There was a lot going on in front of Sam Harvey (hidden in the Bolzano goal). © HKO/Domen Jancic

In the Bolzano comeback: Sam Harvey is left in the lurch

His return was so longed for by fans. On Sunday the time had finally come: Sam Harvey made his comeback at HC Bozen. But his team let him down in the away match in Ljubljana.

The 2024 calendar year has so far been a rollercoaster ride for HC Bozen. After the derby defeat against Pustertal, the Foxes showed an impressive reaction against Fehervar earlier this week, only to fall back into old patterns on Sunday. Against HK Olimpija, the frighteningly harmless team from Bolzano lost 0-3.

For the HCB, the match at Hala Tivoli was marked by the return of Sam Harvey. The outstanding goalie from last season is supposed to be the new savior after his return to the Foxes and played his first match on Sunday. The 60 minutes in Slovenia brought two Harvey insights. Number 1: The Canadian is a reinforcement for Bozen, he seemed confident, moved quickly and also showed one or two great reflexes. And even if his lack of match practice was still visible when he conceded his third goal (surprised on the short cross corner), Harvey is a top goalie.

39 shots, no goal

But the second insight that the game brought is much more important: Harvey alone will not be able to solve HC Bozen's problems. In defense, the Foxes were, as they have often been in the past, disorganized, sluggish and often a step too slow against the lively Olimpija attackers. The offensive performance was even more hair-raising: Bozen shot at goal 39 times, but not a single puck found its way into the net. Brad McClure, Dustin Gazley, Christian Thomas & Co. – they all disappointed across the board.

Pascal Brunner (front) had a difficult time. © HKO/Domen Jancic

Bolzano absolutely has to give itself a boost, build self-confidence, bring in continuity - otherwise things will get tricky. The Foxes still have to worry about the top 6 (direct playoff entry). Daniel Frank & Co. are currently in 7th place, two points behind the Black Wings Linz.

The highlights

That hurtsPoor Domenico Alberga! Bozen's fourth-line attacker gets a puck right in the face and writhes on the floor in pain (11th). In the second third, the brave Italian-Canadian returns to the ice.
Left aloneSam Harvey is let down by his front men: Maris Bicevskis plays to Miha Zajc, who is completely alone two meters in front of the Bolzano goal and makes it 1-0 (15th).
Caught badlyWhen Olimpija switches, it's usually a step too fast for Bolzano. Ex-Bozen player Ziga Pance plays sharply into the middle, where Davis Vandane loses sight of Ziga Mehle - and somehow his shot slips through Harvey to make it 2-0 (20th).
It doesn't want toBozen runs in vain for two thirds and is also unlucky. Blake Parlett hits the post shortly before the end. Olimpija attacker Ziga Pance did better by surprising Harvey on the short cross corner and making the final score 3-0.

The next game will once again be a benchmark: On Friday, Bolzano will face Fehervar at home. HC Pustertal visits Villach on the same evening.

HK SZ Olimpija – HCB Südtirol Alperia 3:0

HKO: Horak (Hebar); Masic-Pavlin, Ronkainen-Dodero, Cosic-Magovac, Stojan-Povse; Zajc-Bicevskis-Gooch, Mahkovec-Simsic-Leskinen, Pance-Predan-Mehle, Sturm-Bercic-Vodlan
Coach: Karhula

HSBC: Harvey (Vallini); Valentine-Vandane, Teves-Di Perna, Miglioranzi-Parlett, Pietroniro; Frank-Ford-Thomas, Halmo-McClure-Gazley, Frigo-Mantenuto-Miceli, Felicetti-Alberga-Brunner
Coach: Hanlon

Gates: 1:0 Miha Zajc (14.06), 2:0 Ziga Mehle (19.26), 3:0 Ziga Pance (55.27)

Viewers: 1.430

The other games

Graz99ers – Black Wings Linz 3:2 aet
Goals: 1:0 Ograjensek (9.22), 1:1 Kristler (17.48), 2:1 Krastenbergs (37.44), 2:2 Mitsch (46.50), 3:2 Krastenbergs (61.31)
Audience: 2.224

Red Bull Salzburg – Klagenfurter AC 4:1
Goals: 1:0 Bourke (7.50), 2:0 Nissner (18.01), 2:1 Bischofberger (38.12), 3:1 Raffl (59.20), 4:1 Harnisch (59.51)
Audience: 3.000


1. Klagenfurt3724013132:8874
2. Salzburg3725012111:8773
3. Fehervar3824014127:10673
4. Villach3721016127:10962
5. Innsbruck3721016109:10262
6. Linz3719018121:9461
7. HCB South Tyrol3721016100:9659
8. HC Pustertal3719018109:10257
9. Olimpija Ljubljana3717020111:11550
10. Vorarlberg3815023119:12946
11. Vienna Capitals371302494:13939
12. Asiago Hockey361102592:13935
13. Graz99ers371102674:12032

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