Asiago sweeps Milano to qualify for the finals

Asiago sweeps Milano to qualify for the finals

19 Mar 2015Lucas Bradelj»

The Italian Serie A playoffs are underway and one finalist has already been determined. HC Milano Rossoblu had the chance on home ice to stay alive, but Asiago showed no mercy sweeping Milano thanks to a 5:2 road-win in Game 4. In the 2nd semifinal series two South Tyrolean clubs, HC Pustertal and Ritten Sport, are tied at 2.


It took some time for the experienced lineup of HC Asiago to get rolling in the playoffs. Asiago, coached by former national team member John Parco, did not convince in the quarter finals, as they needed Game 7 to eliminate the 8th seeded Pirates from Appiano/Eppan. Though, they proved doubters wrong in the semifinals by winning 4 in a row against Milano and securing them a spot in the finals. With goalkeeper Vincenzo Marozzi being an assurance in net again, and some other key players such as Michele Strazzabosco, Scott Hotham and especially Anthony Nigro back to normal form again, it will be a tough team to beat in the finals for whoever challenges them.

For Milano on the other side ends a good season. It was the first time in 7 years that hockey fans in Milano, who are probably the loudest in the league, could see a Serie A semifinal series. Alex Caffi, who came from INL-champion Neumarkt/Egna, proved to be a solid goalkeeper also in Serie A and the offensive pairing Nicola Fontanive and Davide Vallorani were dangerous against every opponent. In order to aim higher goals in the future, Milano though needs to work on their depth. Aquiring 21-year old talent Alex Frei from Caldaro/Kaltern before the start of the playoffs was a good move, but definitely not enough to keep up with the “Big 3” in the top Italian league (Asiago, Pustertal, Ritten). Resigning with coach Pat Curcio, who played a big role in Milano’s success this season, was surely a first postive step to make Milano a contender again.

In the other semifinal pairing, each team has won one road and one home game so far. Ritten, considered the slight favourite in this series despite finishing 3rd in the regular season, gained the lead in Game 1 thanks to a 3:2 shootout victory in Bruneck/Brunico. The Wolves tied the series on the road and used the momentum to win Game 3 on home ice, led by a great Jerry Kuhn in net. Ritten stroke back making it a Best-of-three series. Eric Johansson had the game winning goal in this one.

Serie A playoffs 2015

Quarter Finals

Hockey Asiago – HC Appiano
Best-of-seven: 4:3 (3:4, 3:2 OT, 5:2, 1:5, 6:2, 4:5, 4:2)

HC Pustertal – WSV Sterzing
Best-of-seven: 4:1 (7:3, 1:3, 1:0, 1:0 OT, 4:1)

HC Gherdeina - Ritten Sport
Best-of-seven: 0:4 (3:5, 1:2, 0:3, 3:6)

Hockey Milano Rossoblu - HC Valpellice
Best-of-seven: 4:1 (2:1 OT, 3:0, 5:2, 3:5, 3:2 OT)

Semi Finals

HC Pustertal - Ritten Sport
Best-of-seven: 2:2 (2:3 SO, 4:3, 4:1, 2:3 OT)

Hockey Asiago - Hockey Milano Rossoblu
4:0 (5:2, 4:1, 3:2, 5:2)

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