Spanish league backs to old good time

Spanish league backs to old good time

17 Sep 2011 | Davide Tuniz

Liga Nacional Top 6 starts today with all six traditional teams

Spanish hockey regains after some years a tradicional hockey cradle as Vitoria/Gasteiz for the next Liga Nacional starting this Saturday and didn't lose any team, not a common event at this latitude, despite last year runner-up FC Barcelona was in doubt for all summer, after the management decision to cut budget for every minor sports, even if all Barcelona hockey roster probably costs Lionel Messi's one day of salary. But fortunately the decision was partially revised and blaugrana entered in the league with a local players roster and a couple of import-students from north Europe, along with long-time captain, Ukranian Danylo Didkovsky. Barcelona lost star goalie Anders Alcaine to French Briançon and Ukranian Vitaly Kulikov (to Donbas Donets'k), but repatriate sniper Juan Munoz from Puigcerdà and keeps promising defender Oriol Boronat. While SAD Majadahonda, as usual, and newcomer Escor Bakh Vitoria/Gasteiz (until last season called Sumendi Gasteiz in 2nd league) bet on local youngster and some veteran as Ukranian goalie Andrei Karaschuk, champion CH Jaca is again unquestionable favourite, keeping all top players and replace its last season imports - American Jamie McKenna and Canadian Nicolas Constantineau and Mathieu Ouellette - with another almost unknown Canadians - defender Simon Foley and forwards Maxime Martineau and David Brousseauwith at first stint in Europe, again under the command of expert coach Bill Wilkinson. Traditional arch-rival CG Puigcerdà continues its process of renovation alligning a short roster with long-time captain Salva Barnola as main star and, as usual in Puigcerdà, two imports from Czech Republic: goalie Lukas Smolka and experienced forward Libor Pavlis. Basque Txuri Urdin San Sebastian, again with French coach Jean Michel Lutaud, signed American striker Adrian Sosa from Barcelona, but lost Gavilanes brothers, Andoni and Txetxu, to Escor Bakh. This season tradicional Liga Pirenaica was cancelled due to renunciation of French Anglet Hormandi, so teams will play a double home/away round robin with first four qualified for playoffs semifinals at best of three and final best of five. U20 League was cancelled for lacking of teams, while second division will count with five teams - Milenio Logroño, C.H. Granada, C.H. Boadilla Madrid, S.A.D. Majadahonda B, C.H. Valdemoro - without automatic promotion to Liga Nacional Top 6.
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