Top 6 race an EBEL thriller

Freitag, 08.Januar 2016 - 7:49
Logo Erste Liga EBEL

Four rounds before the end of the first part of the regular season the teams between place 3 and 7 are separated by just two points. The fight for a Top 6 spot continues already on Friday and Saturday.

Best offensive teams face in Salzburg
Many goals are expected on Friday, when EC Red Bull Salzburg welcomes HC Orli Znojmo! The two clubs have the best offense in Erste Bank Eishockey Liga, they scored together close to 300 goals in the first 40 rounds: The Red Bulls were succesful so far 149 times, the „Red Eagles“ 144 times. Their best goal-scorers are Brett Sterling (20), John Hughes (14), Ryan Duncan (13) or for Znojmo Colton Yellow Horn (23), Roman Tomas (15), David Bartos (12). The Red Bulls were on Fire also in Klagenfurt last round, where they won on Tuesday 7:0. „Znojmo has a very strong offense. We must play very good defense for 60 minutes“, knows Headcoach Daniel Ratushny. While Salzburg has fixed already the Play-offs, HC Orli Znojmo is still fighting for a Top 6 spot. Lately the Czechs lost at home against Vienna 1:4. In the ranking the Czechs are still third, but just two points before place 7. To stay in the Top 6 and to fix the Play-offs after the first part of the regular season (44 rounds) the Czechs need points! In the last four rounds the „Red Eagles“ will face with Leader EC Red Bull Salzburg (A), EC VSV (H/A) and Fehervar AV19 (H) three difficult opponents. On Friday defenseman Andre Lakos, who won with EC Red Bull Salzburg 3 Championships, will make his debut for Znojmo in the Mozart City: „I have not played much recently, so it may need some adjusting for me to get match sharpness back, but I am fit and ready to play! I have already played against Salzburg many times, so it is not really special. The important thing is we get a win and stay in the top six. The guys have accepted me really well, I am positively surprised.“ The Czechs lead in the season meeting 2:1, all games were wo by the home-team.

Ljubljana travels to Klagenfurt
After defeats against Vienna (1:6) and Salzburg (0:7) for EC-KAC the chance to finish in the Top 6 is dwidling! The Red Jackets miss already seven points for a top 6 spot, but there is still a little chance fort he Record Champion to finish in the Top 6! With bottom club HDD Telemach Olimpija Ljubljana and the Graz99ers (A/H) EC-KAC will play three from their last four games against worse placed teams. Besides Klagenfurt will travel to Villach. On Friday the Red Jackets host Ljubljana. So far this season Klagenfurt won all three season-clashes, besides they won the last five home-games against the dragons. Last time the Slovenes were successful in Klagenfurt was on 17.12.2013 or 751 days ago. „We made to many mistakes lately. On Friday we will show another face. We must play solid defense, wait for our chances and follow the Gameplan. We will get the three point. It is not over yet, we want to win all four games, then we will see“, said KAC-Forward Manuel Ganahl. HDD Telemach Olimpija Ljubljana will finish the first part of the regular season on the last place. In the last four games the Slovesnes will face with Klagenfurt (A), Salzburg (H/A) and Vienna (H) three difficult opponents. Also the Slovenes lost their last two games and still miss several injured players and Tavzelji suspended. In Ljubljana the team is alread focussing for the Intermediate Round: "It's going to be a hard away game in Klagenfurt. We'll try to get as much as we can out of it. As we prepare for the qualification round there are still some things we have to improve on. The last four regular season games will be perfect for us to do that.", said Ljubljana Forward Gal Koren.

99ers still looking for the ninth place
In the fort remaining games until the Intermediate Round the Moser Medical Graz 99ers still have the chance to become ninth and after two consecutive wins they are looking for more points in the home game versus EC VSV. “We know that Villach has a great streak at the moment, but we are very motivated and want to beat them with a strong defense and we also have to take advantage of our chances”, stated forward Werner. VSV is still fighting for the third place, but is also just two points in front of the seventh spot, a fact, that also puts a lot of pressure on the Eagles. “The game won’t be easy. We first have to think about our own end and then be efficient in front of the net. We hit the road to come back with points“, said Petrik.

Mandatory victory for the Caps versus Innsbruck
Between the third and the seventh spot on the table there are just two points difference, for the fifth-placed UPC Vienna Capitals a difficult situation and one reason more to need another win versus HC TWK Innsbruck “Die Haie” on Friday. “We need to have a lot of respect and mustn’t underestimate them at all. Even when the game is not important for them anymore, they for sure want to beat us. We have tob e ready from the first minute on”, warns Coach Jim Boni. The Sharks will probably remain on the eleventh spot and start the Qualification Round with zero Bonuspoints. For the team of Coach Beaulieu it will be important to find the right setup in the last four games.

Fehervar hosts the Foxes from Bozen
Fehervar AV19 is cemented on the ninth spot at the moment, but still has the small chance to become eighth in the end and start the Intermediate Round with four points. To realize that, the Hungarians first of all need a win versus HCB Südtirol on Saturday. Fehérvár AV19's management terminated today the contract of head coach Rob Pallin and Hannu Järvenpää takes over the head coaching duties. The Finn, who coached already EC VSV and HDD Telemach Olimpija Ljubljana in the League, will arrive in Hungary this weekend. Against Bozen Tamas Sille and Frank Banham will be the responsable Coache. For HCB Südtirol the game is very important. Now they are just seventh, but only two points away from the third spot. “The game is probably one of the most important games so far. We have to be solid over 60 minutes, be concentrated and deny breakaways and other chances for the Hungarians“, knows forward Reid.

DEC needs points from Linz
EHC LIWEST Black Wings Linz hosts Dornbirner EC on Friday. The Black Wings are already qualified for the Play-offs. After four games goining into Overtime or Shoot-out the Upper Austrians want to get three points again. Last time the Black Wings lost at home against Fehervar AV19 in Overtime. Dornbirner EC is still fighting for a top 6 spot. Even the Bulldogs beat EC VSV on Tuesday they fall down in the ranking to place 6. „I expect a desperate and hungy team“, warns Linz Headcoach Rob Daum, who will miss some players because of injuries or sickness. The Bulldogs travel with good memories to Linz, won there their last game: „It is never easy in Linz. They have big support from their fans and we are still short. We must play simple: defend well and in the offense we must bring the puck to the net“, knows Assistant Coach Peter Sidorkiewicz.

Erste Bank Eishockey Liga, round 41:
Fri, 08.01.2016: EC Red Bull Salzburg – HC Orli Znojmo (19:15)
Referees: BERNEKER, KELLNER, Johnstone, Nothegger

Fri, 08.01.2016: EHC LIWEST Black Wings Linz – Dornbirner EC (19:15)
Referees: PIRAGIC, TRILAR, Hofstätter, Hribar

Fri, 08.01.2016: EC-KAC – HDD Telemach Olimpija Ljubljana (19:15)
Referees: GAMPER, ZRNIC, Pardatscher, Zgonc

Fri, 08.01.2016: Moser Medical Graz 99ers - EC VSV (19:15 Uhr, live
Referees: GEBEI/WARSCHAW, Loicht, Nemeth;

Fri, 08.01.2016: UPC Vienna Capitals - HC TWK Innsbruck „Die Haie“ (19:15)
Referees: GRUMSMEN/SMETANA, Haurum, Smeibidlo;

Sat, 09.01.2016: Fehervar AV19 – HCB Südtirol (19:15)
Referees: GRUMSMEN/SMETANA, Haurum, Smeibidlo

Quelle: red/Erste Bank Liga