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The battle for the championship can begin!  – Hockey-News.info – All news about national and international ice hockey

The battle for the championship can begin! – Hockey-News.info – All news about national and international ice hockey

Eight teams are exactly 12 wins away from the “Karl-Nedwed-Trophy” – the ICE Hockey League’s championship trophy that’s won every other day. Under the slogan “12 to Glory”, the quarter-finals will open on Tuesday.

In the first play-off stage, there will be not only a new edition of the 2022 final between EC Red Bull Salzburg and Hydro Fehérvár AV 19, but also the Carinthian derby. The first Quarterfinal match between EC iDM Heat Pumps VSV and EC-KAC will be shown live on PULS 24 and in partner ICE TV’s free broadcast.

win2day ICE Hockey League Quarterfinals – Game 1:
07.03. 19:15 EC Red Bull Salzburg – Hydro Fehérvár AV19
Standing in the “Best of Seven” quarter-finals: 0-0
Referees: SIEGEL, STERNAT, Bedynek, and Konc
>> Game tickets
>> Live PPV broadcast

Already in the quarter-finals there will be a repetition of last year’s finals. Last season, EC Red Bull Salzburg were crowned 2022 champions with a smooth 4-0 victory over Hydro Fehérvár AV19. However, the individual matches in the series were not as clear as the score stated. At the beginning of the final series, the subsequent champion was victorious only in overtime and all the other three matches were very tough and stood on a knife edge for a long time. But this encounter has happened once before, in the quarter-finals. In 2019, Salzburg celebrated a 4:2 win in the series. At the time, the Hungarians held the series lead going into the first game.

Also this season Salzburg is the favorite in the series with the Hungarians. While the Red Bulls finished the regular season in second place and thus already bought a CHL ticket, Fehérvár had to take the detour through the previous playoffs. In the duel for the quarter-final ticket with Migross Supermercati Asiago Hockey, the runner-up did not miss a beat and won 2-0. The four meetings between Salzburg and Fahrefar this season have all gone to the defending champions. While Salzburg scored an average of 4.25 goals in this duel, the Devils only managed 1.75 goals against the duo of Atti Tolvanen and David Kickert. Only against the Graz99ers have the Hungarians managed to score fewer goals this season.

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At the start of the quarterfinals, the Red Bull team could line up almost entirely. Striker Troy Burke will return on Tuesday after being out for more than four months with an injury. Only Ty Looney is missing.

07.03. 19:15 HC TIWAG Innsbruck – spusu Vienna Capitals
Standing in the “Best of Seven” quarter-finals: 0-0
Referees: NIKOLIC K., ZRNIC, Notegger, Seewald
>> Game tickets
>> Live PPV broadcast

After a four-year break, HC TIWAG Innsbruck is back in the ICE Hockey League playoffs finishing with a one-day win for the first time – thanks to that, at home. However, Hay’s opponent has more experience in the postseason. The Caps have always been semi-finalists in the past 5 seasons (except for the 19/20 season, which was canceled due to COVID 19). On the other hand, Haie’s team has won only one of its ten playoff series (2003 vs. G99).

It is already the fourth time that the quarter-final match between Innsbruck and Vienna has been held. In the previous three series, the hats prevailed. Of their previous 13 play-off matches, Vienna has recorded eleven victories.

The seasonal fencing record for these two teams is significantly more balanced. Both teams won twice in direct clashes. While Innsbruck won its first two games of the season, the Caps won both meetings this calendar year. In the regular season, this duel has always been a guarantee of many goals. On average, 9.5 goals were scored per game – more than any other single-day ICE Hockey League duo wins.

Some of the ICE Hockey League’s top scorers achieved over the past two days can be admired in this quarterfinal series. The best player in the league as the best scorer (26 goals + 43 assists) meets one of the best scorers – Max Zimmer. The club’s forward has scored 28 goals this season, as has Adam Hilifka, who will feature for Hay.

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07.03. 19:30 EC iDM VSV Heat Pumps – EC-KAC
Standing in the “Best of Seven” quarter-finals: 0-0
Referees: HRONSKY, SMETANA, Durmis, Jedlicka | Broadcast live on PULS 24
>> Game tickets
>> Free Pulse 24 Stream

For the sixth time since the league’s founding, there has been a Carinthian derby series in the playoffs. Rojacken’s team had won four of the previous five series – twice in the final (2001 and 2004). This is only the second time since the league’s inception that EC iDM Heat Pumps VSV and EC-KAC have met in the quarterfinals. Two years ago, FC Klagenfurt celebrated a 4-1 winning streak in the quarter-finals before being crowned champions. KAC has won 17 of its 27 total derbies.

The season record for these two teams could not be more balanced. Both teams celebrated two derby victories, one of them in a penalty shootout. The two matches that were decided in system time also ended with a difference of one goal.

EC VSV completed its most successful regular season in 21 years in terms of points average, and its 1.88 points per game this year was best surpassed in the 2001/2002 season. Even though the Eagles had to accept one defeat in EC-KAC regular time, they still held a straight lead over the Red Jackets in the table and even pulled away from them by eleven points. Coach Rob Daum’s side have also shown a clear upward trend in recent weeks, with 12 wins in their last 14 league games, and all eight matches played in 2023 have been won on home ice.

However, EC-KAC has a real difference-maker in the playoffs in its ranks – and for many years: Thomas Koch has already scored 14 goals in the playoffs since the league was founded – more than anyone else. It is unlikely that Koch will be able to return on Tuesday. After missing 30 league games due to injury, the Kuwait Airways forward has been relegated to ice training, but coach Petri Matikainen will bring him back into the squad once he’s fully recovered. There are also still question marks over possible appearances by Paul Postma, Nick Pietersen, Manuel Janal and Daniel Obersteiner.

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07.03. 19:45 HCB Südtirol Alperia – Steinbach Black Wings Linz
Standing in the “Best of Seven” quarter-finals: 0-0
Referees: Groznik, PIRAGIC, Snoj, Zgonc
>> Game tickets
>> Live PPV broadcast

In the quarter-finals, the regular season winners, HCB Südtirol Alperia, meet the Steinbach Black Wings, who were the last of the eight quarter-finalists to advance to the playoffs. After the success in the decisive match against the Moser Medical Graz99ers, Upper Austria can look forward to their first participation in the playoffs after a two-year break. But HCB Südtirol Alperia is also celebrating its comeback in the postseason — the Foxes missed the playoffs for the first time since joining the league last season. For the third time, South Tyroleans are starting from the top seed position in the title series.

For the third time, Bozen and Linz face each other in a postseason series – all quarterfinal series. Upper Austria has reached the semi-finals twice against the Foxes. But in the final meeting of the postseason, South Tyrol pulled off a better finish and celebrated with a 4-1 victory in 2017.

In the regular season of the current season, HCB Südtirol Alperia has been more successful. In 48 games, the Foxes have lost just 11 times. Posen had to accept one of these eleven defeats against Steinbach Black Wings Linz. The Foxes won the other three duels for the season. Above all, Linz found it difficult to break through Glenn Hanlon’s compact defense. On average, the Black Wings scored just 1.25 goals against a South Tyrol team of goalkeepers.

ice.hockey, Photo: GEPA Images/Christian Moser