The Board of Governors of the Alps Hockey League has finally confirmed the general conditions for a 2020/21 season. A new mode has been drafted, taking into account all government requirements and current challenges in connection with the effects of the coronavirus pandemic in the individual member countries.
Return 2-play games to kick off the regular season
The start of the basic round in the coming season will be marked by six so-called return 2-play games between 3 and 22 October. The 16 participants in the Alps Hockey League have been divided into four regional groups. Within these pools, the teams will meet twice at the beginning of the season to play both legs within a week. The results of both duels are added together. The winner after the addition receives three points. If the overall score is a draw after two games, an overtime follows in the second duel. The winner of this one gets two points, the loser one point. After completion of the return 2-play games, a team can therefore have a maximum of nine points, which are taken into account in the overall table.
Group 1: EC Bregenzerwald, EHC Lustenau, EC "Die Adler" Stadtwerke Kitzbühel, VEU Feldkirch
Group 2: Steel Wings Linz, EC-KAC II, HDD SIJ Acroni Jesenice, HK SZ Olympia Ljubljana
Group 3: HC Pustertal, Red Bull Hockey Juniors, Wipptal Broncos Weihenstephan, Rittner Buam
Group 4: Migross Supermercati Asiago Hockey, HC Fassa Falcons, HC Gherdeina valgardena.it, S.G. Cortina Hafro
The regional duels, which were originally planned for a later date, have been deliberately moved to the beginning of the championship. The derbies at the beginning of the season are intended to compensate for the missing playoffs of the last season and immediately whet the appetite for an exciting championship.
Another 30 games until the end of the regular season
The six return 2-play rounds are followed by a round robin. In this, the teams meet twice, one home and one away game each. In these 30 rounds, points are awarded for victory or success after overtime/shootout and defeat after overtime/shootout according to the classic 3-2-1-0 scheme. Here too, regional duels are set towards the end of the year, international games are increasingly played in January and February 2021.
The teams on ranks one to four after 36 gamedays qualify directly for the quarter finals. The teams in places five to twelve will play the pre-playoffs in "best-of-3" mode.
Playoff starts on March 27th
The final postseason starts on March 27th. Quarter-finals, semi-finals and finals will be played in "best of 5" mode. However, if two Italian teams are in the final series, the champion will be determined by a "best-of-7" series. The last possible ameday in the coming season is therefore 2 May. The final schedule will be announced at a later date.
The most important dates of the 2020/21 season:
- Sat, 03.10.2020: Start of return 2-play matches
- Sat, 24.10.2020: Continuation basic round with 30 games
- Thu, 18.03.2020: last round of basic round
- Sat, 20.03.2020: Start of pre-playoffs
- Thu, 25.03.2020: last game pre-playoffs - playoff pick afterwards
- Sat, 27.03.2020: Start of quarter finals
- Thu, 08.04.2020: Start of the semifinals
- Tue, 20.04.2020: Start of final
- So, 02.05.2020: last possible final game