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Thread: Erste Bank Eishockey Liga 2017/18

  1. #1
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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).

  2. #2
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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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