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Thread: Erste Bank Eishockey Liga 2017/18

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    Erste Bank Eishockey Liga 2017/18

    EBEL 2017/18 has already started, 2 rounds played so far. Zagreb is back after ending their KHL stint while Olimpija Ljubljana has finally pulled out and now competes in AlpsHL meeting their old rivals from Jesenice leaving the league again with 12 teams. TV coverage in Austria is again with ServusTV (who are decreasing their coverage) and SKY (pay TV).

    Defending champs Vienna have started well thrashing Fehervar 9:1 in the first round and cleanly defeating runners up KAC in the second. Villach to much surprise of most started with two wins as well, on the other hand powerhouse Red Bull Salzburg started with two losses.

    League website: http://www.erstebankliga.at/
    For highlight videos of all games click the banner top right of the page.

    Interesting news came around today: EBEL, DEL and the Czech and Slovak Extraigas will have a joint All Star day on Feb. 17 in Bratislava with a select team from each league playing a round robin tournament. The format is interesting, games will be 2x15' 3 on 3 with rosters limited to 12 skaters and 2 goalies (max. 7 non domestic players).

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    Time to have a cloer look at EBEL 8 gamedays into the season:

    Firmly on top of the standings are the defending champions Vienna Capitals with a flawless record of 7 regulation time wins. Across the seasons the Caps winning streak is by now at 19 games surpassing the previous record of KAC by already 2 games. The Caps roster has only slightly been altered in the off-season (captain Jonathan Ferland is certainly the most prominent player having left) and works brilliant.

    Behind the Caps there's a big gap already, the considerably overhauled Black Wings Linz under their new coach Troy Ward occupy rank 2 with 16pts out of 8 games. Looks good but the Wings haven't really played all too convncingly relying a lot on stellar early season performnces by goalie Mike Ouzas.

    A point behind Linz on third place (15pts, 8gp) there's Orli Znojmo, the Czechs who have just two import plyers on their roster (Canadian playmaker Colton Yellow-Horn and Slovak defender Marek Biro). Quite the contrary in terms of import players on the roster is the 4th ranked team of HC Innsbruck (14pts, 8 games) who have no less than 12 non-domestic players under contract. With this team the Tyroleans beat Znojmo 7:1 and still the Eagles top them in the standings which shows how tight the league is (behind Vienna).

    On the fifth spot (12pts, 8gp) we have powerhouse Red Bull Salzburg who consolidated themselves in the last rounds after a very weak start into the season with three straight losses. Salzburg also lost veteran forward Daniel Welser who seemed to be in very good shape early on but suffered a stroke in his home (including a half sided paralysis which fortunately went away quickly) and is out for at least the season (if not forever). To compensate for the loss and also to power up the offensive deartment the Bulls have signed US forward Peter Mueller after round 6 - hell of a player.
    Behind Slazburg on 6th place but tied in points (12 out of 8 games) there are the runners up from last season, KAC. The AUT record champions played prett well in the CHL games before the leagus start but then kind of stalled and onl got into gears slowly.

    Ranked 7th (11pts out of 8gp) are the Graz 99ers who gave the league it's most hilarious game so far when the Styrians beat HC Bozen in round 6 at home with 8:7 after they had already trailed 1:5 and 7:4. GTG in the last minute and GWG less than 10' before the final buzzer...doesn't happen all too often. On 8th spot there's VSV after an unexpected strong start the Carinthians are not really showing anything special and coach Greg Holst who is more known to be a brilliant motivator than a cunning hockey strategist is already strongly under critizism.

    Medvescak Zagreb in contrast on rank 9 have an improving shape, after a weak start (probably caused by the later start of the preparation) the EBEL returners from Croatia had 3 consecutive road games in the last three rounds and took 5 of their 8 pts (7gp) from those. EC Dornbirn and Alba Volan 19 Fehervar follow suit with 8 pts (but also 8gp) on ranks 10 and 11. Carrying the red lantern are Foxes of HC Bozen (7pts, 8gp) whose coach Pat Curcio is perceived as a fierce competior of Greg Holst in the race for first coach sacked in 17/18.

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    EBEL Update:

    Still in firm first place after about 15 rounds (15 gp, 37pts, +26) played are the Vienna Capitals who extended their season overarching winning streak to a unique league wide record of 24 games before losing in SO to VSV. After that the Caps stayed streaky losing two more games. In the meantime the Caps also lost their starting goalie J-P Lamoureux to a longer lasting injury and reacted by signing former KAC netminder Pekka Tuokkola. The Caps are third in the leage attendence wise with appr. 4.100 per game. Given the success of the team and the nice 7k arena not too much for a city with almost 2 million inhabitants.

    Following in 2nd place with a safety margin are the Black Wings Linz (15gp, 30pts, +11) who are playing an unspectacularily solid season so far. Spectator interest is strong as usual in Linz, the avg. attendance (4.600) is close to the capacity and the fact that the city after long years of absence is again represented in the country's top football league didn't hurt the interest in hockey.

    Third place is toughly contested, right now KAC is occupying this spot with 27pts (16gp, -3). The Carinthians had a weak phase in September and early October but have consolidated since then and just today won the season's second prestigious local derby against the archrivals from Villach. Attendance is still rather weak for Austria's self proclaimed hockey capital, most likely caused by weak season the redshirts had before 2016/17 and the ancient arena with which KAC will most likely have to go for long years to come as both the city and the province are totally broke.

    Close behind on 4th spot with 25pts (16gp, +5) follow the Sharks from Innsbruck who seem to have definitely have shaken off their bottom dweller existence of the seasons after their return to the league. Playing with a one of the highest numbers of imports from the Austrian EBEL teams (12 if I'm not mistaken) the club still sticks with the way of signing only Tyroleans as domestic players. Attendance is completely stable in Innsbruck, the club averages 2.200 per game (3.200 cap) with little variation. To bolster their offence HCI has added Danish international Morten Poulsen (previously also Graz99ers) recently after Jesse Mychan has returned to NA.

    In pursuit with just 1 pts behind (24pts, 16gp, +5) on 5th are the Red Bulls Salzburg. Headcoach Greg Poss was/is already under heavy pressure (at least by the fans) after the weakest season start Salzburg has had in ages. In the last rounds the Bulls got going and are also the only EBEL team having made the CHL play-offs. Player wise the club has also reacted to the difficulties and added forwards Peter Mueller and just now returnee Rob Schremp to the roster. Two really great players on the EBEL level. One import (Alex Aleardi) has been released for point system reasons (and unconvincing performances) and the Bulls play with a fairly low number of imports (8 mostly) giving plenty of ice time to young and younger players from their academy. The average attendence of 2.500 is very decent for the spoiled Salzburg audience.

    Tied at 23pts are Graz (6th spot, 16gp, -3) and Znojmo (7th, 16gp, -5). The 99ers are consistently inconsistent mixing wins and losses while Orli Znojmo were high up in the standings until a few rounds ago and then stalled with 5 consecutive losses (2 of wich in OT). Graz has its weak part defensively, esp. the loss of goalie Sebastian Dahm could not be compensated adequately as netminder Hannu Toivonen couldn't give the team the support needed so far. The 99ers are also the worst drawing team in the league averaging about 2.200 per game. Znojmo is still adjusting its roster with minor names coming in and leaving from/to other Czech clubs. Almost unnoticed went that the clubs legendary centerman, former Slovak NT player Peter Pucher (14 season with the Eagles) has left the club and is now playing in the Czech third tier. Without "Whitegloves" Pucher the Moravians rely on the fewest imports in the league, just goalie Tomas Halasz (SVK) and playmaker Colton Yellow Horn don't hold a CZE passport.

    League returners Medvescak Zagreb with their import ladden roster are currently 8th, (14gp, 21 pts, +1), the Bears are very territorial, having earend 17pts at home and only 4 on the road (7games each). Recently the Croats have hired goaltender Kevin Poulin (Bary Astana) on the expense of Slovenian netminder Gasper Kroselj. In his very first game Poulin backstopped his team to a 4:1 win over Vienna saving al but one out of 51 shots (almost twice as muach as Zagreb managed) the Caps fired at him...same story in his second game (3:1 win vs. Innsbruck), 44 saves on 45 shots. Seems as this transaction is about to pay-off. With respect to attendence Medvescak leads the league with a good margin averaging appr. 5.100.

    One spot behind on 9th (16gp, 20pts -4) is Villach, the Carainthians have achieved little so far other than ending Vienna's record winning streak. The Eagles don't seem to be well on the way tactically, head coach Greg Holst once hailed as a hero when taking over during the 2015/16 season seems to have run out of ideas how to have his team organize its game. Despite having the only purely domestic goalie duo in the league (David Kickert, Lukas Herzog) netminding is not an issue for VSV, rather it is offense as only Fehervar has managed less goals than the 43 Villach scored.

    The Bulldogs Dornbirn (15gp, 18pts, -9) are currently 10th, with 10pts coming from their last 5 games ECD (among others against Salzburg, 2xKAC) is however showig a clear upward trend. French NT goalie Ronan Quemener has a hard time adequately replacing his compatriote Florian Hardy and with two youngsters with next to no senior experience (Karlo Skrec/CRO and Thomas Stroj) behind him all the pressure is his.

    Miserable compared to the last seasons on 11th place are the Ittalian record champions from HC Bozen (15gp, 16pts, -2). Despite the usual roster of Italian NT players and uprising youngsters from the Italian clubs playing in the Alps Hockey League and plenty of (Italo) North Americans the team of head coach Pat Curcio isn't getting going. Very decent attendence (avg. 2.800) nevertheless. Apparently the Foxes are also unhappy with the performance of goalie Marcel Melichercik and just in the process of getting a new #1 netminder.

    The red lantern in the league is carried by Fehervar AV 19 (16gp, 15pts, -23), the Hungarians have recently replaced their starting goalie (Mark Visentin/CAN out, Mac Carruth/USA in), brought back French NT defender Antonin Manavian and even signed Hungarian top player Janos Hari from Düsseldorf/DEL (first stint in playing senior club hockey in Hungary for him). Despite the meagre results the Devils still draw well averaging 2.800 at their home games.
    Last edited by RexKramer; 30-10-2017 at 11:26.

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    IHF Member Garethw87's Avatar
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    Medvescak have clearly cut their budget for their return. I thought we may have seen them competing but clearly not. Still nice to see them 'home' and not vanish from hockey all together
    Dinamo Riga, Manchester Storm

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    Thanks for your EBEL updates, Rex! I enjoy reading them.

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    IHF Member Garethw87's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wildboar View Post
    Thanks for your EBEL updates, Rex! I enjoy reading them.
    Likewise, thanks Rex! The EBEL is a really interesting league. Being open i really would love them to expand some more.
    Dinamo Riga, Manchester Storm

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    Quote Originally Posted by Garethw87 View Post
    Medvescak have clearly cut their budget for their return. I thought we may have seen them competing but clearly not. Still nice to see them 'home' and not vanish from hockey all together
    How we are not competing ? We are 6th and we have one game in hand...

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    Thx guys for your feedback, will try to be more frequent with the updates. Any discussion of course is welcome.

    On the matter of Medvescak, I do see them getting into gears to be serious play-off contenders and currently they are 6th with one game less than all teams around them as Snapshot has pointed out. Kind of confusing was the game Linz vs. Zagreb on Friday where the Bears got pounded 8:1 by a host team missing plenty of key players due to injuries. Bears' goalie Poulin got pulled after conceding 4 goals in just 14 minutes. Back-up Rosandic allowed 4 more and despite those were stretched over the remainder of the game he looked pretty shaky (at least judging by the highlight video). But then just yesterday Medvescak won 7:3 against Bozen... so yeah, guess the Bears are on track.

    Bozen is deep in trouble with two defeats in the last two games the Italians took over last place in the standings from Fehervar. Rumours are that coach Pat Curcio is likely to be replaced during the int. break.

    On top of the standings Vienna has ended the short losing streak, two more wins for the Caps in the last two games. Interesting transfer news also from them, the Caps have signed AUT forward Peter Schneider who started his career in Vienna but has played in NA the last years (junior, college and now ECHL).

    For Linz the int. break couldn't come at a better time, despite myself calling the Blackwings season "unspectacular" and solid by now there's so many players sidelined by injury that the effects can't be concealed. The league's top offensive defender Sebastien Piché is out since 2 weeks, Mario Altmann even longer and since yesterday also Jonathan D'Aversa and Marc-André Dorion are injured. Among the forwards grinder Patrick Spannring is sidelined since weeks and Andreas Kristler hasn't played a single game so far this season. Linz' coach Troy Ward so far has compensated the missing players by adding players from the juniors to the roster which is nice to see but if some of the injuries are longer lasting I guess we will see a reaction on the transfer market.

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    IHF Member Snapshot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RexKramer View Post
    Thx guys for your feedback, will try to be more frequent with the updates. Any discussion of course is welcome.

    On the matter of Medvescak, I do see them getting into gears to be serious play-off contenders and currently they are 6th with one game less than all teams around them as Snapshot has pointed out. Kind of confusing was the game Linz vs. Zagreb on Friday where the Bears got pounded 8:1 by a host team missing plenty of key players due to injuries. Bears' goalie Poulin got pulled after conceding 4 goals in just 14 minutes. Back-up Rosandic allowed 4 more and despite those were stretched over the remainder of the game he looked pretty shaky (at least judging by the highlight video). But then just yesterday Medvescak won 7:3 against Bozen... so yeah, guess the Bears are on track.
    Against Linz Medveščak also played without several regular players such as Perkovich, Netik, Puskarich. I would say it was just one of those nights...thankfully Medvescak responded very well against (weak) Bozen.

    If everyone will be healthy and if club keeps Poulin maybe Medvescak can do some damage in playoffs.

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    IHF Member Garethw87's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snapshot View Post
    How we are not competing ? We are 6th and we have one game in hand...
    You see I write most of my posts very late! I meant to say like, running away with the league.
    Dinamo Riga, Manchester Storm

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    As the league is on hold for the national team break Blackwings Linz have reacted to the injuries in their D-corps (Jonathan D'Aversa out for at least a month, Sebastien Piché and Mario Altmann also still sidelined) and have sigend 34yr old Canadian stay-at home defender Shane O'Brien (+500 NHL games until 2015, last season briefly with HPK/Liiga).

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    Three rounds played after the November international break, here's a quick league review:

    Still on first place but by far not as dominant es they used to be are the Vienna Capitals (2gp, 46p, +32; L to Graz/road, - W over Znojmo/home - L to Fehervar/home); Short term goalie Pekka Tuokkola has left the team again after Jean-Philippe Lamoureux's return from injury. As forward Jerome Samson is out for longer with an injury the Caps have brought AUT forward Peter Schneider back from NA. Schneider played his youth hockey in Vienna before going international in Czech, American juniors, college and since last year in the ECHL as a pro.

    2nd place currently occupied by Blackwings Linz (21gp, 38pts, +14; W over Innsbruck/home, OTL to Dornbirn/road, OTL to KAC/home), who saw the debut of ex-NHLer Shane O'Brien on Tuesday. The towerign stay-home defenseman is visibly not in top shape physically (little surprise as he apparently had already quit professional hockey and now only comes back for "one more year") with quite some extra kilos on him but nevertheless shwoed a strong presence and no-bs performance in the few shifts he got in his first game. Forward Andreas Kristler finally also had his debut for the Blackwings in this game coming back from a long lasting knee injury just to have to pull out of the game because of a strained muscle...what a misery.

    Tied in points on 3rd place is Klagenfurt (21gp, 38pts, +5; W over Fehervar/road, OTW over Linz/road, W over Zagreb/home); The redshirts are the only AUT team in the league in which the domestic players lead the internal scoring list. The only import under the top 5 scorers is Jamie Lundmark at #4. Very strong season so far by 23yr old AUT forward Johannes Bischofberger as KAC's #1 scorer so far - although with only 18pts in 19 games he already tied his scoring output of the entire previous season.

    With some gap in 4th place are Red Bulls Salzburg (21gp, 32pts, +5; L to Zagreb/road, OTW over Graz/home, W over Bozen/road); The fans still massively dislike Greg Poss as hc but the Bulls are up there and also quite narrowly failed to make the CHL 1/8-final after their one goal aggregate score defeat to the SEL leaders Växjö Lakers. So in terms of results nothing much to complain and with the late acquisitions of Peter Mueller and Rob Schremp Salzburg is offensively definitely a power in the league.

    Snuk up into 5th place on the virtue of a strong home game record (6 wins in a row, 26 out of 30 possible pts) is Medvescak Zagreb (19gp only 30pts, -1; W over Salzburg/home, L to KAC/road); with Tyler Morley (CAN, previously AHL) the Croats have the EBL top scorer in their team and should the Bears start to win some road games too in the next time they are definitely heading for top 3.

    In 6th place which would imply the direct qualification for the play-offs by making the top 6 pool of the intermediate stage there are the Graz 99ers (21gp, 30pts, -2; W over Vienna/home, OTL to Salzburg/road, W over Villach/home); Goalie Toivonen has consolidated his game recently and so the Styrians are steadily gathering points. Same goes for SLO forward Ken Ograjensek who leads the team in scoring - strong season by the 26yr old player from Celje.

    On a strong downward trajectory is HC Innsbruck, currently dropped to 7th place after the Sharks were as high up as 3rd place in the standings already (21gp, 29pts, 0; L to Linz/road, L to Bozen/road, OTL to Znojom/road); Despite having a few players in top positions of the league scoring list (Andrew Yogan in 2nd place, total of 4 players among the top 10 scorers) things are not working out for HCI lately. Coach Rob Pallin is busy mixing the lines trying to find better combinations but the prospect of a second consecutive direct play-off qualification seems in jeopardy right now.

    Also on the way down after a very decent first part of the season is HC Znojmo (21gp, 28pts, -6; W over VSV/home, L to Vienna/road, OTW over Innsbruck/home); The Moravian Eagles have reacted rosterwise and signed some new players (among them US forward Adam Miller coming from Rouen/Ligue Magnus) and released some others (mostly younger guys).

    Not going anywhere right now much to the frustration of the hockey crazy people in Villach is VSV, currently on 9th place (21gp, 27pts, -4; L to Znojmo/road, OTL to Fehervar/home, L to Graz/road); Coach Greg Holst seems to have run out of ideas how to get his team going and except for the addition of defender Samuel Labrecque no roster changes have been made. Looks to me like another season without play-off participation is in the making in Villach.

    On 10th place but with at least some upward trend are the Bulldogs Dornbirn (20gp, 26pts, -10; W over Bozen/home, OTW over Linz/home, L to Innsbruck/road); The team from Vorarlberg has lately released French NT goalie Ronan Quemener and replaced him with Rasmus Rinne (FIN) who has shifted around in Liiga and Mestis in the last seasons. Definitely doesn't seem like a bulletproof upgrade but maybe the tall finnish keeper can give some more stability.

    Still on 11th place but also with an upward trend is Fehervar AV 19 (21gp, 26pts, -25; L to KAC/home, OTW over Villach/road, W over Vienna/road); After hiring a new goalie (Mac Carruth), the return of French NT defenseman Antonin Manavian the Hungarians have now hired ex Linz defender Brett Palin (so far without a club this season). Neverthless the Devils were pounded heavily in their last home game they surrendered to Klagenfurt with a 1:7 scoreline.

    In 12th and last place and the only team really looking to be out of contention right now are the Italian record champoins of HC Bozen (21gp, 22pts, -8; L to Dornbirn/road, W over Innsbruck/home, L to Salzburg/home). Another new goalie has been brought in (Jakub Sedlacek/CZE from Hradec Kralove, before him the Foxes signed Matt Climie/CAN) and with the Italo-Canadians Angelo Miceli (ECHL) and Steve Pietrobon (NCAA with 2gp in the ECHL) and Finnish Mathias Sointu (Ilves/Liiga) three skaters (all forwards) have arrived. Media reports say that coach Pat Curcio has been given two more games for his team to reap some points and turn the tide by club boss Dieter Knoll. If not the first coach losing his job in this EBEL season should be happening.
    Last edited by RexKramer; 23-11-2017 at 12:35.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RexKramer View Post
    Snuk up into 5th place on the virtue of a strong home game record (6 wins in a row, 26 out of 30 possible pts) is Medvescak Zagreb (19gp only 30pts, -1; W over Salzburg/home, L to KAC/road); with Tyler Morley (CAN, previously AHL) the Croats have the EBL top scorer in their team and should the Bears start to win some road games too in the next time they are definitely heading for top 3.
    Crucial for Medvescak will be return of Balej, Perkovich and Deutsch. Cameron is playing mostly with three lines and the third one is producing very little offensivly. Also he is using mostly five defenders (Cepon few shifts per game). No depth for something more than playoffs.

    But Mahbod - Morley - Olden line is really tearing it up. They are on pace to become best line in Medvescak's EBEL history (1. Kinasewich - Prpic - Hecimovic, 2. Hecimovic - Ouellette - Guidarelli).

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    HC Bozen has released head coach Pat Curcio today, until a successor is found assisstant coach Philippe Barski is reported to take over the coaching duties.

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    And the new coach of the Foxes of Bozen is already found: Kai Suikkanen/FIN who has coached several Liiga teams in the previous seasons and also held KHL coaching posts in the past.

    Btw, Pat Curcio getting sacked was the first mid-season's coach change in the league 2017.
    Last edited by RexKramer; 30-11-2017 at 13:37.

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    And Pat Curcio being fired in Bozen is not the only coach having to look for a new job anymore since today. Fehervar AV19 has sacked head coach Benoit Laporte. Some rounds ago, with a new goalie and new skaters it seemed that the Hungarians could make a move from out of the very low ranks of the league but lately the results have turned to the worse again which apparently forced the club to react.

    Red Bulls Salzburg has also hired new personell, in this case it is not a new coach but due to the injuries to defensemen Dominique Heinrich and Matt Generous with Martin Stajnoch (SVK; previously KHL/VHL) a new D-corps member.

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    Fehervar AV19 has already found a new coach. Actually it is an old coach as the Hungarians signed Hannu Jäärvenpää who already had a stint with the team in 2015/16 (and previously coached Olimpija Ljubljana and Villach in EBEL).

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    And here wo go again: after losing to Innsbruck at home Villach has released Greg Holst who was brought back 2 yrs ago in emergency after Hannu Jäärvenpää had been fired. With really meagre results of the team this season the pressure is on and until a new head coach is found assistant Markus Peintner will take over.

    In Bozen there's another new goalie btw. Jakub sedlacek who had just been signed 2 weeks ago left the club again to join Slovan Bratislava. As replacement the Foxes have hired Pekka Tuokkola (last season KAC) who just had a brief stint with the Vienna Capitals to fill in for Jean-Philippe Lamoure when the Caps #1 was injured.
    Last edited by RexKramer; 04-12-2017 at 09:13.

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    IHF Member Snapshot's Avatar
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    Medvescak lost last three games with GD 1:9 :(. Losing streak will probably continue as Bears plays in Vienna.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Snapshot View Post
    Medvescak lost last three games with GD 1:9 :(. Losing streak will probably continue as Bears plays in Vienna.
    The Bears' losing streak went on and cost head coach Connor Cameron his job.

    Sorry for not updating on EBEL recently but to let all of ou know my gf and I got a daughter a week ago and so it's a little bit stressful (but also wonderful) right now :D

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    Quote Originally Posted by RexKramer View Post
    The Bears' losing streak went on and cost head coach Connor Cameron his job.

    Sorry for not updating on EBEL recently but to let all of ou know my gf and I got a daughter a week ago and so it's a little bit stressful (but also wonderful) right now :D
    Congrats !!! :) Now You have to continue your work until successor is born ;)

    Medvescak lost nine in a row (their EBEL "record") and coaching change is natural choice. General opinion among the fans is that this team is just too good to be in position where it is now.

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    Thanks a lot, very joyful times :D

    But back to business!

    Medvescak's new coach has already been found, it isn't somebody entirely new but veteran coach Doug Bradley who has worked for the Bears' in various positions (coach, GM) already in the past.

    Player transfers: VSV has hired Hungarian NT forward Istvan Sofron (Wichita ECHL) and KAC has signed Norwegian NT defenseman Stefan Espeland (Ilves Liiga).

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    Sorry for the long time without any EBEL updates...too busy otherwise.

    The 1st part of the regaular season with 44 games is already finished on Friday the 2nd part of regular season play starts with the first games of the placement (aka pick) round and the qualification round in which a home-away round robin (10games per team) are played. In the pick round the top 6 after rs part 1 play for the right to pick an opponent for the 1/4 finals which sequentially goe to the teams placed 1-3 (4th place can't pick but is protected to be selected by those who do). In the qualification round the bottom 6 teams of the rs first part play for the two remaining spots in the quarterfinals. Depending on the rank in the final standings of the rs part 1 teams are awarded 6-4-2-1-0-0 bonus points to start the pick or qualification round with.

    Final standings after 44 rounds

    Standings
    GPWLOTWOTLP
    1. Vienna Capitals442892593
    2. Red Bull Salzburg4425153182
    3. Blackwings Linz4424133482
    4. Klagenfurter AC4421172471
    5. HC Innsbruck4418167371
    6. Medvescak Zagreb4417194463
    7. EC Dornbirn4415185661
    8. Graz 99ers4416215254
    9. HC Bozen4415204558
    10. Fehervar AV194412226452
    11. Villacher SV4414242450
    12. HC Znojmo4411225649

    Here's a list of the point leaders, top 10 and the leaders of all teams and the EBEL countries (AUT, HUN, CZE, ITA, CRO).
    Interesting to see that league dominators Vienna Capitals only have Rafael Rotter (who learned to score goals himself this season) among the top point scorers, last season's EBEL top scorer Riley Holzapfel as the Caps 2nd best scorer is only #30 on the list.
    The pts/game leader is found on #28, Salzburg's mid season signing Rob Schremp amassed his 36 pts in only 28 games.

    Point Leaders
    ClubNatGPGAP+/-
    1. Tyler MorleyMZACAN4423355823
    2. Brian LeblerBWLAUT/CAN4433205325
    3. Corey Locke BWLCAN4415365116
    4. Rafael RotterVICAUT4422284815
    5. Andrew ClarkHCICAN442128497
    6. Mitch Wahl HCIUSA411435497
    7. Sondre OldenMZANOR4323254831
    8. Dan DaSilvaBWLCAN4018304817
    9. John HughesRBSCAN4112364816
    10. Andrew Yogan HCIUSA442027473
    11. Thomas RafflRBSAUT381724419
    13. Alex PetanHCBCAN44132841-3
    19. Brock Higgs G99CAN44182038-5
    20. Brodie ReidECDCAN43132538-1
    22. Janos Hári AVSHUN40201737-7
    28. Rob SchrempRBSUSA286303612
    31. Colton Yellow-HornHCZCAN43132134-15
    35. Johannes BischofbergerKACAUT4414183219
    38. Andrew Sarauer VSVHUN/CAN44923324
    42. Erik Nemec HCZCZE431318310
    140. Alexander Egger HCBITA443912-3
    194. David BrineMZACRO43167-11

    And some goaltending data as well

    Goaltending Stats
    ClubNatGPGAASVS%
    1. Lamoureux Jean PhilippeVICUSA35293.4
    2. Herzog LukasVSVAUT202.6393.2
    3. Carruth MacMillanAVSUSA322.7592.6
    4. Rinne Juha RasmusDECFIN272.6992.2
    5. Ouzas MichaelBWLCAN422.5192.1
    6. Rosandic VilimMZACRO122.7491.8
    7. Tuokkola PekkaVIC/HCBFIN272.3691.6
    8. Poulin KevinMZACAN223.0191.3
    9. Starkbaum BernhardRBSAUT292.5591.1
    10. Gracnar LucaRBSSLO182.790.9
    11. Duba TomasKACCZE232.3590.8
    12. Höneckl ThomasG99AUT183.190.7
    12. Rajna MiklosAVSHUN173.5190.7
    16. Swette ReneHCIAUT192.9390.2
    19. Melichercik MarcelHCBSVK143.1190.1
    21. Schwarz MarekHCZCZE413.0689.3
    Last edited by RexKramer; 08-02-2018 at 14:06.

  24. #24
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    Mahbod to Vitkovice, Mikko Lehtonen from HPK to Medvescak. Puzic ivan on loan to Medvescak from Vitkovice.

  25. #25
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    The placement and qualification rounds have already started, 2 games played so far by each team.

    In the upper 6 group (placement round) there's no big news: Vienna won both games (5:0 vs. Medvescak and 6:4 over Innsbruck) and top the standings with the maximum points (12). Linz (8pts) have won their two games as well (3:0 vs. Klagenfurt and 3:2 against Zagreb) but trail Salzburg (9pts) due to 2 bonus points less to start with. The Bulls also won their games so far (4:1 vs. Innsbruck and 5:4 over Klagenfurt in SO). After the top 3 teams there's Klagenfurt (2pts), Innsbruck (0pts)and Zagreb (0pts) following already with a considerable gap. I'd be very surprised if the current top 3 weren't the teams to get to pick a their quarterfinal oponents.

    In the lower group (qualification round) things are more surprising: In the lead with 9 pts (thanks to 6 bonus pts) there's Dornbirn who recorded a win (5:3 vs. Znojmo) and a loss (3:6 vs. Villach) so far. Snuk up into second place is Féhervar (7pts) with two regulation time wins (2:1 vs. Bozen and 3:2 over Graz). The big surprise is Villach in third place (6pts), after their dismal showings so far VSV has won both qualification round games (3:1 vs. Graz and also Dornbirn) and seem to be a contender now for a spot in the play-offs. Graz in 4th place (4pts) lost both games but finally hired a new goalie just now (Andrew Engelage/CAN from Krefeld/DEL) as the styrians were unhappy with Hannu Toivonen as their formal #1 netminder. Znojmo in 5th place (3pts) has managed a win so far (1:0 vs. Bozen) which leaves the Foxes limited to their 2 bonus points in 6th place of the group. Very hard to predict who's gonna make it to the play-offs given the results so far. Znojmo and Bozen look as if they were out of contention but even the Foxes could propel themselves into 2nd place with a 3 game winning streak which is not so unlikely if we consider that most games were very close with just a goal or an ENG separating the teams.

  26. #26
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    Tonight, EBEL died from shame in Zagreb's Hall of Sports. The brutal robbery performed by Patrick Gruber and Roland Kellner virtually killed any remaining respect towards EBEL in Zagreb. Medveščak wasn't allowed to win tonight by Austrian referees who deliberately stole the game from the "bears". Too bad that Medveščak players returned to play the remainin 66 seconds. They should have stayed in the locker room so that entire hockey community get the picture about the league. Red Bull can have its "victory" and live in shame for its role in tonight's game. I sincerely hope Capitals are going to demolish them in the playoffs.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drax View Post
    Tonight, EBEL died from shame in Zagreb's Hall of Sports. The brutal robbery performed by Patrick Gruber and Roland Kellner virtually killed any remaining respect towards EBEL in Zagreb. Medveščak wasn't allowed to win tonight by Austrian referees who deliberately stole the game from the "bears". Too bad that Medveščak players returned to play the remainin 66 seconds. They should have stayed in the locker room so that entire hockey community get the picture about the league. Red Bull can have its "victory" and live in shame for its role in tonight's game. I sincerely hope Capitals are going to demolish them in the playoffs.
    I have read about the allegations but I ask myself why should the refs have rigged this game in favour of Salzburg? There's fairly little at stake for both teams in the placement round. Salzburg will end up either 2nd or 3rd, Medvescak between 4 and 6 (which makes as good as no difference)...

    Judging from the highlights video there was definitely a missed obstruction call against the Bears' player on the right of the circle at the face-off immediatley prior to the 2-1 goal and a similar (but imho really borderline) situation at the face off just before the game tying goal was scored. If that is the consequence of a masterplan, I doubt.

    And to be cynical, after a few seasons in KHL Zagreb fans should be used to how refs whistle down one team in favor of the other, right?

  28. #28
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    As EBEL goes into the international break let's have a look at the standings of the intermediate round pools:

    Standings Placement Group
    GPWLOTWOTLP
    1. Vienna Capitals4300110+6
    2. Red Bull Salzburg4301011+4
    3. Blackwings Linz421108+2
    4. HC Innsbruck 413003+0
    5. Medvescak Zagreb413003+0
    6. Klagenfurter AC404001+0

    The Caps were handed their first defeat in the placement round in game 4 against Linz after a 6:6 regulation time score that saw the hosts from Upper Austria tie the game on multiple occasions (three times) including just a few seconds to the end of the game with their goalie pulled. Salzburg is undefeated in the placement round having beaten Linz at home in their only game so far against one of the other top 3 teams. The bottom three are winless against the top triplet with Innsbruck and Medvescak both getting their wins against an absolutely pathetic KAC squad who are now on an 8 game losing streak...

    Standings Qualification Group
    GPWLOTWOTLP
    1. EC Dornbirn421017+6
    2. Villacher SV4301011+0
    3. Fehervar AV19421017+1
    4. HC Bozen412105+2
    5. Orli Znojmo422006+0
    6. Graz 99ers404000+4

    Dornbirn hold on to the lead due to the 6 bonus points gained from their 7th place finish of the regular season first stage. The Bulldogs are chased by Villach who are, coming out of a deep depression with dismal results in January and December, red hot and undefeated at the moment. The pair of Hungarian NT forwards Andrew Sarauer and Istvan Sofron are playing great for the Eagles right now. Fehervar in 3rd place started very well with 2 wins but then lost twice narrowly. Bozen seems to know only 1 goal games (a 2:1 win a 2:1 loss and a 1:0 loss). Znojmo got a win vs. Bozen and is otherwise almost as pathetic as Graz.
    Last edited by RexKramer; 13-02-2018 at 16:49.

  29. #29
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    EBEL has resumed play afte the international break during the Olympics, 4 (the 4th fully complete yet) rounds have been played since then and the picture of which teams will end up where in the standings has become much clearer.

    Standings Placement Group
    GPWLOTWOTLP
    1. Blackwings Linz8511118+
    2. Vienna Capitals 7421013+6
    3. Red Bull Salzburg8421115+4
    4. Medvescak Zagreb825108+0
    5. HC Innsbruck 825108+0
    6. Klagenfurter AC724017+1

    Linz took over the (interim) lead with a 3:2 against Salzburg yesterday, Vienna however can climb back to the top with a win in the game against Klagenfurt today evening. The Caps were active on the player market before the transfer deadline also affects domestic players and have signed 26yr old Vienna born forward Emilio Romig who returns to Austria after having played NCAA div. I college hockey and as a pro in ECHL before. In the same time the Caps have also brought back netminder David Kickert who played for the club his entire career save for the last two seasons during which he was with Villach. Earlier the Caps have also signed CAN forward Brandon Buck from NLA's HC Davos and have released forward McGregor Sharp (moved to Olten/NLB) in order to get the necessary player points available.
    In the group there's a clear separation between top and bottom 3 teams, within these groups rank wise everything can still happen. To prepare for the play-offs Medvescak Zagreb (my favourite for 4th place, the Bears have soundly beat Innsbruck on the road yesterday) have signed CRO prospect Ivan Puzic from Vitkovice/CZE, Finnish forward Mikko Lehtonen from HPK and a few days ago CAN d-man Drew Schiestl from Lorenskog/NOR. KAC has released forward Matthew Neal and also the Norwegian NT defender Stefan Espeland and has hired defender Nick St. Pierre from Krefeld/DEL.

    Standings Qualification Group
    GPWLOTWOTLP
    1. EC Dornbirn7510116+6
    2. HC Bozen8431014+2
    3. Fehervar AV197410214+1
    4. Orli Znojmo8331112+0
    5. Villacher SV8341011+0
    6. Graz 99ers80712+4 

    Dornbirn is secured a spot in the play-offs already after 7 games and will most likely also top the final standings of the qualification round. HC Bozen has moved up in second place ahead of Fehervar, most likely one these two teams will be the eigth play-off participant as Znojmo an 4th place has only theoretical chances. The decisive game for the last play-off spot is the Fehervar-Bozen match on Friday. Villach has completely slacked off after the strong start in the qualification round and Graz has managed just 2 points.

  30. #30
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    HC Bozen has defeated Fehervar AV19 3:1 in Hungary on Friday and has secured the last spot in the EBEL play-offs.

    The last placement round games today will determine which teams are going to pick when. Vienna beats Innsbruck in regulation, Salzburg needs OT to beat KAC so both teams end up with 24pts and the Caps take the first place due to head to head comparison. Linz loses against Medvescak and stays on third.
    For Fehervar (missing out narrowly by 1pt), Znojmo, Villach and Graz the season is over.

    EDIT: The quaterfinal picks have been made right after the games yesterday evening, the pairings are

    Vienna Capitals (1) vs. HC Innsbruck (6) (5-1 wins 2017/18, this 1/4-final duel has also taken place last season ending 4-0 for the Caps)

    Red Bull Salzburg (2) - Bulldogs Dornbirn (7) (2-2 wins 2017/18, the two teams played one play-off series so far, in the QF 2013/24 the Bulldogs almost derailed the heavy favorites from Salzburg by winning the first 2 bo7 games)

    Blackwings Linz (3) - Medvescak Zagreb (5) (4-2 wins 2017/18, no play-off series so far between the two teams; Medvescak can go into the series with a win in the last regular season game between the two as the Bears took a 3-2 road win in Linz just yesterday)

    Klagenfurter AC (4) - HC Bozen (8) (4-0 wins 2017/18, no play-off series so far between the two teams; Bozen got into gears the last games snatching the last play-off spot and as a team with a reputation of knowing when to crank it up the top 3 teams all avoided picking the Foxes despite them being the last seeded team)

    The quaterfinals will start on Friday, game days in the play-offs are uniformly Friday, Sunday and Tuesday.
    Last edited by RexKramer; 05-03-2018 at 08:02.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by RexKramer View Post
    HC Bozen has defeated Fehervar AV19 3:1 in Hungary on Friday and has secured the last spot in the EBEL play-offs.
    Actually, I was wrong on this one (did anyone notice ?;-). Although Bozen won the last head to head game against Fehervar on Friday the Foxes were only 2pts ahead of the Hungarians before the last placement round game. In this game Bozen was already 0-3 down against Znojmo while Fehervar secured all three pts in Graz... Bozen turned the thing around vs. Znojmo at their Palaonda arena to win it in the shootout but if they had lost the game Fehervar would have been through.

  32. #32
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    So the Play-offs are on their way, 2 games played already:

    EBEL quarterfinals game #1:

    Red Bull Salzburg – Dornbirn EC 3:2 OT (1:0,1:0,0:2;1:0)
    Salzburg, 3.008.
    1:0 Herburger (6.)
    2:0 Raffl (31./PP, 61.)
    2:1 . Grabher-Meier (49.)
    3:1 Raffl PP, 61.)
    PIM: 8 - 6.
    Series: 1 - 0


    Vienna Capitals – HC Innsbruck 4:1 (3:0,1:0,0:1)
    Wien, 4.450
    1:0 Pollastrone (3./PP)
    2:0 Fraser (13./PP)
    3:0 Nödl (17., 39.)
    4:0 Nödl (39.)
    4:1 Guimond (45.)
    PIM: 19 + 10 (Rotter) - 35 +10 (Ouellet-Blain, Yogan)
    Series: 1:0

    Innsbruck took 7 2' penalties in the first 14' of the game, including 4 overlapping ones which gave the Caps 2 5 on 3 PPs they both used.

    Black Wings Linz – Medvescak Zagreb 3:4 OT (2:0,1:2,0:1;0:1)
    Linz, 4.865
    1:0 Broda (8.)
    2:0 Lebler (14.)
    2:1 Lehtonen (24.)
    3:1 Broda (29.)
    3:2 Noonan (35.)
    3:3 Kudelka (41.)
    3:4 Lehtonen (65.)
    PIM: 12 -. 10
    Series: 0 - 1

    KAC – HCB Südtirol 1:3 (0:1,1:1,0:1)
    Klagenfurt, 3.844
    0:1 Monardo (15.)
    0:2 Smith (27.)
    1:2 Kozek (38.)
    1:3 Angelidis (47.)
    PIM: 4 - 12
    Series: 0:1

    EBEL quarterfinals game #2:

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by RexKramer View Post
    Actually, I was wrong on this one (did anyone notice ?;-). Although Bozen won the last head to head game against Fehervar on Friday the Foxes were only 2pts ahead of the Hungarians before the last placement round game. In this game Bozen was already 0-3 down against Znojmo while Fehervar secured all three pts in Graz... Bozen turned the thing around vs. Znojmo at their Palaonda arena to win it in the shootout but if they had lost the game Fehervar would have been through.
    Actually it was incredible return from Italians, but Czechs didn't have anything to play for. I guess no one noticed before you've pointed out as "thanks" to Facebook, forums aren't as frequently visited.

    Btw, two games into the play-offs, Medvescak looks surprisingly good. Best game this season and 6:2 win over Linz, today games #3 and only KAC - Bozen series is tied.

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by the_kosa View Post
    Actually it was incredible return from Italians, but Czechs didn't have anything to play for. I guess no one noticed before you've pointed out as "thanks" to Facebook, forums aren't as frequently visited.

    Btw, two games into the play-offs, Medvescak looks surprisingly good. Best game this season and 6:2 win over Linz, today games #3 and only KAC - Bozen series is tied.
    Don't pour salt in my wounds, Linz is on the best way to (again) fuck up what was a very ok season so far. Blackwings have lost all their momentum at the end of the pick round and on Sunday in Zagreb they looked completely off the track. Foremost defensively, hilarious mistakes that made it easy for Medvescak to rout them. Credits to the Bears of course, very efficient game plan and deadly execution.

    The only hope for Linz now is the unusual schedule that gives them 2 back to back home games (due to unavailability of the arena in Zagreb which hosts some figure skating competition). If it's not 2:2 after these games I'm pretty sure Linz won't see the semis this year (for the second time in a row).

    As for the other series, Vienna - Innsbruck is imho a clear thing despite that HCI was close to take their home game on Sunday. But the Caps streak of 14 straight wins in PO games (including last season's sweepin PO campain) is indeed impressive. Dornbirn has been competitive against Salzburg as well, wouldn't have been a too big upset if this series was tied now. KAC and Bozen will go to full length I think, somehow Klagenfurt bounced back after their weak showing in game 1 (and most of the pick round).

  35. #35
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    The EBEL quarterfinals really have something to them this year...

    Vienna Capitals vs. HC Innsbruck

    The Caps more or less routed Innsbruck in game 1, since then things have taken a turn. HCI improved significantly and games #2 and #3 went to OT with the Caps having the better end each time and thus taking on a comfortable 3:0 lead in the series. Innsbruck managed their first win in the series on Friday in what everyone thought would be their last home game this season but yesterday the Sharks added another one in Vienna and we have a 3:2 series now. Yesterday the Caps looked completely clueless while the underdogs from Innsbruck are red hot... The Caps last big signing Brandon Buck has disappointed so far (releasing McGregor Sharp for Buck definitely hasn't paid off) and Riley Holzapfel being sidelined hasn't helped either.

    Game 2: Innsbruck – Vienna Capitals 2:3 OT (2:1,0:1,0:0/0:1)
    Innsbruck, 2.800.
    0:1 Buck (12.)
    1:1 Spurgeon (16./PP)
    2:1 Yogan (17./PP)
    2:2 Holzapfel (21./PP)
    2: 3Rotter (73.)
    PIM: 8 - 12

    Game 3: Vienna Capitals – HC TWK Innsbruck 4:3 OT (1:1,1:1,1:1;1:0)
    Wien, 4.450
    1:0 Nödl (13., 64.)
    1:1 Yogan (19.)
    1:2 Clark (23.)
    2:2 Klubertanz (40./SH)
    3:2 McKiernan (51.)
    3:3 Wahl (51./PP)
    4:3 Nödl (64.)
    PIM: 10 each

    Game 4: HC TWK Innsbruck – Vienna Capitals 4:3 (2:1,2:1,0:1)
    Wasserkraft Arena, 2.800 Zuschauer.
    1:0 Yogan (8.)
    2:0 Schennach (13./PP)
    2:1 Buck (20.)
    3:1 Schramm (22.)
    3:2 Rotter (35.)
    4:2 Guimond (40./PP)
    4:3 Tessier (46.)
    PIM: 12 - 6 -

    Game 5: Vienna Capitals – HC TWK Innsbruck 1:2 (0:0,0:1,1:1)
    Vienna, Albert-Schultz-Halle, 4.200.
    0:1 Schramm (39.)
    0:2 Yogan (49.)
    2:1 Vause (57./PP)
    PIM: 16 each


    Red Bull Salzburg vs. EC Dornbirn

    Same story as in the Caps - Innsbruck series here. Salzburg jumped to a 3:0 lead but despite three straight losses the Bulldogs looked competitive in every game and goalie Pekka Rinne just stood on his head (and continued to do so). Game 4 saw ECD's first win and yesterday they added an OT victory (3:2 OT after 0:2) on the road in Salzburg and so it's 3:2 right now.

    Game 2: Dornbirn EC – Red Bull Salzburg 0:2 (0:0,0:1,0:1)
    Dornbirn, 3.918
    1:0 Hughes (29.)
    2:0 Generous (56.)
    PIM 10 - 6

    Game 3: Red Bull Salzburg – Dornbirn EC 5:4 (1:2,3:0,1:2)
    Salzburg, 2.521
    1:0 Harris (14./PP)
    1:1 Pance (15.)
    1:2 Häußle (15.)
    2:2 Heinrich (37./PP)
    3:2 Raffl (38.)
    4:2 Duncan (40./PP, 50.)
    4:3 Arniel (42.)
    4:4 Vallant (42.)
    5:4 Duncan (50.)
    PIM: 4 - 8

    Game 4: Dornbirn EC – Red Bull Salzburg 3:2 (0:0,3:0,0:2)
    Messestadion Dornbirn, 3.454
    1:0 Sylvester (28.)
    2:0 Macierzynski (32.)
    3:0 Gauthier (39.)
    3:1 Cijan (47./SH)
    3:2 Hochkofler (53.)
    PIM: 8 - 8


    Blackwings Linz vs. Medvescak Zagreb

    After an OT loss at home and a crushing 6-2 defeat in the Bears' den Linz was already under big pressure after 2 games. Due to Dom Sportova being blocked by another event games 3 and 4 both took place in Linz and the Blackwings bounced back impressively. Nevertheless the Bears have the road win to their advantage and simply need to win their remaining home games to advance (Linz won 2 of 3 games vs. Medvescak in Zagreb this season though).

    Game 2: Medvescak Zagreb – Liwest Black Wings Linz 6:2 (0:0,3:2,3:0)
    Zagreb, 5.342.
    1:0 Morley (27./PP)
    2:0 Poyhonen (28.)
    3:0 Ranov (31.)
    3:1 Piche (33./PP)
    3:2 Lebler (34./PP)
    4:2 Olden (41.)
    5:2 Simsic (46.)
    6:2 Morley (47.)
    PIM: 10 -18

    Game 3: Liwest Black Wings Linz – KHL Medvescak Zagreb 8:2 (3:1,5:0,0:1)
    Linz, 4.865
    1:0 DaSilva (2.)
    2:0 Altmann (6.)
    3:0 Lebler (17.)
    3:1 Morley (20.)
    4:1 Altmann (26.)
    5:1 Kristler (28.)
    6:1 Lebler (33.)
    7:1 Schofield (33.)
    8:1 Broda (34.)
    8:2 Koskiranta (54.)
    PIM: 12 - 14

    Game 4: Liwest Black Wings Linz – KHL Medvescak Zagreb 8:4 (3:2,1:0,4:2)
    Keine Sorgen Eisarena, 4.865
    1:0 Hofer (2.)
    2:0 Broda (3./PP)
    2:1 Olden (11.)
    2:2 Aviani (12.)
    3:2 DaSilva (13.)
    4:2 Schofield (32.),
    5:2 Hofer (46.)
    6:2 Gaffal (48.)
    7:2 D'Aversa (49./PP2)
    8:2 Lebler (52./PP)
    8:3 Netik (57.)
    8:4 Tikkanen (59.)
    PIM: 8 - 12


    Klagenfurter AC vs. HC Bozen

    A thriller of a series. After Bozen's road win in game 1 KAC got two wins and made it 2:1. Bozen bounced back with 2 wins and now it's 2:3... Last 3 games went to OT and only game 1 was more than a goal between the teams (which was EN).

    Game 2: HCB Südtirol – KAC 2:3 (1:1,0:2,1:0)
    Bozen, 4.800
    0:1 Ganahl (17.)
    1:1 Bernard (19.)
    1:2 Hundertpfund (30.)
    1:3 Fischer (36.)
    2:3 Angelidis (59.)
    PIM: 4 - 12

    Game 3: KAC – HCB Südtirol 2:1 OT (0:0,0:0,1:1;1:0)
    Klagenfurt, 3.891
    1:0 Rheault (60./PP) goal scored at 59:43
    1:1 Petan (60.) goal scored at 59:59 (goalie pulled)
    2:1 Ganahl (68.)
    PIM: 10 - 20

    Game 4: HCB Südtirol – KAC 3:2 OT (0:0,1:0,1:2,1:0)
    Eiswelle Bozen, 4.570
    1:0 Smith (36.)
    1:1 Kozek (42.)
    2:1 Gartner (55.)
    2:2 Ganahl (60.)
    3:2 Oleksuk (65.) bzw. Kozek (42.)
    PIM: 10 - 8

    Game 5: KAC – HCB Südtirol 2:3 OT (0:0,1:1,1:1;0:1)
    Stadthalle Klagenfurt, 4.202.
    0:1 Petan (21.)
    1:1 Hundertpfund (26.)
    1:2 Micelli (47.)
    2:2 Bischofberger (57./PP)
    2:3 Monardo (64.)
    PIM: 10 - 10.
    Last edited by RexKramer; 20-03-2018 at 09:40.

  36. #36
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    Game 5 of the Linz - Zagreb series was played yesterday, the Blackwings took the 3:2 lead in the series after a 4:3 OT win. Early on Linz had jumped to a comfortable 3:0 lead but after a lenghty break due to problems with the ice pad they completely lost it and the Bears rallied back to tie the game and were close to win it in regulation time. In OT the Austrians had the better end.

    Today all 4 series will see game 6, Vienna, Salzburg and Linz can win it on the road while Bozen has the chance to secure the semi-final berth at home.

  37. #37
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    Game 6 has been played and all series are over!

    Vienna Capitals beat Innsbruck in the Tyrolean Capital (first sellout in ages for HCI!) with a score of 5:3, midway through the game the hosts had a 3:2 lead and the necessity of a 7th game was pretty close but the defending champions turned the thing around with 3 more goals (the 3rd of which into the empty net).

    Red Bull Salzburg had less problems with Bulldogs Dornbirn beating the hosts 6:3. The underdogs from Vorarlberg fought well but this time the favourites didn't fall.

    In the second of the back-to-back games in Zagreb's dom sportova arena Blackwings Linz got another narrow win (5:4) and are through to the semis. Linz took an early lead, Medvescak rallied back and had a 3:2 lead until early in the third period when 2 goals by Brian Lebler and a third one by Rick Schofield decided the gam for the guests. Tyler Morley's hattrick for the Bear's just wasn't enough.

    In Bozen 6000 fans saw the only upset of the 1/4 finals when HC Bozen (8th seeded team) defeated Klagenfurt (4th seeded) 2:0 to qualify for the semi-finals. Super solid defensive play by the Foxes completely shut-down the Austrian record champions' (more than less mediocre) offensive efforts.

    The semis start on Sunday, the pairings are

    Vienna - Bozen
    Salzburg - Linz

  38. #38
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    EBEL Finals are on the way. In game #1 the Vienna Capitals cleanly defeat HC Bozen 4:0 while the Red Bulls Salzburg norrowly prevail against Blackwings Linz (3:2). Game #2 in both series tonight.

    Vienna Capitals – HCB Südtirol 4:0 (1:0,2:0,1:0)
    Vienna, 5.550
    1:0 Nödl (20.)
    2:0 Pollastrone (24./PP)
    3:0 Schneider (36.)
    4:0 Fischer (51.)
    PIM: 16 - 16

    Red Bull Salzburg – EHC Liwest Black Wings Linz 3:2 (0:1,2:1,1:0)
    Salzburg, 3.400.
    0:1 DaSilva (15.)
    1:1 Duncan (23./PP)
    1:2 Spannring (26.)
    2:2 Stajnoch (34.)
    3:2 Harris (42.)
    PIM: 6 - 8

  39. #39
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    Big surprise in the EBEL seminfinals, HC Bozen eliminated the defending champions Vienna Capitals with 4 wins to 1. After the first game which the Caps won fairly easily, Bozen tied the series with an equally clear 4:1 home win. When the series returned to Vienna for game #3 the hosts held on to a 2:1 lead until 26 seconds to the end of regulation time when the Foxes (just like in the quarterfinals against Klagenfurt) tied it with their last desparate attack and went on to win it in OT. In this game the Caps also lost their go to guy and topscorer Rafael Rotter which left their offense already struggling with efficiency problems (many shots and chances but only few goals) further weakened. In game 4 the Italians with their strong defensive hockey, an supersolid performance by goalie Pekka Tuokkola and a finally well working powerplay were outshot 51 to 19 by the Caps but nevertheless took the game 5:2. Yesterday in the game of the last chance, Vienna was all over the Foxes in period 1 but the hosts simply couldn't put the puck past HCB netminder Tuokkola more than once. In thw worst possible moment Caps goalie Lamoureux then basically scored on himself as he channeled a puck he dragged toward himself with his stick through his legs and into the net for the GTG. After that the game was wide open with chances on both sides but only the Foxes were cool enough to use one and secured the crucial fourth win with a 2:1 scoreline. Impressive play-off run by the Foxes who were out of the play-off ranks for most of the season and only sneaked into the postseason as 8th seeded team thanks to picking up momentum in the qualification round. Great job by coach Kai Suikanen who took over a corpse of a team back in December.

    In the other semi-final Red Bulls Salzburg and Blackwings Linz have won their home games leaving the series with a 3:2 for the Bulls after game #5. Apart from yesterday where the hosts scored the game winner after 17' of OT and Linz was close to decide it in regulation time the other games were more or less quite clear affairs for the home teams. So at least once the Blackwings were close to the one road win the will certainly need to make it to the finals. In the whole series Lint showed great scoring efficiency, a very good powerplay and strong performances by Mike Ouzas in net while Salzburg just has the deeper roster and repeated flashes of brilliance by the likes of Peter Mueller, Rob Schremp, John Hughes and Thomas Raffl.

    Concnerning qualification for the upcoming CHL season, Vienna already has secured the returnticket to the European stage thanks to topping the standings after regular season stage 1 while Salzburg got theirs due to finishing on second place behind the Caps in the pick-round. So the last EBEL spot (awarded via the PLay-offs) goes to either Bozen or Linz. The Foxes can sit back and wait for now, if Salzburg prevails in the series against Linz the CHL ticket is already theirs. Otherwise it will be the topping on the cake for the winners of the final...

  40. #40
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    I always like it when the international leagues (KHL, EBEL), are actually international also in the later play-off stages. So it is nice to see the Italian team play-off final. And in next year's CHL.

  41. #41
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    Season over for the Blackwings unfortunately. Yesterday the Red Bulls went on to the finals with a 4:2 road win in Linz. Linz dominated the game initially and got the lead in the first period when Corey Lockey directed a puck that was bouncing over the goal after a low shot off target that came back from the boards into the net from just a few centimeters under the crossbar but at about halfway through the game the hosts ran out of steam and Salzburg took over. The Bulls levelled the score after intercepting a bad break-out pass and Ryan Duncan finishing top shelf in the near corner going 1 on 1 on Mike Ouzas in the Blackwings' net (strong performance by him though). Little later Linz forward Patrick Spannring's pass from the halfwall backwards towards the blue line on an attack went past everyone except Red Bulls' Mario Huber who beat Ouzas in a 1 on 1 too to make it 2:1. Dominique Heinrich made it 3:1 for Salzburg with a PP goal and despite Linz got oe back immediately afterwards the Blackwings couldn't tie the game and so Alexander Rauchenwalds ENG sealed the deal. Good and thrilling series with the slightly better and fitter team moving on. Still somehow unfortunate for Linz who played well but made the crucial mistakes.

    First game of the finals between Salzburg and Bozen on Sunday April 8th with game 2 right on Monday in Salzburg as well. Games 3 and 4 will be back to back in Bozen on Thursday and Friday. After that further games will alternate between Salzburg and Bozen.

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by wildboar View Post
    I always like it when the international leagues (KHL, EBEL), are actually international also in the later play-off stages. So it is nice to see the Italian team play-off final. And in next year's CHL.
    I agree on the internationalness, EBEL works pretty well in that respect. As a Blackwings supporter I hate it that the Wings wasted the 2nd place in the pick round behind Vienna in the last few games where they put up mediocre efforts though. That cost them home ice advantage in the semis and ultimately the CHL ticket. Bozen in CHL is unfortunately a likely misfit though. HCB has earend the CHL spot fair and square now but if they stick to the usual way in which they put their team together (very, very late) they will be far from competitive for much of the group stage. Hopefully Mr. HCB Dieter Knoll chooses differently this time...

  43. #43
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    And to mention this as well, at 39 years of age Blackwings Linz long time captain, the club's heart and soul player and former Austrian international Philipp Lukas hangs 'em up after a long and successful (and at times injury plagued) career. Lukas originally hailing from Vienna came to Linz at 21 when the bulk of the roster of the recently collapsed pro team from Feldkirch where he played at that time transferred to Linz prior to the Blackwings first season in the Austrian top tier league. The centerman stayed ever since, 18 full seasons, 2 championships, almost 800 games... Sure thing his #21 jersey will hang under the roof of the Blackwings barn soon.

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by RexKramer View Post
    I agree on the internationalness, EBEL works pretty well in that respect. As a Blackwings supporter I hate it that the Wings wasted the 2nd place in the pick round behind Vienna in the last few games where they put up mediocre efforts though. That cost them home ice advantage in the semis and ultimately the CHL ticket. Bozen in CHL is unfortunately a likely misfit though. HCB has earend the CHL spot fair and square now but if they stick to the usual way in which they put their team together (very, very late) they will be far from competitive for much of the group stage. Hopefully Mr. HCB Dieter Knoll chooses differently this time...
    Having (a pretty long history) of such behavior, I believe it will once again be drama till the last moment. Funny enough, HCB are now becoming a team to avoid in play-offs, they got a certain reputation, with top 3 teams all avoided picking them although they only hardly managed to squeeze into the play-offs.

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by the_kosa View Post
    Having (a pretty long history) of such behavior, I believe it will once again be drama till the last moment. Funny enough, HCB are now becoming a team to avoid in play-offs, they got a certain reputation, with top 3 teams all avoided picking them although they only hardly managed to squeeze into the play-offs.
    Obviously the picking teams had an idea what Bozen under a capable coach (which Suikanen obviously is) can do. And they proved everyone right again yesterday when they beat Salzburg in the first game of the final series... repeating their stunt from 2014 is very close for the Foxes now imho. At home they haven't lost since the second game of the QF and with a road win aleady in hand it is going to get hard for the Bulls...

    I guess with these perspectives concerning another EBEL championship ppl the hockey community will pretty much give a sh** whether Dieter Knoll will come up with a full squad for the first CHL games or not.

  46. #46
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    Salzburg strikes back in the 2nd game of the finals blanking HC Bozen 3:0. In a dominant effort over much of the game the Bulls' Peter Mueller broke the scoreless tie halfway through the game with a great individual effort storming into the Foxes zone from center ice, beating the defense and scoring on a wrap-around. 5' minutes into the 3rd period Bobby Raymond made it 2:0 with a shot into the top right corner from the high slot on a pass from John Hughes. Hughes finished the scoring with an empty netter. Bozen had their moments especially in the middle of the first period when they pressured the hosts hard during and after two consecutive powerplays but other than in the play-offs so far the Italians were unable to score with the man advantage.

    Even though the series is tied now Bozen has the advantage of a road win and will go with a lot of confidence into the back to back home games on Thursday and Friday.

  47. #47
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    HC Bozen wins the first of its back-to-back home games 4:2 to take a 2:1 lead in the series. Salzburg again couldn't convert any of its powerplays, great PK by Bozen and an overall super strong performance by HCB goalie Tuokkola. On offense the Foxes prove to be efficient as usual and also the PP struck again. Tonight's game (I expect a sellout after yesterday's crowd was a few hundred ppls short of capacity) is imho almost a must win for the Bulls if they want to come back in the series. Bozen simply looks and plays too confident and well to blow a 3:1 lead.

  48. #48
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    Meanwhile Red Bull Salzburg managed to get home ice advantage back by beating HC Bozen in Italy with a 6:3 scoreline in game #3 tying the series at 2. As the series returned to Salzburg for game 5 the two teams delivered a thriller of a game that the hosts decided after 15' of overtime. Regulation time ended 5:5 with Bozen tying the game a minute to the end with the goalie pulled. Earlier on the lead had changed twice and there were 3 goals scored in the last 150 seconds...

    Very exciting series with Bozen playing a (borderline) style of tough guy hockey hitting (or trying to) about everything that moves. Lots of intensity, certainly not the biggest of finesse involved but fun to watch.

    Game 6 and first do or die game for Bozen tonight in the South Tyrolean capital - sell out crowd to be expected.

  49. #49
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    And there is a game 7! Yesterday HC Bozen convincingly beat the Red Bulls with a 6:3 score. In the first period Salzburg was dominant, took an early lead with a goal by Alexander Cijan, the Foxes levelled the score after 15' (Miceli) and from the second period on the hosts took over with a fantastic PP efficiency scoring on each and every of their first four PPs! Peter Mueller tied it for Salzburg later in the second after Bozen had taken a 2:1 lead but Alex Petan quickly restored the lead for his side and then the Italians never looked back.

    THe momentum is definitely on Bozen's side and 4yrs ago they won their first and so far only EBEL title on the road in Salzburg. Salzburg is the offesively more gifted team but the Bulls' defensive play esp. the PK is absolutely unimpressive which certainly contributes to Bozen's astonishing PP quota. Can't see how salzburg is going to fix that prolem and after the loss of Thomas Raffl the offense is also a bit weakened. So I would say it's all prepared for Bozen.

  50. #50
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    Game 7 of the EBEL final series replicated the result from 2014: HC Bozen tkes the title with a 3:2 road win in Salzburg. Bozen struck twice within less than two minutes in the second half of the first period to take the lead capitalizing from a lapse of perception of Red Bulls goalie Bernhard Starkbaum on the opening marker. While the game was fairly level in terms of the teams' puck possession and offense, it got at least optically much more one-sided from the second period on as the hosts furiously attacked the Foxes net. The Italians' defense was as good as unpenetrable, there was hardly ever an open man to take an unchallenged shot on goal from a good position. In one of the few counterattacks the incredible efficiency of the Foxes struck again when Luca Frigo beat Starkbaum with a high wrist shot. Shots on goal overall favoured the Buls 32:15 including the masses of blocked shots the ratio must have been mote like 3:1. In A little more than 5' to the end Salzburg finally found the back of the net when Layne Viveiros converted a pass from Rob Scremp with a wrister from the higher slot area. With 90'' to go and the goalie long pulled Peter Mueller one-timed a passs from Brent Harris home to make it 3:2. Salzburg continued to push for the equalizer desperately but to no avail. The HCB concrete was just too firm. Awesome performance by the Italians with an optimal approach to the game (tactrical mastery by coach Suikanen!) and near perfect execution. Congrats EBEL champions 2018!!

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