Asiago is the new Italian champion

Asiago is the new Italian champion

10 Apr 2015Lucas Bradelj»

With a 4:2-win in Game 7 of the final series against Ritten, the Lions from Asiago win their 5th ‘scudetto’ in club history. It was also the last game in the career of legendary Italian defenceman Michele Strazzabosco.


In the all-decisive Game 7 the ‘stellati’ were missing Enrico Miglioranzi, injured during Game 6. On Asiago’s positive note, topscorer Sean Bentivoglio came back from Canada in time after the birth of his daughter. Ritten could put their full roster on the ice.

Asiago, supported by a fantastic crowd in the sold out ‘Stadio Odegar’, had a power play situation at the beginning of the game. They could not score in those two minutes, but shortly after Jason Ulmer found the first goal of the game deflecting DeVergiglio’s shot. Ritten tried to find an answer, but veteran forward Luca Felicetti could not beat Vincenzo Marozzi. In the 13th minute Sean Bentivoglio created a good chance for the home team. He could not score on Weinhandl, it did not take long for Kevin DeVergiglio to score the second goal for Asiago, also this time on a deflection.

Still in the first period, Ritten proved their ambitions do defend the title. 38 year old defenceman Ingemar Gruber, assisted by Patrick Rissmiller, was able to beat Marozzi with a one timer on the 2 man advantage. Just 33 seconds later and the South Tyoleans even found the equalizer, as Eric Johansson deflected Gruber’s shot into the net. With those two goals the score was tied at two going into the first intermission.

In the second period Asiago had the majority of the chances, but also Ritten was dangerous with Dan Tudin. For Asiago Nigro, Tessari and Iori had the biggest chances, all denied by Fabian Weinhandl.

The final 20 minutes of the season began with a great scoring chance for the Lions. In the 42nd minute Andreas Alber had no other option than to hold Kevin DeVergliglio and the referee gave the penalty shot signal. DeVergiglio tried to beat Weinhandl on the five hole, but the Austrian goalkeeper playing for the ‘Rittner Buam’ was ready for the challenge. Asiago kept pressuring, but neither Nigro, nor Borelli could give their team the lead.

In the 49th minute Sean Bentivoglio was smartly sold a ‘high stick’-penalty and so defenseman Christian Borgatello had to sit on the penalty box. He did not need to sit for two minutes though, as Asiago-captain David Borrelli found the third goal for the ‘Leoni’. Scott Hotham shot from the blue line and Borrelli perfectly deflected the shot, giving Weinhandl no chance to stop the puck.

The ‘Rittner Buam’ tried to come back and also created some chances. Borgatello missed the puck on gorgeous pass by Simon Kostner and in the 55th minute Gruber hit the post with one of his feared slapshots. Coach Marty Raymond opted to bring in the 6th player, but it did not pay off, as DeVergiglio ensured the 5th scudetto in club history for Asiago Hockey 1935. 4 national titles in the last 6 seasons let no doubt, that the winning mentality has taken over in Asiago.

Michele Strazzabosco and David BorrelliOne player, who has been a part of all 5 ‘scudetti’ is Michele Strazzabosco. There is no greater way to celebrate an end of a career other than with a championship title and so it was him, together with captain Borelli, to first touch the cup.

Strazzabosco during his career was a player hated by his opponents, but the kind of player every team wishes to have on their roster. Also on the international level, Strazzabosco’s accomplishments speak for themself. Italian hockey fans will always thank him for his goal against Slovenia at the IIHF World Championships in 2006, which saved Italy from relegation. His tying goal in 2010 against Canada also stands out as a great moment of an amazing career. Known as a rough and tough player, his fight as a Milano Viper against Bolzano’s Carlye Lewis also needs to be mentioned.

Photos: / Roberta Strazzabosco.

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