(Stavanger Oilers-Manglerud Star 4-3, Sparta-Stjernen 2-3, Ringerike Panthers-Grüner 3-1) Patrick Thoresen (38) is not convinced that the ice hockey season will be completed. In January, his Storhamar must “catch up” four games and play nine in 26 days.
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– I must say that I doubt a little, if we look at the development and listen to professors who have more information than Ola nordmann. It does not look good. I do not feel safe, Thoresen answers the question of whether he thinks the ice hockey top series will avoid a replay of the two previous seasons.
He was probably not strengthened in the belief that it will finally go well after he and the other Storhamar players had to be quarantined as a result of a couple of positive tests on Christmas Eve.
Almost two years ago, the NC finals were canceled when covid-19 “shut down” Norway in mid-March. In January 2021 was canceled for the rest of the season after an outbreak of infection among players in almost all 10 teams in ice hockey’s top series, the Fjordkraft league.
A few days ago, Secretary General Ottar Eide of the Norwegian Ice Hockey Association stated that there is no basis for stopping the 2021/22 season, despite audience restrictions (now 50) and recent outbreaks.
Seventy to eight percent of the players are semi-professionals, many have a wife in a civilian job and children in kindergarten. We can not isolate ourselves. It does not work. There are no new measures beyond those we have had all along, Patrick Thoresen answers the question of whether they practice stricter measures than “before”.
Storhamar postponed matches in early December because many of the team’s players were taken out to the U20 national team’s World Cup squad. Then 12 Lillehammer players were diagnosed with covid-19 infection a week and a half ago, it led to the postponement of the Mjøs derby matches Lillehammer-Storhamar on 28 December and Storhamar-Lillehammer on 30 December.
The first has been moved to January 4, the second to February 22.
This means that Storhamar, according to the current league schedule, will play nine matches in January. In December, Thoresen & co. only two, at home against Grüner on 2 December (2–1) and away against Stjernen on 4 December (3–6).
A month without a league match in the middle of the season is obviously not optimal.
– I guess I will feel very tired and exhausted, as if I was in bad shape – because we have had poor combat training. The benefit can be rested head and body. But I will probably feel a “relapse” after some matches, says Patrick Thoresen with a view to the match program January 4 to 29 – match every third day over 26 days.
– Is it predation?
– It depends on how wide a squad you have. We depend on having at least four rows. It will be a big strain for some players. But I think it is as much a mental strain as a physical strain in such periods. It’s as simple as “taking one day at a time” and not thinking two weeks ahead about what will happen then. I do not want to call it predation, but you want to know it, Patrick Thoresen answers.
Storhamar is after just over half played series in 7th place in the table and has three and four games to spare on the top teams Stavanger Oilers and Fredrikstad team Stjernen.
– I have a hard time seeing that any of the other teams will catch up with the two. I am as surprised as everyone else outside Fredrikstad that Stjernen has been so consistently good. I think they will be in the fight for the league and NM gold, but that the Oilers with their experience – they have been in this situation and position before – will take it in the end, says Patrick Thoresen.