After a convincing 4:0 victory against the Wipptal Broncos Weihenstephan, the sports director of the Rittner Buam looks relaxed towards this week's elephantine schedule: "Against the Vipiteno team we played very concentrated and controlled the game. Only the goals came relatively late. The rest went more than well and makes me confident."
The 'week of fire' will begin on Tuesday, November 23 with a home game against Steel Wings Linz, starting at 8 p.m, at the Ritten Arena. The Linz team is currently 14th with 17 points earned in 16 games. In November, they played four games, losing all of them. On the road, the Upper Austrian team had two victories in seven games. The best scorer is Niko Mikael Lahtinen with 15 points in 16 matches. On paper this is the easiest match of the next three. "However, we can't make the mistake of underestimating Linz, as they are much stronger than they were in the past years and, if we were to approach the match too relaxed, it could create problems for us," urges Insam.
The derbies are not easy
Two days later, the Buam will be guests of the HC Gherdëina at the Pranives stadium (start at 8.30 pm). The Ladins have a good rhythm and have won the last eight league games. They are now in the fifth place in the standings, only one point behind the Rittner Buam. The last defeat of the Gardena team dates back to October 17, a 0:3 against the leader Jesenice. Two months ago, the HC Gherdëina won the first game against the Rittner Buam with a final result of 4:3. In Hannu Järvenpää's team, the first line shines especially with McGowan and Korhonen, who together have scored 59 points.
The third game in five days will take place on Saturday, November 27th, when starting at 6pm, HC Merano will be the guest at the Ritten Arena. The eagles have given a new structure to their roster and have recently put under contract two high calibre Russian players: Gennady Stolyarov and Nikolai Zherdev (436 games in NHL). Then the experts Christian Borgatello and Luca Ansoldi have distinguished themselves with the uniform of the tenth in the standings. The first game in the city on the Passirio river ended in favour of the Rittner Buam with a 4:3 at the shootout, but since then more than two months have passed.
Important points for the Serie A
"The games against Gherdëina and Merano have a double importance, because they also assign significant points to access the playoffs of the Series A. Gherdëina has a good positive series and also against us they will do everything possible to extend it. They don't have only McGowan and Korhonen, also the young players are showing up and scoring. Max Oberrauch, moreover, is improving more and more. In the Merano team there are several ex Buam players, who in the derby will want to give 120%, if not more. It will be a very interesting week and I hope that in the end we will be able to score as many points as possible", Insam concluded.
As far as the Rittner Buam's roster is concerned, during thia week Jari Sailio and Stefan Quinz might return to the team. For the return of Markus Spinell, the fans will probably have to wait another week.
Alps Hockey League 2021/22
Tuesday, November 23, 2021 - 8 pm, Ritten Arena, Collalbo
Rittner Buam - Steel Wings Linz
Thursday 25 November 2021 - 8.30 pm, Pranives Stadium, Selva Val Gardena
HC Gherdëina - Rittner Buam
Saturday, November 27, 2021 - 6 pm, Ritten Arena, Collalbo
Rittner Buam - HC Merano Pircher
- HDD SIJ Acroni Jesenice 47 points/18 games
- EHC Lustenau 40/19
- Migross Supermarkets Asiago Hockey 39/17
- Rittner Buam 34/17
- HC Gherdëina valgardena.it 33/18
- EK Die Zeller Eisbären 32/18
- Red Bull Hockey Juniors 30/21
- EC-KAC Future Team 29/23
- EC Bregenzerwald 28/16
- HC Merano Pircher 26/17
- S.G. Cortina Hafro 24/18
- EC Die Adler Stadtwerke Kitzbühel 22/17
- Wipptal Broncos Weihenstephan 19/15
- Steel Wings Linz 17/16
- SHC Fassa Falcons 16/17
- BEMER VEU Feldkirch 8/17
- Vienna Capitals Silver 6/16
Photo: Max Pattis