13. Dezember | 17:47
Medvescak and Znojmo hit the road westbound
On Friday, HC Orli Znojmo want to take revenge, playing the bottom team of Innsbruck on the road. KHL Medvescak Zagreb have to drive further, visiting Dornbirn. Plus: Inter-Austrian battle.
HC TWK Innsbruck showed some good games in the recent past but on Sunday they suffered a 8:1 home defeat to Klagenfurt. Head coach Daniel Naud finds fault with the use of chances because they only scored one goal out of 28 shots: “The first period was evenly matched but we wasted our opportunities. Then we became sloppy in the defense that was a slide back into the past”. On Friday the Tirolese host Znojmo, a special opponent. They got their first and only home win against the Czechs but it was on a Sunday. The Sharks have lost all seven home matches which were played on Fridays. “We had two good games against Znojmo and we want to confirm this tomorrow. We must keep it tight and be active”, reports Naud, who doesn’t know the current problems in front of the opponent’s goal from his own family. His 20-year-old son Guillaume has recorded 37 points out of 27 games in a Canadian junior hockey league. “He practiced with us during summer in Innsbruck and is the second best scorer in the league at the moment. He gets much time on ice and can progress to become maybe a professional player one day”.
Last weekend brought two wins for HC Orli Znojmo and fifth place in the standings. Head coach Martin Stloukal dampens the euphoria because the Czechs are only one point ahead of place seven: “There were two good but lots of games are still to play. We want to reach our first aim and that’s a place among the six best teams”. The Eagles have won all away games against opponents from the last third of the standings, with one exception. They got only one point from Innsbruck, losing after penalties in their first meeting. “We really need the two points. The previous games against Innsbruck were not easy because they play without pressure. They put their opponents to the test and if you are not ready, they use the chance”, says Stloukal who has made contact with a scout in North America. The Czechs watch out for a defenseman and a winger but they take up time for a final decision. Captain Jiri Beroun returns to the lineup, while Marek Uram (knee) and Lubomir Stach (hand) are sidelined. Filip Landsman will start between the pipes.
Can Jeffrey do it again?
“Last weekend we got to the point where we were not able to compensate our absentees for any longer. It was also a lack of experience but now we look into a brighter future, trying to improve with every single game”, sums assistant coach Wolfgang Hagen the defeats against Znojmo and Graz up. Now the Bulldogs seek half dozen when Medvescak arrives. The Vorarlbergian side has collected six home wins against five different opponents so far. In their last meeting at Messestadion, the rookie team came close but fell in overtime. “Medvescak is one of those teams who are out of reach over the course of one season. When we stick to our game plan and give everything, then we can beat them in a single game”, explains Hagen. Some of the injured players will return to the lineup.
After four successive defeats, KHL Medvescak Zagreb found back to winning ways: on Sunday the Croats beat Fehervar 3:0 with goalie Robert Kristan celebrating his second shutout of the season. “We dominated the game, showed great effort and were effective. It was one of our best matches this season”, knows head coach Marty Raymond. On Thursday Medvescak hit the road for the important away game in Dornbirn. The second placed Bears have only a five-point advantage to a non-playoff spot. Last time they played in western Austria, NHL star Dustin Jeffrey played a decisive role: the Canadian decided the first game in Dornbirn with his second goal of the night in overtime. The 24-year-old forward of the Pittsburgh Penguins has gained eleven goals and twelve assists in 19 games in Erste Bank Eishockey Liga. “Everyone knows that it’s an even-balanced and competitive league. After the losses we just continued to work hard and pulled together. We expect a win in every single game but we also respect our opponents. Dornbirn has a good team, it will be a tough match”, tells us Raymond. Michael Ouzas is not completely fit and will remain sidelined. Forward Tom Zanoski has decided to leave Zagreb for EC-KAC.
Villach vs. Linz
After only three wins out of the last ten games, EC VSV could drop out of the playoff spots with another loss against Linz. On Friday they conceded seven goals in Znojmo with the defense coming under the weakest within the league. “We have to find our focus again in the defense. When we fall behind, we open up and concede goals on the break. We must reduce our errors against Linz to gain two points”, knows Stefan Bacher. The blue shirts have won their last two home games, giving them confidence back.
After more than a month, EHC Liwest Black Wings Linz suffered two consecutive defeats again. The sixth placed reigning champions are on the hot seat, needing the second away win in Villach on Friday. “I always think positive because we can win every game. We respect our opponent from Villach but we have to stay among the best six teams“, tells us defenseman Daniel Mitterdorfer. Rob Hisey and Pat Leahy remain sidelined.
Friday, 13th December 2012, 19:15
HC TWK Innsbruck „die Haie“ – HC Orli Znojmo (178)
Referees: POTOCAN, ROHATSCH, Dreier, Hollenstein
23.09.2012: HC Orli Znojmo – HC TWK Innsbruck „die Haie“ 5:3 (1:1, 1:2, 3:0)
28.10.2012: HC TWK Innsbruck „die Haie“ – HC Orli Znojmo 6:5 n. P. (2:2, 0:1, 3:2, 0:0, 1:0)
Dornbirner Eishockey Club – KHL Medvescak Zagreb (180)
Referees: GRABER, VEIT, Kalb, Nikolic
14.10.2012: Dornbirner Eishockey Club – KHL Medvescak Zagreb 3:4 n. V. (1:0, 0:2, 2:1, 0:1)
02.11.2012: KHL Medvescak Zagreb – Dornbirner Eishockey Club 5:2 (2:1, 2:1, 1:0)
EC VSV – EHC Liwest Black Wings Linz(179)
Referees: ERD, KINCSES, Hütter, Rakovics
16.09.2012: EHC Liwest Black Wings Linz – EC VSV 2:5 (2:3, 0:1, 0:1)
21.10.2012: EC VSV – EHC Liwest Black Wings Linz 3:6 (2:1, 1:1, 0:4)