Adolf Insam has long since digested the worst defeat of the current season. The sports director of Renon analyzes with cold mind the 1:8 defeat against the Italian champions Asiago: "Games like this can happen in ice hockey. Our team fought, you cannot blame them for that. But there were many individual mistakes and pucks lost in our zone, with which we practically invited Asiago to go to the goal. I am convinced that coach Heiskanen has made the necessary adjustments and that against Cortina and Kitzbühel we will see a completely different performance."
Against S.G. Hafro Cortina on Thursday night starting at 8 p.m. the Rittner Buam will play to get some important points, not only in the Alps Hockey League. The points will also be valid for the Italian maximum championship. With three points, the blue-reds would be second in the standings and would ensure the access to the semifinal. The Ampezzani, however, are in good shape: they have won four of the last five games and are eighth in the cross-border championship. Ivo Machacka's team had also won 4:1 the first game against the Rittner Buam and could celebrate its sixth triumph in the last seven direct clashes with the blue-reds. The overall balance is more balanced, with 74 victories to 72 in favour of the Renon's team (11 are draws).
Two days later, at 6 pm, the EC Die Adler Stadtwerke Kitzbühel will be the guest at the Ritten Arena. The Austrian team is living a deep crisis. After having had the best start of the season in its history in the Alps Hockey League with 19 points in 10 games, in the following eleven games the Charles Franzen team won only one match and scored only 4 points. In September, the first game of the Tyrolean derby went to the Rittner Buam who won 1:0 at the Sportpark after the extra time. MacGregor Sharp closed the game for the South Tyroleans only 19 seconds before the end of the overtime. The statistics are clearly in favour of the Rittner Buam who have won 12 of the 13 games played so far.
As far as the roster is concerned, Santeri Heiskanen will not have the whole team available yet. Among the recently absent players, Kevin Fink and Philipp Pechlaner will probably return. In all likelihood Stefan Quinz, MacGregor Sharp and Manuel Öhler will be given some time to recover, while Adam Giacomuzzi and Jakob Prast are still committed with the Under 20 national team.
Alps Hockey League 2021/22
Thursday, December 9 - 8 pm Ritten Arena, Collalbo
Rittner Buam - S.G. Hafro Cortina
Saturday, December 11 - 6 pm, Ritten Arena, Collalbo
Rittner Buam - EC Die Adler Stadtwerke Kitzbühel
- HDD SIJ Acroni Jesenice 54 points/22 games
- EHC Lustenau 46/22
- Rittner Buam 43/21
- Migross Supermarkets Asiago Hockey 42/18
- Red Bull Hockey Juniors 42/26
- HC Gherdëina valgardena.it 37/22
- EK Die Zeller Eisbären 35/21
- S.G. Cortina Hafro 32/22
- EC-KAC Future Team 32/27
- EC Bregenzerwald 30/18
- HC Meran/o Pircher 29/20
- SHC Fassa Falcons 25/21
- Wipptal Broncos Weihenstephan 24/18
- EC Die Adler Stadtwerke Kitzbühel 23/21
- Steel Wings Linz 23/21
- BEMER VEU Feldkirch 14/21
- Vienna Capitals Silver 12/21
Photo: Max Pattis