so regular season and have not played up to their potential in the first 2 playoff games as well. Has to be said though that Asiago is forced to play with its 3rd string goalie Davide Mantovani as the other two are injured. However, you should never count Asiago out (Sean Bentivoglio, Paul Zanette, Layne Ulmer etc know how to win playoff games even without a great goalie).
    Valpellice on the other hand is doing farely well on the ice despite all the financial problems (some key players like Nicoletti and Johnson have left the team already). NHL-legend Tom Barrasso is doing a excellent job in his first job as head coach.

    Sterzing - Fassa 1:1 (3:1, 3:4)
    The two surprises of the season are meeting in the quarters and so far it's the tied series which was expected. Small advantage in net for Fassa, who can play with experienced goalie Thomas Tragust whereas Sterzing's Marc Demetz is out and replaced by Domink Steinmann (Demetz is expected to return in Game 3 or 4 though). Key players should be regular season topscorer Adam Hughesman (65 points in 42 games) and Jason Walter on the Broncos's side, whereas Fassa is probably a more all-rounded team with experienced leaders such as Marton Vas and Luca Felicetti.
    Jari Monferone has been the most pleasant surprise of Fassa with 32 points, which earned him a spot in the Italian national team at the Olympic-Pre Qualification tournament.
    My guess is that if Fassa is able to shut down Sterzing's top line, they should move on as Fassa has more scoring power in the 2nd and 3rd line. Overall, this is the only series I expect to take more than 5 games.

  6. #6
    IHF Member PhilHell37's Avatar
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    Today the semifinals start. Val Pusteria vs Asiago and Renon vs Vipiteno/Sterzing.
    Pusteria-Asiago should be a very tied series (small advantage to Pusteria IMO because of the goalie situation). Asiago also did not play a great quarters, only winning the series in Game 7 (when backup Alessandro Tura returned in net after an injury, third string goalie Mantovani played the first six games)
    In the other semifinal it would be a surprise if Ritten needs more than 5 games to eliminate the Broncos. Sterzing has been the pleasant surprise of the season, but Ritten simply has quality and depth in every position.

  7. #7
    IHF Staff Marc Brunengraber's Avatar
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    Here are the standings from the 2015-2016 regular season:

    (Games played, Wins, OT/SO Wins, OT/SO Losses, Losses, Goals for & against, Points)

    1. Ritten 42 29 5 3 5 153:68 100

    2. Val Pusteria 42 27 4 2 9 167:111 91

    3. Asiago 42 19 3 5 15 154:133 68

    4. Vipiteno 42 18 4 5 15 126:119 67

    5. Fassa 42 14 3 7 18 118:131 55

    6. Valpellice 42 11 4 4 23 92:140 45

    7. Gherdeina 42 9 6 5 22 98:156 44

    8. Cortina 42 8 4 2 28 111:161 34

  8. #8
    IHF Staff Marc Brunengraber's Avatar
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    In the quarterfinals -

    #1 seeded Ritten swept #8 seeded Cortina 4 games to zero.

    #2 seeded Val Pusteria defeated #7 seeded Gherdeina 4 games to 1.

    #3 seeded Asiago needed the full seven games to defeat #6 seeded Valpellice 4 games to 3.

    #4 seeded Vipiteno/Sterzing disposed of #5 seeded Fassa 4 games to 1.

  9. #9
    IHF Prospect brhlcommish's Avatar
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    How are the semifinals going?
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  10. #10
    IHF Member PhilHell37's Avatar
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    Ritten beat Sterzing 4-0 and also Pustertal swept defending champion Asiago 4-0.

    Sterzing/Vipiteno, despite being swept, played a really good series against Ritten, who are going into the final as the favourite. The biggest difference was probably roster depth. Sterzing only has one line which can really be dangerous (the Hughesman/Walters/Stefishen line might be the best of the league), whereas Ritten can play with four quality lines. Christian Borgatello, Luca Ansoldi, Dan Tudin, Brendan Cole are just a few names that bring lots of experience and rounded up by some of the best youngsters like Alex Frei and 18-year old Markus Spinell . In net Andrew Engelage is very solid, but kudos also to Broncos' goalie Dominik Steinmann. He is actually the backup of Sterzing, but played excellent in the playoffs (Mark Demetz was out with an injury).

    Asiago certainly disappointed in the playoff and the fact that they have been swept by Pustertal comes surpsing. After a not really great Continental Cup tournament in Rouen they never really got back on track and only beat Valpellice in Game 7 to reach the semis. There nothing seemed to work for them. Sean Bentivoglio was out in the first 3 games because of a suspension, meaning that Layne Ulmer did also not have his hockey-twin on the ice. Asiago also only played with its backup goalie Tura, who did a fine job but is clearly not on the same level as Pustertal's Tyler Weiman. Luck was also not really on their side, as for instance in Game 2 Pustertal's tying goal was the result of a missed offside call (to be fair though, in past years luck was never on Pustertal's side when it comes to a playoff series against Asiago).
    Pustertal on the other end seem to have found their game. For the first time in years it seems as if their imports can play playoff hockey as well. Bouchard, Maylan and DeVerglio have probably been crucial for the sweep . However, their national team players such as Raphael Andergassen, Giulio Scandella, Armin Hofer and Armin helfer certainly also have great skill. Unfortunately for the Wolves Lukas Schweitzer, who played the season of his career so far, was injured during the series and will miss the final against Ritten.

    In the final Ritten is without any doubt the favourite. However, Pustertal can not be underestimated by the 'Buam' and the Wolves would certainly deserve to finally win the scudetto.

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  12. #12
    IHF Member PhilHell37's Avatar
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    The final series between Ritten and Pustertal is an exciting one so far with teams tied at two. In all four games so far the away team got the win and 3 of the games were only decided in OT/shootout.

    Game 1: Ritten - Pustertal 2:3 SO https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tH_EcW5CT20
    Game 2: Pustertal - Ritten 1:4 https://youtu.be/XHW4I3yuy-k
    Game 3: Ritten - Pustertal 1:2 OT https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sF819loXeiA
    Game 4: Pustertal - Ritten 3:4 OT

    Game 5 will be played tomorrow at 20:30. The game will be broadcasted live on RaiSport.

  13. #13
    IHF Member PhilHell37's Avatar
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    Ritten won Game 5 6-2 on home ice and now has the chance to clinch the series on Thursday.

    Highlights Game 4 https://youtu.be/gmMO19yyb0E
    Game 5: Ritten - Pustertal 2 6:2 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=31ooXHbm1Fo

    On a sidenote, in Serie B Merano won the title defeating 8th seeded Pergine in the finals with a 3:0 sweep. Here the highlights of Game 3 of the series, which was also the last game in the career of longtime national team defenceman Ingemar Gruber:https://youtu.be/8W0f3GVR4Yc?list=PL...I8t1PXXc9uAtxw

    And here the full playoff brackets of Serie B:

    Quarter Finals:
    Kaltern (1) - Pergine (8) 1:3
    Auer/Ora (4) - Eppan/Appiano (5) 0:3
    Neumarkt/Egna (2) - Milano (7) 3:0
    Merano (3) - Fiemme (6) 3:1

    Semi finals:
    Pergine - Eppan 3:0
    Neumarkt - Meran 1:3

    Final:
    Meran - Pergine 3:0

  14. #14
    IHF Member PhilHell37's Avatar
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    Ritten wins Game 6 in Brunico 2-1 and therefore is the new Italian champion. Pustertal had the majority of chances outshooting Ritten 49-29, but just as was the case in the rest of the series could not find a way past goaltender Andrew Engelage (who on a sidenote is rumoured to be the new goalie of EBEL team HC Bolzano).

    Ritten probably had two big chances in entire games and scored on both of them, whereas Pustertal just was unable to capitalize on their numerous attempts. Just right before the championship winning goal by Brendan Cook with 5 minutes to go, Giulo Scandella had a huge chance missing the net by centimeters.

    In net Engelage was a wall as well for Ritten and the rebound he left for the only HCP goal of the game was probably his only mistake in the series. Weiman was solid in net for the Wolves as well, but Engelage certainly proved that he deserves a chance in a higher league.
    Major difference IMO was Ritten playing with 4 strong lines as the only team in Serie A. Ritten just had a perfect mix of experience (Ansoldi, Borgatello, Ceresa etc.) and youngsters (Markus Spinell, Alex Frei etc.) in their line-up which won them their second 'scudetto' (the first one was in the finals two seasons ago against Pustertal).

    For Pustertal this was the 4th loss in a final series since 2011. Most unlucky player though is Giulio Scandella. In his 11 seasons in Italy he has always played for a contender (Asiago, Milano, Ritten, Bolzano and now pustertal), but lost all 6 finals he was a part of.

    With the season ended it remains to be seen what will be next year. Seems as if the 4 South Tyrolean Serie A teams want to merge Serie A with Austrian 2nd league INL (and Cortina, Fassa, Asiago and Neumarkt will probably follow). We'll see...

  15. #15
    IHF Member PhilHell37's Avatar
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    Ritten won 3-1, forgot to count the empty netter ;)

  16. #16
    IHF Staff Marc Brunengraber's Avatar
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    Pustertal.......I just can't with them.......*sigh*

  17. #17
    IHF Member PhilHell37's Avatar
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  18. #18
    IHF Staff Marc Brunengraber's Avatar
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    Will be interesting to see if Serie A will survive as the Italian domestic competition or merges with the second Austrian league.

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