Before CHL – Eurohockey presents Klagenfurter AC

Before CHL – Eurohockey presents Klagenfurter AC

23 Aug 2015Lucas Bradelj»
 

Also 4 clubs from Erste Bank Eishockey Liga will participate in this year’s edition of the Champions Hockey League. Eurohockey tries to make sure you know the teams competing this season. This time we take a look at Klagenfurter AC.

 
 
 
 

KAC, as the team is usually called, is the most successful hockey club in Austria. With 30 national championships won, the last one in 2013, they have a lot of tradition and history to look back to. Though, in the last two seasons success has lacked in the self-declared ‘hockey capital of Austria’.

Despite having one of EBEL’s most expensive teams in both seasons, in 2014 KAC did not even make the playoffs and also in 2015 it only squeezed into a playoff spot at the finish line. In the post-season they saved their season, as the ‘Red Jackets’ were able to overcome Orli Znojmo in 6 games and qualify for the semi-finals, but were immediately stopped by Salzburg. Still, judging from the quality of the roster and the history of this club, no one in Klagenfurt is satisfied without a championship trophy at the end of the season. Now, with a strong start in CHL the ‘Red Jackets’ want to set a stone for a more successful season.

The star on the team is forward Jamie Lundmark. The 34 year old center, who can look back at 301 games in the NHL and 54 appearances in the KHL, possesses all abilities which mark a forward as ‘dangerous’. The former 9th overall draft pick will though need more offensive support as in the past two seasons and so much is expected from Jean-Francois Jacques, who picked up 33 points in 53 games last season. The Austrian national team players Thomas Koch, Oliver Setzinger and Manuel Ganahl also possess enough experience to bring back the winning mentality back to Klagenfurt . Newly acquired Swedish player Jonas Nordquist will also be a key player on KAC’s road to success.

On defence the ‘Rotjacken’ do not lack depth, as players such as Jason DeSantis, Marc Popovic or Mike Siklenka are proven players. Captain and former NHL-player Thomas Pöck will also be relied on heavily by coach Doug Mason.

In net Rene Swette, the hero of 2013’s playoff push, and Pekka Tuokkola will again provide a strong goaltending tandem and give the team a chance to be competitive against Kosice and Red Bull Munich.

It will definitely be interesting to see whether KAC, founded in 1909, can carry the momentum from the past playoff run or will again be faced with the same difficulties as in the regular season.

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