New Inter National League to replace Austrian Nationalliga and Slohokej

New Inter National League to replace Austrian Nationalliga and Slohokej

16 Jul 2012 | Davide Tuniz

Finally Austrian and Slovenian clubs find an agreement to save their semi-professional leagues

"We were definitely in a difficult situation. Seven of the eleven Austrian teams from last year for various reasons are no longer there. We want a new championship to plan security for three to five years and create a sporty attractive frame. Between eight and ten teams will participate in this new league" said Austrian Federation Vice-President Peter Schramm during a meeting with Slovenian Federation last Saturday in Villach to introduce the new Inter-National League (INL)

The Federation's desire to keep a semi-professional league as second tier in Austria faced the hostility of the clubs  but finally seems to be realized. Four teams – EHC Bregenzerwald, VEU Feldkirch, EHC Lustenau and EK Zell am See – will join three Slovenian teams: HK Jesenice, Slavija Ljubljana and Triglav Kranj to form the new league. Also on the Slovenian side this will be the best solution after the closedown of Slohokej League due to a quarrel between the Federation and the company running the League.

President Dr. Dieter Kalt was pleased with the outcome of the meeting, considering the new League very positive for the future of Austrian hockey and hopes this will be a long-term solution: "We have here a real step to give new impetus towards the Austria's second highest league. We hope more clubs will decide to join this league in the coming years" - said Kalt

The competition's format was prepared to keep the travel costs as low as possible: six rounds - three home/away - with a total of 36 games per club played in the regular season, each second weekend will be played as a so-called "double weekend". Then playoffs semi-finals and finals all best-of-five. The INL will start the 15th of September 2012, the last game in the regular season takes place on March the 2nd 2013. The fifth game of the playoffs final - if necessary - would be on the 2nd April 2013.
The scoring was set as in the past Nationalliga, with the "three-point rule": three points  for the winner after regular time, two points if teams win at overtime or shootout, one for the loser after regular time.
Transfers are allowed during the season, but only if both teams reach an agreement.

During the meeting it was decided the new League logo, which will be presented at the opening press conference shortly before the championship start in Salzburg. At the same press conference will be signed the multi-year agreement to run the newly formed league between the ÖEHV and HZS.
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