Archive for Aut – UPC Vienna Capitals

Red Bull Salute Quarterfinal – Eisbaeren Berlin Battle Back But Fall To Vienna Capitals In Overtime Heart-Breaker


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UPC Vienna Capitals’ highly-experienced defenseman ANDRE LAKOS (64), the 33-year-old rearguard who has represented Austria at nine major international tournaments (52 ga, 7 go, 15 pts) including the 2002 Winter Olympic Games in his career, battles for the puck along the boards with Eisbaeren Berlin center T.J. MULOCK (15), the 27-year-old veteran of Germany’s 2010 Olympic squad who ranked second among all players with 12 points in the qualification round of the European Trophy competition, during the quarterfinal match of the 2012 RED BULL SALUTE – EUROPEAN TROPHY FINALS contested at the Albert Schultz Halle in Vienna.
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A controversial goal late in the second period and a power play strike in overtime for the home side canceled out a courageous rally pulled off by the guests in the third period as surprising Austrian side UPC VIENNA CAPITALS defeated two-time defending German champion EISBAEREN BERLIN in overtime 3-2 at the quarterfinal stage of the RED BULL SALUTE – EUROPEAN TROPHY FINALS.

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UPC Vienna Capitals’ seasoned Canadian legionnaire FRANCOIS FORTIER (15), the 33-year-old left wing who spent eight seasons in Germany’s Deutsche Eishockey Liga primarily with the Hamburg Freezers before leaving for Austria in the summer of 2010, eludes a pair of would-be checkers from Eisbaeren Berlin during the closely-contested quarterfinal match of the 2012 Red Bull Salute – European Trophy staged at the Albert Schultz Halle.
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From the very first drop of the puck, the host Austrian side UPC VIENNA CAPITALS, the current leaders in the Erste Bank Eishockey Liga, came right at their German guests EISBAEREN BERLIN, the two-time defending champion of the Deutsche Eishockey Liga who won the inauguaral edition of the European Trophy with their triumph at the Red Bull Salute final tournament in early September of 2010, with a great deal of both commitment and energy in front of their home fans at the Albert Schultz Halle.

Swedish import MARCUS OLSSON, Canadian legionnaire JOSH SOARES and the aging, former National Hockey Leaguer BENOIT GRATTON all had excellent opportunities in the first period to get their name on the scoresheet in the first period for UPC Vienna Capitals but would be stopped by Eisbaeren Berlin’s Germany national team goaltender ROB ZEPP. The flow of play in a penalty-filled opening session was, for the most part, discernably going in that of the home side’s favor. It was not until roughly five minutes remained until the first intermission when Eisbaeren Berlin finally enjoyed a high-quality scoring chance, but star Canadian legionnaire DANNY BRIERE fired wide from prime real estate between the two faceoff circles.

Officially speaking, the home side skating in front of passionate supporters at the Albert Schultz Halle ended up with a 13-9 edge in the shots-on-goal category for a first period which saw eight penalties evenly divided between the two teams, as well.

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Eisbaeren Berlin’s star Canadian legionnaire DANNY BRIERE, the exiled Philadelphia Flyers right wing who was making his debut in the 2012 European Trophy tournament since having fled the National Hockey League’s “Lock-Out” situation in North America, is confronted by Swedish import MARCUS OLSSON of the UPC Vienna Capitals, the summer signing from Norwegian club IK Sparta Sarpsborg who ranks third on the Austrian club with eleven goals in all competitions this term, during the quarterfinal match of the 2012 Red Bull Salute – European Trophy Final held at the Albert Schultz Halle.
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Swedish trainer TOMMY SAMMUELSSON’s side continued hustle and skate hard after the first intermission. But Eisbaeren Berlin, who fell in overtime in their last domestic match before heading to Vienna for the Red Bull Salute tournament, also came into the contest a little more, for their part, in the middle frame Albert Schultz Halle. American trainer DON JACKSON’s team, however, did very little with the power play time it was awarded after the 35-year-old Gratton, who led UPC Vienna Capitals in scoring with 35 points (12 goals) from 37 games in all competitons going into the 2012 Red Bull Salute – European Trophy Finals, was assessed a double-minor for high-sticking at the 7:46 mark of the second period.

In fact, Eisbaeren Berlin shot themselves in the foot and wiped out two minutes of that man-advantage situation when Germany Olympic veteran T.J. MULOCK, the 27-year-old center who paced Jackson’s club in scoring with 40 points (12 goals) from 34 games in all competitions this season entering the 2012 Red Bull Salute – European Trophy Finals, was escorted to the sin bin on a hooking charge exactly thirty seconds past the halfway point of the quarterfinal engagement.

The visitors were able to effectively able to kill off the penalty when American import JIMMY SHARROW, the Eisbaeren Berlin rearguard who headed into the Red Bull Salute – European Trophy Finals having led all defensemen with five goals scored in the qualification round, was sent off for hooking at the 36:21 mark of the quarterfinal match at the Albert Schultz Halle.

As for the contest, itself, this particular occasion was shaping up to be the quintessential ‘goaltenders’ duel’ as the time continued to tick towards the second intermission.

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UPC Capitals Vienna’s imported American DAN BJORNLIE (28), the former University of Wisconsin defenseman who signed to skate at the Albert Schultz Halle in the summer of 2007 after spending most of his five seasons of German professonal hockey in the 2.Bundesliga, stands ready as the puck flies towards Canadian legionnaire MATT ZABA, the former Colorado College netminder who was chosen in the eighth round (# 231 overall) of the 2003 NHL Draft by the current Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings.
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Eisbaeren Berlin goaltender ROB ZEPP, the native Canadian who was chosen in the fourth round (# 99 overall) of the 1999 National Hockey League Draft by the Atlanta Thrashers and then picked, once again in the fourth round (# 110 overall), at the 2001 NHL Draft by the Carolina Hurricanes, had a stellar qualification round in the 2012 European Trophy tournament; Zepp appeared in six contests (1.50 avg) while turning aside 203 of 212 shots faced for a sparkling .958 save percentage and registered shutouts in his last two matches against Finnish side Karpat Oulu and Swedish club HF Lulea.
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But suddenly, just twenty-three seconds after Sharrow had been released from the penalty box, the controversial moment which changed the entire complexion of the tense quarterfinal manifested itself quite literally out of nowhere.

American import DAVID LUNDBOHM, the former University of North Dakota winger who is skating with his third club this 2012/13 season after being sent out on loan by Swedish second division club IK Vasteras, still has not registered a point for UPC Vienna Capitals in ten Erste Bank Eishockey Liga contests this term since arriving from Finnish second division club Tu To Turku.

But the 32-year-old journeyman, who spent the 2005/06 campaign with the Providence Bruins (72 ga, 17 go, 45 pts) in the American Hockey League and the following year with the Straubing Tigers (51 ga, 10 go, 26 pts) in the Deutsche Eishockey Liga before moving on to Nationalliga B side SC Langenthal in Switzerland, sent a seemingly harmless-enough puck towards the front of the net. Meanwhile, Soares, the former University of Maine left wing who spent the 2009/10 season in the German D.E.L. with the Kassel Huskies (56 ga, 16 go, 56 pts) before transferring to Swedish club HC Vaxjo Lakers, was standing in front of the net and the little black disc somehow re-directed itself behind Zepp and into the Eisbaeren Berlin net. It certainly appeared to be the sort of splendid back-heel strike that any professional footballer in Europe worth his salt would have been proud of.

The Swedish match referees ULF RONNMARK and MARCUS VINNERBORG dutifully consulted with the video equipment at the bench area and then, astonishingly enough, awarded UPC Vienna Capitals a pivotal goal with just 1:16 left in the second period.

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UPC Vienna Capitals’ Canadian legionnaire JOSH SOARES and American import DAVID LUNDBOHM (68) celebrate in front of the Eisbaeren Berlin net after scoring the all-important first goal of the quarterfinal match during the Red Bull Salute – European Trophy Finals contest at the Albert Schultz Halle.
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Although the shots-on-goal had been relatively even (23-22 in favor of UPC Vienna Capitals) over the first forty minutes at the Albert Schultz Halle, it was now the visiting Eisbaeren Berlin who were left to chase the game when the two clubs emerged for the final period. The visitors got yet another power play when UPC Vienna Capitals left winger ZDENEK BLATNY, the 31-year-old import from the Czech Republic who once skated 25 NHL games (3 go, 0 as) for the Atlanta Thrashers and Boston Bruins, went to the penalty box for hooking only 1:56 into the final frame. Once again, however, organized and disciplined defending from the home side as well as continued ineffectiveness with the man-advantage by the guests saw another golden chance go by the boards.

Now forced to press their attack, Eisbaeren Berlin lost control of the puck along the boards in defensive zone to the NHL veteran Gratton and the 35-year-old Montreal native made the visitors pay dearly. An immediate and accurate pass found DANIEL WOGER, the 24-year-old summer signing from Graz 99ers who has appeared in just 13 of 30 Erste Bank Eishockey Liga contests and boasts all of a solitary assist this term, in the slot. Woger, with all the accurancy of a genuine Torjaeger, though, snapped a wrister just over the glove of Zepp and into the upper corner of the net to score his very first goal of the season a little over six minutes in.

With the 2-0 advantage at their back, the UPC Vienna Capitals and their boisterous supporters could now smell the upset victory … not that the guests were prepared to merely pack up and go straight back to Germany, though.

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Eisbaeren Berlin right wing LAURIN BRAUN (12), the youngster who previously scored a goal for the German capital city club in the 5-3 triumph over Swedish side HV 71 Jonkoping in the ultimate match at the 2010 Red Bull Salute – European Trophy Finals, was instrumental in sparking a third period rally against hard-hitting UPC Vienna Capitals in the quarterfinal match of the 2012 Red Bull Salute – European Trophy Finals contested at the Albert Schultz Halle in the capital city of Austria.
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Indeed, Eisbaeren Berlin responded quickly and halved the deficit less than a sixty seconds later. Canadian legionnaire JAMIE ARNIEL, the 23-year-old who spent the last three seasons skating for the Providence Bruins in the American Hockey League before signing with the two-time defending D.E.L. champions this past summer, moved the puck ahead for LAURIN BRAUN on the rush. A fabulous centering pass from the 21-year-old right wing found MADS CHRISTENSEN all alone at the far left post and an effective finish from the Denmark international gave the guests brand new life.

A second goal in as many games for the suddenly in-form Christensen, who also netted for Eisbaeren Berlin in their last domestic match opposite his old club Iserlohn Roosters, as well; the up-lifting tally was also a second strike in this 2012 European Trophy tournament (9 ga, 2 go, 6 pts) for the 25-year-old Danish import, who has recorded just three goals and six points in 21 D.E.L. games for the reigning German titlists this term.

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Eisbaeren Berlin center MADS CHRISTENSEN (60), the Denmark international who totaled 10 goals and 26 points from 51 games in all competitions for the German capital city club last season, scored a massive third period goal against host UPC Vienna Capitals during the quarterfinal match of the 2012 Red Bull Salute – European Trophy Finals held at the Albert Schultz Halle.
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Eisbaeren Berlin would completely dominate the last ten minutes of the quarterfinal match at the Albert Schultz Halle, but UPC Vienna Capitals’ Canadian legionnaire goaltender MATT ZABA, who was inked to a contract by the Austrian capital city club this past summer after capturing the Italian Serie A title with HC Bolzano last season, was busy proving himself to be an entirely different netminder than the one who had posted a save percentage of .874 from five appearances (3.26 avg) in the European Trophy qualification round earlier this term in the late summer and fall.

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Eisbaeren Berlin’s Canadian legionnaire DARIN OLVER (40), the native of Burnaby, British Columbia who was taken in the second round pick (# 36 overall) by the New York Rangers at the 2004 National Hockey League Draft but never played professional hockey in North America, is halted by the Vienna Capitals’ Canadian legionnaire netminder MATT ZABA (1), the native of Yorkton, Saskatchewan, who made one appearance (3.53 avg) for the New York Rangers during the 2009/10 NHL campaign before signing with Italian club HC Bolzano at the conclusion of that season, during the dramatic Red Bull Salute quarterfinal match at the Albert Schultz Halle in the capital city of Austria.
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Eisbaeren Berlin continued to desperately search for an equalizer and would go on to outshoot UPC Vienna Capitals by the wide margin of 17-7 in the third period but were continuously frustrated by the in-form Zaba. The hosts clearly adopted all-out defensive tactics, as well, and were caught icing the puck on several occasions after Christensen’s goal before the guests called time out with 1:48 to go. The American trainer Jackson had no real alternative, then, at the Berlin bench — Eisbaeren were forced to pull their goaltender in lieu of an extra skater.

Eisbaeren Berlin were rewarded for their risk-taking when a wild scramble for the puck materialized with less than a minute to play. Canadian legionnaire DARIN OLVER, the former Northern Michigan University center who has only played nine matches (4 go, 8 pts) in the Deutsche Eishockey Liga this 2012/13 campagin on account of a crippling hip injury suffered earlier, was on hand to bulge the back of the net for the visitors. A first goal on Olver’s first appearance in the European Trophy tournament all season long dramatically brought the visitors level 2-2 with just 47 seconds left in the contest.

And so, unlike the other three quarterfinal matches at this 2012 Red Bull Salute – European Trophy Finals tournament co-hosted by Bratislava and Vienna, this one matter in Austria between the current Erste Bank Eishockey Liga leaders and the visiting club who have won the German title six times in the last eight years would require overtime to settle.

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Eisbaeren Berlin leading scorer T.J. MULOCK (15) looks for a shot to come in the direction of UPC Vienna Capitals’ Canadian legionnaire MATT ZABA, the one-time New York Rangers goaltender who would finish with 37 saves and be formally selected as the most valuable player of the Austro-German contest by tournament officials, during the dramatic quarterfinal match of the 2012 Red Bull Salute – European Trophy Finals held at the Albert Schultz Halle in Austria.
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The hosts got a huge break in overtime when the Swedish match referees decided to penalize Eisbaeren Berlin blueliner CONSTANTIN BRAUN, the sixth round pick (# 164 overall) at the 2006 NHL Draft of the Los Angeles Kings, off for hooking Olsson, the 26-year-old UPC Vienna Capitals center who hails, of course, from Sweden … it was a questionable call to make, in the opinion of some, at the 1:48 mark of extra-time but there it stood.

With overtime already being a four-on-four situation, Eisbaeren Berlin were, thus, required to defend shorthanded with just three skaters. It was, ironically enough, a fourth shot of the extra session that did the trick for the UPC Vienna Capitals, then. There was nothing the triangular trio of the visitors — Christensen, Sharrow and defenseman JENS BAXMANN — could do to prevent the decisive point shot from getting through traffic to elude Zepp, who ended the riveting contest with 31 saves.

So it was the veteran Austria international ANDRE LAKOS, the 33-year-old defenseman who has skated for clubs in Canada, Germany, Russia, Sweden as well as the United States over the course of his long and well-traveled career, who became a real big hero with his overtime goal for the hometown UPC Vienna Capitals in the 2012 Red Bull Salute – European Trophy Finals quarterfinal match witnessed by 4,950 spectators at the Albert Schultz Halle.

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Austria international defenseman ANDRE LAKOS (64), the third round choice (# 95 overall) of the New Jersey Devils at the 1999 National Hockey League Draft who spent two and a half seasons skating with the Albany River Rats in the American Hockey League several years ago, appeared in 27 Deutsche Eishockey Liga contests (2 go, 14 pts) for Koelner Haie before transferring to UPC Vienna Capitals in January of 2012.
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PLAYERS OF THE GAME : UPC Vienna Capitals vs Eisbaeren Berlin
Quarterfinal Match … 2012 Red Bull Salute – European Trophy Finals
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3 stars — Matt ZABA, UPC Vienna Capitals
2 stars — Josh SOARES, UPC Vienna Capitals
1 star —– Rob ZEPP, Eisbaeren Berlin

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Red Bull Salute – Eisbaeren Visit Vienna’s Albert Schultz Halle


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The current Erste Bank Eishockey Liga leaders, UPC VIENNA CAPITALS, and the visiting two-time defending Deutsche Eishockey Liga champion, EISBAEREN BERLIN, participate in the traditional “pre-game skate” just prior to the quarterfinal contest of the 2012 Red Bull Salute – European Trophy Finals at the ALBERT SCHULTZ HALLE in the capital city of Austria.
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The ALBERT SCHULTZ HALLE in the beautiful Danubian city of VIENNA is one of two venues, with the Slovakian metropolis of Bratislava being the other, that are hosting this year’s installment of the RED BULL SALUTE – EUROPEAN TROPHY FINALS.

The Albert Schultz Halle in the Kagran District of Austria’s national capital will be the site of two quarterfinal matches, including the big Austro-German border battle between the hometown UPC Vienna Capitals and the traveling Eisbaeren Berlin, as well as one of the semifinal matches to be held in conjunction with the decisive stage of the Euroepan Trophy tournament.

The two successful teams advancing to the Final of the 2012 Red Bull Salute will meet in Bratislava on Sunday, December 16.

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The project to build the Albert Schultz Halle, commisssioned by the city of Vienna, itself, at the original cost of 20.5 million Euros, formally started when construction began in 1989. The motivation for this decision by the local authorities had been the fact that the Danubian city had been awarded the right to host the 1996 edition of the annual World Championships by the International Ice Hockey Federation but only on the condition that a modern ice rink be made available. The construction process, itself, took quite some time to complete as the first official ice hockey match between now-bankrupt CE Wien and EPC Kapfenberg was not held until January of 1995.

Originally, the Albert Schultz Halle had a capacity for just 4,500 spectators. The athletic arena was maintained and operated by a Viennese municipal department for the first few years of its existance. Then, in May of 2009, the newly-arrived professional ice hockey club in town, the Vienna Capitals, signed a profitable lease with city auhtorities and also have been handling the ice rink’s operations ever since.

In February of 2009, the Erste Bank Eishockey Liga club revealed its plans to expand the Albert Schultz Halle to a capacity in the neighborhood of seven thousand spectators. Construction for the grand expansion began at the conclusion of the 2008/09 ice hockey season and was finished for the the beginning of the 2011/12 campaign. In addition to room for almost twice as many patrons, a new parking garage was built near the facility and several new video screens were added inside the ice rink, itself.

The total cost of these latest renovations to the largest ice rink in the capital city of Austria, which does boast a considerable public skating schedule, are thought to be in the ballpark of around 30.0 million Euros.

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The new version of the Albert Schultz Halle has now has the ability to hold an official total of 7,022 spectators. However, as the above photograph helps to show, the sections behind the goal at both ends of the largest ice hockey rink in the capital city of Austria are of the standing-room-only variety.

As the regular readers already know, this is actually the blog’s second ‘trip’ to the Albert Schultz Halle in Vienna this season.

To help celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the Oesterreichischer Eishockey Verband (OEHV), the ruling body of ice hockey in Austria, the national teams of neighboring Oesterreich and visiting Detuschland met in an international friendly match earlier this season. The visiting Germans staged a third-period rally to win that contest 4-3 in front of some 2,500 spectators. Eisbaeren Berlin were represented by starting goaltender ROB ZEPP, defensman FRANK HOERDLER as well as forward ANDRE RANKEL on the triumphant German squad in Vienna that day.

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UPC Vienna Capitals – Scouting Report


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UPC Vienna Capitals’ Canadian legionnaire goaltender MATT ZABA, the Colorado College product who made one NHL appearance for the New York Rangers during the 2009/10 campaign and won the Italian Serie A championship last season with HC Bolzano, stacks the pads to deny Slovan Bratislava center ROMAN KUKUMBERG (16), the fourth round pick (# 113 overall) of the Toronto Maple Leafs at the 2004 NHL Draft who has represented Slovakia at three major international tournaments (22 ga, 1 go, 3 pts) in his career, during the European Trophy match earlier this season at the Albert Schultz Eishalle in Austria.
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UPC VIENNA CAPITALS currently sit atop the 12-team Erste Bank Eishockey Liga standings, although only as a result of the triumph over disappointing EC Red Bull Salzburg just two days prior to the start of the 2012 RED BULL SALUTE – EUROPEAN TROPHY FINALS tournament. Swedish trainer’s TOMMY SAMUELSSON’s club do lead Croatian club Medvescak Zagreb by three points but also have now played one more match than their nearest E.B.H.L. competitors. UPC Vienna Capitals, a relatively-new club who were founded in the year 2000, actually began the 2012/13 domestic league season by winning eleven of their first baker’s dozen contests.

The pace of the Austrian club has dropped off considerably, although UPC Vienna Capitals have won their last two E.B.H.L. contests after just having suffered through a nasty four-game losing streak.

Samuelsson’s team, unlike the two-time defending German champion Eisbaeren Berlin squad that the UPC Vienna Capitals must face in the quarterfinals at the 2012 Red Bull Salute, did not have to formally qualify for the European Trophy’s final tournament — this was because the city of Vienna was slated to be one of the two hosts for this year’s Red Bull Salute, of course.

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EC Graz 99ers right wing THOMAS VANEK (20), the former University of Minnesota star goal-scorer currently locked-out by the NHL’s Buffalo Sabres, and UPC Vienna Capitals’s imported American defenseman COREY POTTER, the one-time Michigan State University blueliner who contested 62 NHL games (4 go, 21 pts) for the Edmonton Oilers last season, during an Erste Bank Eishockey Liga match earlier this term.
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UPC Vienna Captials had been strengthened by the addition of a National Hockey League player who became available as a result of the “Lock-Out” situation on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean. American defenseman COREY POTTER skated in 17 E.B.H.L. matches (1 go, 4 pts) for Samuelsson’s club and even scored a goal against Czech Republic side HC Sparta Prague for UPC Vienna Capitals on his only appearance in the European Trophy. But, for whatever reason, the 28-year-old rearguard decided that Austria was just not for him and, therefore, departed after playing his last E.B.H.L. contest for the club on November 30.

UPC Vienna Capitals have also been hampered by the loss of Canadian legionnaire JONATHAN FERLAND, the one-time Montreal Canadiens forward who still leads the Austrian club in scoring at the 2012 European Trophy tournament with six points (two goals) despite missing the last two games of the ‘qualifying’ round; the 29-year-old right wing, who was chosen by Montreal in the seventh round (# 212 overall) of the 2002 NHL Draft and later skated seven NHL games (1 go, 0 as) for Les Habitants during the 2005/06 campaign, had also totaled 12 points (six goals) in 18 E.B.H.L. contests for the Vienna club this term before going down injured.

Most recently, the trainer Samuelsson has been forced to cope with the loss of another fairly productive forward, the imported American TONY ROMANO. The sixth round pick (# 178 overall) of the New Jersey Devils at the 2006 NHL Draft, who put in a season with Cornell University before heading north of the border to play Canadian junior hockey, has also been out injured the past six E.B.H.L. matches on the trot and will not appear at the upcoming 2012 Red Bull Salute tournament. Thus, Romano (7 go, 17 pts in E.B.H.L. this season) will not skate in the quarterfinals at the Albert Schultz Halle in Vienna against his teammate with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers in the American Hockey League last season, Eisbaeren Berlin’s Canadian legionnaire defenseman Mark Katic.

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UPC Vienna Capitals’ aging center and team captain BENOIT GRATTON (25), the Montreal native who was selected by the Washington Capitals in the fifth round (# 105 overall) of annual NHL Draft way back in 1995 and later skated 58 NHL games (6 go, 16 pts) for the Capitals, Calgary Flames as well as Montreal Canadiens before originally crossing the Atlantic Ocean to sign with Swiss Nationalliga A club HC Lugano in the summer of 2004, controls the puck during the European Trophy match against visiting Finnish club JYP Jyvaskyla at the Albert Schultz Halle in the capital city of Austria earlier this season.
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Both figuratively as well as literally, the UPC Vienna Capitals are led on the ice by veteran Canadian legionnaire BENOIT GRATTON. The 35-year-old, former NHL center and team captain tops the Austrian club with 33 points (ten goals) in the E.B.H.L. this season and forms an effective partnership with his countryman, FRANCOIS FORTIER. The 33-year-old left wing, who leads with eleven goals and is tied for second in scoring with 28 points for UPC Vienna Capitals in the E.B.H.L. this term, was a teammate of Gratton for three seasons with the Hamburg Freezers in Germany’s Deutsche Eishockey Liga previously, it should be remembered.

Usually, the right wing on the top line for Sammuelsson’s club is RAFAEL ROTTER, the 26-year-old, former Canadian junior hockey player who appeared in all six games for Austria (1 go, 1 as) at the 2011 IIHF World Championships in Slovakia; Rotter has registered 22 points (five goals) from 26 games in all competitions for UPC Captial Vienna this term.

Another top producer for UPC Vienna Capitals is Canadian legionnaire JOSH SOARES, the University of Maine product who is level on points with Fortier in the E.B.H.L.; the 30-year-old, summer signing from Swedish Elitserien club HC Vaxjo Lakers is second on the Austrian club with five points (one goal) in the European Trophy tournament this season.

The third-leading marksman with 11 goals in all competitions for UPC Vienna Capitals this term is Swedish import MARCUS OLSSON, the 26-year-old center who was signed from Norwegian club IK Sparta Sarpsborg this past summer. Samuelsson’s club also feature veteran ZDENEK BLATNY, the 31-year-old import from the Czech Republic who selected by the Atlanta Thrashers in the third round (# 68 overall) of the 1999 NHL Draft and later skated 25 NHL games (3 go, 0 as) for the Thrashers and Boston Bruins. As in the case of the Swede Olsson, the Czech Blatny was also brought on board by UPC Vienna Capitals in the off-season, from Austrian club Graz 99ers.

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UPC Vienna Capitals trainer TOMMY SAMMUELSSON, the former defenseman who represented Sweden at nine major international tournaments (71 ga, 1 go, 10 pts) in his career including both the 1984 and 1988 Winter Olympic Games for two-time silver medalist Tre Kronor back in his playing days, has been in charge of the Austrian club since leaving Swedish Elitserien club BK Farjestad Karlstad in the summer of 2011.
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The blue line corps of UPC Vienna Capitals is anchored by veteran ANDRE LAKOS, the former 3rd round choice (# 95 overall) of the New Jersey Devils at the 1999 NHL Draft who has appeared at nine major international tournaments (52 ga, 7 go, 15 pts) for Austria in his career. The 33-year-old defenseman is well-traveled, having spent four-plus years in the American Hockey League while also appearing for BK Farjestad Karlstad in Sweden as well as Russian club Traktor Chelyabinsk of the Kontinental Hockey League. Lakos, who joined UPC Vienna Capitals at the tail end of the last season after skating with Koelner Haie in the German top flight for most of the campaign, stands fourth on UPC Vienna Capitals in scoring with 27 points in the E.B.H.L. this season.

Canadian legionnaire JAMIE FRASER, the 27-year-old who skated one NHL game for the New York Islanders during the 2008/09 season and was signed from Slovenian club Olimpija Ljubljana this past summer, competes the other half of the top tandem for UPC Vienna Capitals.

Aging American import and assistant captain DAN BJORNLIE is another important asset at the back for UPC Vienna Capitals. The former University of Wisconsin rearguard, who also wore the sweater for Koelner Haie before transferring to German second division club SC Bietigheim-Bissingen in the summer of 2005, has been with the Austrian capital city club after moving on two years after that transaction. Canadian legionnaire ADRIAN VEIDEMAN, the former University of Denver defenseman who spent last season with E.B.H.L. club EHC Linz on the heels of a little over a year with German D.E.L. club Iserlohn Roosters, was added just before the departure of Potter but the difference in overall quality is quite obvious to all familiar with the respective resumes of the two players in comparison here.

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The UPC Vienna Capitals pair of Austria international right winger RAFAEL ROTTER (8) and goaltender FABIAN WEINHANDL (31), the 25-year-old, summer acquisition from Graz 99ers, defend against visiting Czech Republic side HC Chomutov’s youthful attacker ROMAN CHLOUBA (18) during the European Trophy match at the Albert Schultz Halle in Austria.
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UPC Vienna Capitals also happen to deploy defenseman PHILIPPE LAKOS, the 32-year-old, younger brother of Andre who once played for four different clubs (including the Reading Royals) inside two East Coast Hockey League seasons before returning to Europe and has appeared for Austria at six major international tournaments (36 ga, 1 go, 2 pts) in his career.

Canadian legionnaire MATT ZABA, the former 8th round selection of the Los Angeles Kings at the 2003 NHL Draft, has been first choice for UPC Vienna Capitals between the pipes the majority of the time in the E.B.H.L. this season. The 29-year-old who spent the past two seasons with HC Bolzano in Italy has posted impressive numbers (18 ga, 1.97 avg, .930 svpct) in his first Erste Bank Hockey Liga campaign. Zaba has been less than stellar in the European Trophy this term, however.

Another newcomer in net, FABIAN WEINHANDL, has done well for himself in the E.B.H.L. on his dozen appearances (2.00 avg, .931 svpct) but has also been unreliable for UPC Vienna Capitals in Europe thus far.

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UPC Vienna Capitals’ Canadian legionnaire JOSH SOARES (97), the former University of Maine winger who spent the majority of his two professional seasons in North American skating in the East Coast Hockey League with the Alaska Aces before signing with German D.E.L. club Kassel Huskies in the summer of 2010, spent two seasons in Sweden with HC Vaxjo Lakers — one in the Elitserien and the other in the Allsvenskan (second division).

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