Ö Eishockey Liga defending champions Wattens Penguins celebrate home debut in Group West clash against league leaders HC Kufstein. The first Kufstein chaser SC Hohenems meets the Junghaie in Innsbruck. On Saturday, VEU Feldkirch receives the EHC Crocodiles Kundl. On Saturday, Group South also starts in full swing with three games in Carinthia. The duel between 1st EHC Althofen and Steindorf will be exciting. Spittal expects the USC Pirates Velden and the young eagles of the VSV start against the UECR Eisbären Huben. In the North-East group, Wiener Eislauf-Verein will face EV Zeltweg Murtal Lions and Sharks Gmunden will fight for the first points against UHT Dukes Graz. The ÖEL games will be shown on the new livestreaming platform of the Austrian Ice Hockey Federation at LIVE.eishockey.at.
Champion Wattens Penguins got the perfect opponent for their first home game of the season. Table leader HC Kufstein, who defeated the Ö Eishockey Liga defending champions from Wattens 6:2 in the season opener, is the guest at the Alpenstadion. The team of Head Coach Ivo Novotny had to accept a 1:6 defeat in Hohenems last time, now the Dragons coach expects a hot dance against the Penguins. After two defeats at the beginning of the season, Wattens has been getting better and better in the last two games. In the last game, Head Coach Jaro Betka’s team celebrated a 5:2 victory in Kundl against the Crocodiles.
Jaroslav Betka, Head Coach WSG Swarovski Wattens Penguins: “We are happy to finally be able to train on home ice in Wattens for the first time this week. We want to offer exciting field hockey with few penalty minutes against league leader Kufstein. My boys are mentally in good shape. Unfortunately Martin Sturm has left us for private reasons, but we can play with Valentin Hammerle and Fabian Nussbaumer from now on, who are coming back after their injuries.”
Ivo Novotny, Head Coach HC Kufstein: “We took Saturday’s defeat against Hohenems well. We drew our conclusions from it and tried to take into account certain things in training that didn’t go as we wanted. We are definitely prepared for the duel against Wattens. I think it will be a hot dance.”
HC TIWAG Innsbruck – The Sharks II challenge SC Hohenems
SC SAMINA Hohenems won the first season duel on the first matchday against HC TIWAG Innsbruck – Die Haie II after starting difficulties in the first section in the end gang clear with 10:1. With the victory in the direct duel last Saturday, the Ibexes had caught up with the leader of the Group West – HC Kufstein – and took revenge for the 2:4 defeat in the fortress city. Hohenems captain Pascal Kainz is not expecting an easy game against the Innsbruckers. The Junghaie started the new season with five defeats, three of them even by double digits. Most recently, there was a 1:10 against VEU Feldkirch. Nevertheless, the coaching team tries to stay positive, they want to challenge the favorites from Vorarlberg in the home game by all means.
Pascal Kainz, captain SC SAMINA Hohenems: “Against Innsbruck I do not expect an easy game, however, we generally do not look so much at the opponent, but try to focus on our strengths. In doing so, it will also be our goal in Innsbruck to play our best field hockey from the first minute.”
Andreas Sarg, Co-coach HC TIWAG Innsbruck – Die Haie II: “Against Hohenems we want to take revenge for the 1:10 defeat in the first round. We know that the team from Hohenems brings a lot of experience and skill, but we will try everything that we can write against the Ibexes.”
Tension ahead of VEU Feldkirch vs. EHC Crocodiles Kundl
VEU Feldkirch has quickly established itself in the Ö Eishockey Liga and expects the EHC Crocodiles Kundl on Saturday. The match of the Montfortstädter against the Crocodiles is exciting from the starting position: both teams have positioned themselves well early in the fight for the playoff places, for both Klubd it is about important points with regard to the further development of the season. VEU general manager Heimo Lindner again demands full commitment and passion from his young team. Kundl chairman Gerhard Maier knows about the home strength of the Feldkircher with the great fans in the back, but his troop wants to do everything possible to also write in the Vorarlberghalle.
Heimo Lindner, General Manager VEU Feldkirch: “The second win in a row is the confirmation of the excellent work of all players and coaches. Everybody fights week after week for a place in the team. This creates positive competition and the players continue to develop week after week. Of course, it is an unpleasant situation for one or the other player if he is not in the squad for the game. That’s why we need to get back into training on Monday. The next tough test for our young team is coming up on Saturday. As always, the guys will leave everything on the ice and try to win the game.”
Gerhard Maier, chairman EHC Crocodiles Kundl: “Although we won the opening match in the championship at home, we will certainly meet a very strong home team. We are looking forward to many great VEU fans and will do our utmost not to go home empty-handed.”
Group South: 1st EHC Althofen expects ESC SoccerZone Steindorf
On Saturday also the group south in the Ö Eishockey Liga starts with three games in full swing. For the ESC SoccerZone Steindorf, which has signed two very prominent players with Stefan Bacher and Philipp Kreuzer and is treated as a title candidate, the match against the 1st EHC Althofen in the Stadthalle Althofen is the first location determination. Head Coach Gerald Ressmann’s team, on the other hand, already has two games under its belt. Against Spittal, the Rhinos had both a loss and a win, against the team from Lake Ossiach Ressmann sees his team as underdogs, but wants to find a way to prevail against the Steindorfer.
Gerald Ressmann, Head Coach 1. EHC Althofen: “Steindorf has among others with Stefan Bacher and Philipp Kreuzer quite upgraded, they are certainly a title favorite. We have to find a way to beat them. We need discipline, we must not make any stupid fouls, but we also need game discipline. It will be important that we keep it 0-0 for as long as possible.”
USC Pirates Velden start away against EC LiWoDruck Spittal
EC LiWoDruck Spittal welcomes USC Pirates Velden on Saturday. The Pirates from Lake Wörthersee go into the match in the Eis-Sport-Arena Spittal against the Hornets, who are already fully in the juice with three games already played, with a big training deficit. Head coach Herwig Gressel’s team will not be able to practice on Velden ice until November 16. Gressel sees his team as underdogs against Spittal due to the lack of ice time, but is nevertheless optimistic going into the opening game. The Spittal team has so far recorded one win against Althofen, one loss against the VSV Young Eagles and one loss against the Rhinos. Head Coach Florian Orzetek expects a game at eye level, the Hornissen will not underestimate the Veldener despite their training backlog.
Florian Orzetek, Head Coach EC LiWoDruck Spittal: “I think it will be an even game on Saturday. Velden has not yet played a championship game and also by the lack of ice training on their own ice certainly a small disadvantage over my team. Against Velden, the goalie position will certainly be decisive. On the one hand, I hope that our goalie Renè Zauchner will be able to continue his performance of the last games. And on the other hand, we have to create a lot of traffic in the game in front of Velden’s goal, because one of the best keepers in the league will certainly play against us here. It was also very difficult last year against Velden to score goals, as their goalkeeper showed a very good performance and certainly played a big part in winning the championship title (Carinthian AHC Division I/Note). We will prepare well for the game the rest of the week and go into Saturday’s game with a positive attitude.”
Herwig Gressel, Head Coach USC Pirates Velden: “Due to the fact that we can only train in Velden for the first time on November 16, the preparation has been rather mixed so far. Compared to Spittal, we have an immense training gap, the team has only five units (two will follow this week) in the legs. But we are trying to make the best of it. In the 5:2 victory in the test match against Huben on Sunday, the team has already shown some good approaches and collected the necessary self-confidence. Even though the role of favorites lies with the Spittal team, we naturally want to start the season with a win.”
EC iDM VSV receives the Polar Bears from Huben
A bit curious is the starting position for the young eagles of EC iDM VSV before the duel with UECR Eisbären Huben on Saturday in Steindorf. With only one game played and the associated victory against Spittal, the Villach team laughs from the top of the table, although the Hornets and also Althofen have completed three and two games respectively. Sure, the table is still not very meaningful, but Head Coach Günther Lanzinger’s team showed in the opener against Spittal that they will play a strong role in Group South with fast and technically good field hockey. Huben, similar to Velden, is struggling with the fact that there is still no ice at home in East Tyrol for regular training. The new Head Coach Silvio Trojer is nevertheless very satisfied with the preparation and the attitude of his cracks and is eager for the opener against VSV.
Silvio Trojer, Head Coach UECR Eisbären Huben: “The preparation for the season was not easy, because we still have no ice in Huben. However, in many off-ice units from August and ice trainings in Radenthein and Toblach, we still made the best out of this situation from my point of view. Particularly worth mentioning here is the incredible attitude of the players in connection with willingness to travel, overnight stays and all the associated expenses. We were always able to train with four lines. Therefore, you can see what attitude is in this team. If you analyze the training and preparation games more closely, you can see that things are going in the right direction. In terms of potential, we are currently at about 80%, so there is still room for improvement, but you can always improve. We have a balanced squad, which also includes some U20 players. The development of young players and the individual improvement of individual players is in the foreground. I also have to mention the great cooperation with co-trainer Stefan Unterweger, who is a great support for me with his professional competence. About the game against VSV: Of course, it’s another assessment for us. I expect VSV to be a fast and strong team. It will also be crucial to see how we cope with the pace. The international break in the ICE and ALPS must also be taken into account, which of course plays into VSV’s hands somewhat in terms of squad depth. But if we play up to our current potential – coupled with our existing experience – we can certainly keep up with VSV. For me, however, VSV is still the favorite, if only because of the greater playing experience and the training advantage, especially on the ice.”
Group North-East: WEV fights against EV Zeltweg Murtal Lions
Wiener Eislauf-Verein expects EV Zeltweg Murtal Lions on Saturday at the Leithana ice rink in Bruck an der Leitha. For the Viennese, this game is the last home game in Lower Austria for the time being, after which there will be four home games in the atmospheric setting of the Wiener Eislauf-Verein at Vienna’s Heumarkt from November 26. Most recently, the team of player-coach Mario Kubeczka celebrated a narrow 3:2 victory against the Sharks from Gmunden. In the first duel of the season against the Murtal Lions, the WEV won 6:5 in Zeltweg in overtime. The Styrians had recently lost the derby against Kapfenberg, but according to chairman Christian Mayerl gained the knowledge to be on par with the Kangaroos at five-on-five. Now the lions from the Murtal are eager for revenge against the Viennese, the game is trend-setting for the fight for the playoff places.
Mario Kubeczka, player-coach Wiener Eislauf-Verein: “The first game against Zeltweg was an open exchange of blows. Such a game will await us again on Saturday in front of our home fans. Zeltweg has a good squad and excellent veterans in their ranks. We must manage to keep their key players under control, then we’ll see what comes out in the end. In no case we will hide. With passion and fighting spirit we will give everything to decide this game for.”
Christian Mayerl, chairman EV Zeltweg Murtal Lions: “The first derby against Kapfenberg we have unfortunately lost. Too much offered and too little exploited what was offered to us. But we have seen that we can keep up with Kapfenberg, are on eye level in five-on-five. That’s exactly what we want to take with us against WEV and increase our efficiency in Bruck an der Leitha. It will certainly be a very difficult game on the smaller ice surface, an advantage for the Viennese, who already showed last season that they can handle it. The Lions will fully oppose and take revenge for the first round to stay in the fight for second place!”
UEHV RAUCH Technology Sharks Gmunden wants first points against UHT Dukes Graz
UEHV RAUCH Technology Sharks Gmunden will face UHT Dukes Graz in the north-east group of the Ö Eishockey Liga on Saturday. The Sharks from Traunsee have not yet registered this season, with five defeats in five games. In the narrow 2:3 defeat against WEV last weekend, the return of goalie Rudi Hummel had provided stability in the defense. The Upper Austrians are also playing well up front, with chairman Thomas Schatzl lamenting the lack of chances. Graz had their last match on October 29, with the victory at WEV the Dukes from the Styrian capital have created a good starting position for the fight for a playoff spot. After the duel against the Sharks, the first highly anticipated Graz city derby against ATSE awaits next Wednesday.
Thomas Schatzl, chairman UEHV RAUCH Technology Sharks Gmunden: “On Saturday comes with the Dukes the next opponent in our hall, against which three points are possible in any case. Unfortunately, our closing weakness still haunts us this season. We play fast and create good chances, but that’s usually it. Seven goals in five games is simply too few. In any case, we will try everything to finally win at home on Saturday.”
Matchday Group West
HC TIWAG Innsbruck – The Sharks II vs. SC SAMINA Hohenems
Fri., November 11, 2022, 19:00, TIWAG Arena
WSG Swarovski Wattens Penguins vs. HC Kufstein
Fri., November 11, 2022, 19:30, Alpenstadion
VEU Feldkirch vs. EHC Crocodiles Kundl
Sat., November 12, 2022, 7:30 p.m., Vorarlberghalle
Matchday Group North-East
Wiener Eislauf-Verein vs. EV Zeltweg Murtal Lions
Sat., November 12, 2022, 3:15 p.m., Eishalle Leithana Bruck an der Leitha
UEHV RAUCH Technology Sharks Gmunden vs. UHT Dukes Graz
Sat., November 12, 2022, 6:15 p.m., Eishalle Gmunden
Matchday Group South
1. EHC Althofen vs. ESC SoccerZone Steindorf
Sat., November 12, 2022, 15:15 h, Stadthalle Althofen
EC iDM VSV vs. UECR Polar Bears Huben
Sat., November 12, 2022, 18:00, Ossiacher See Halle Steindorf
EC LiWoDruck Spittal vs. USC Pirates Velden
Sat., November 12, 2022, 6:15 p.m., Eis-Sport-Arena Spittal