The final round of the IHL-Serie A ended last Saturday with a narrow defeat (1:2) against HC Asiago. With this result, the Venetians secured the Scudetto, while the blue-reds were left with the second place. In the Master Round, the Rittner Buam lost both their last games: first on February 3rd against Jesenice (2:3) and two days later against Asiago (3:5). In order to reach the Alps Hockey League playoffs in the best possible position, the Rittner Buam must urgently win points.
Already on Thursday evening (start at 8 p.m.) against ECH Lustenau the hockey players from the South Tyrolean plateau are aiming for a victory. "Lustenau is a very physical team, very fast and has a good power play. For sure it will be a difficult game, in which we will have to give our best", Stefan Quinz analyzes the upcoming guests at the Ritten Arena. In the regular season the Rittner Buam faced the Vorarlberg team twice and both games ended with a South Tyrolean victory. In November, Santeri Heiskanen's team won 7:3 at the Ritten Arena, while a month later they triumphed 0:4 on the road - the statistics, therefore, speak in favor of the Rittner Buam. Quinz is also convinced: "We have to play our way, so we will be ready."
Two days later the Rittner Buam will be engaged in an away game in Val di Fassa. Against the Falcons the Rittner Buam have already played a Master Round game, which was won 2:0 by the blue-reds. "In this season Fassa has become a top team and in the Master Round game they made us sweat," says Marco Marzolini, who expects a game "with great intensity and a high pace", against the team in which he grew up. Also in this case the statistics speak in favor of the Rittner Buam, who had put their seal on the challenges against Fassa in the regular season with two victories (5:2 and 4:2). Most likely the Ritten Buam will have to do without Frei and Ramoser.
Alps Hockey League - Master Round 21/22
Thursday, February 17 - 8 pm, Ritten Arena
Rittner Buam - EHC Lustenau
Saturday, February 19 - 8.30 pm, Palaghiaccio Fassa
SHC Fassa Falcons - Rittner Buam
Photo: Max Pattis