12. Dezember | 17:54

Brothers in Erste Bank Eishockey Liga!

Some brothers play in Erste Bank Eishockey Liga this season. Slovenians Ziga and Erik Pance are one of them.

Ziga und Erik Pance won with Olimpija 2012 the Slovenian Championship (Picture: MKV).

Each player has his own story, why he started to play professional hockey: The fact the brothers Patrick and Christoph Harand, Brian and Michael Lebler and Nicolas and Benjamin Petrik started to play hockey was no big surprise, because already their fathers Kurt Harand, Edward Lebler and Helmut Petrik played professional hockey in Austria. But we found also other reasons, why the players became a hockey-star. “In our family no one played hockey”, reported Forward Ziga Pance, who plays together with his brother Erik Pance at his home-club HDD Telemach Olimpija Ljubljana: “When I was four years, we went to see a Slovenian Derby between Ljubljana and Jesenice. We were impressed and wanted to play hockey too and so all started!”

A letter from the community was the reason that the twins Manuel and Stefan Geier (both EC-KAC) started to play hockey. “Our parents got a letter from the community that the hockey-club EV Zeltweg is looking for kids, who would like to start playing hockey. We went to a practice and we both liked it”, reported Manuel Geier about his and his twins Stefan’s first steps on ice at the age of three years.

A big hockey-event was the reason Philipp and Robert Lukas started to play ice hockey. „Our father was Referee. While the world-championships in Vienna we went to visit some games. We were satisfied and wanted to try hockey”, said Robert Lukas, who plays already a few years together with his brother Philipp Lukas in Linz. Four times the defenseman already won the Titel, twice together with his brother in Linz. Nearly twenty years the Lukas-brothers now stamp hockey in Austria, Robert made his first game on highest level 1995/96 for WE-V, Philipp 1996/97. Together they made so far 1426 games in Austrians highest hockey division: Robert Lukas played already 730 times in the first league and scored 337 points, Philipp made 456 points in 696 games. „For me that’s not positive at all: I would have liked to play also for a longer time in another country”, said Robert, who knows: “We see us much more often than other brothers and sisters, because we meet us each day in the arena.”

So far the twins Manuel und Stefan Geier have made every step of their career together. From Zeltweg the two Forward switched 2007/08 together to IFK Arboga. And after one year they went back together to Austria to play for EC-KAC. Already in their first year Klagenfurt, both could score their first goal for EC-KAC and even win the championship. „It has advantages when the brother goes to the same team, because then you always know someone from the beginning. To win the championship with EC-KAC already in the first year was a great feeling. Before we had some doubt, because before we became twice runner-up! This year we want to bring the title again to Klagenfurt“, said Manuel Geier, who became father for the first time a few weeks ago. Twin brother Stefan is still without children. Even upside the ice the two Geiers meet: "We both live very close to the rink."

Ziga Pance and Erik Pance are certainly the most famous hockey-brothers in Slovenia after Anze Kopitar and Gasper Kopitar. The two Forwards even played some games together in the same line. „I love to play with my brother, that’s the best thing. Some players never get that chance. Me and Eric, we play together already for a couple of years.”, reported Ziga Pance. “Maybe we can play together in the same line even this year. I would love to see that”, continued Ziga, who plays his fifth year with Olimpija in Erste Bank Eishockey Liga. Before he spend two seasons in Ontario Hockey League (OHL) with the Oshawa Generals. Also his younger brother Erik had made some experience in another country, spend some time in Malmö. „It was a great experience and helps me a lot here now. For me it’s a big honor to play for the club, where I started to play. I always give my best.“, said Ziga, who would like to see more Slovenian Clubs in Erste Bank Eishockey Liga: „Olimpija is the only professional team here. I hope in the future more than one or two Slovenian teams will play in Erste Bank Eishockey Liga. And I hope the Winter Classics will bring the people to the games!”

Brothers, who played in 2012/13 already in Erste Bank Eishockey Liga:
: Stefan und Manuel Geier; Martin und Stefan Schumnig, Patrick Harand.
Dornbirner EC: Christoph Harand, Nicolas Petrik, Michael Lebler
EC VSV: Benjamin Petrik
EHC LIWEST Black Black Wings Linz: Robert und Philipp Lukas, Brian Lebler.
HDD Telemach Olimpija Ljubljana: Ziga und Erik Pance.
UPC Vienna Capitals: Andre und Philippe Lakos.
HC TWK Innsbruck: Valentin und Benedikt Schennach