League 1 South Mid Season Review
The race for the League 1 South 2016-17 league title looks to be the most hotly contested of all our leagues as no team has gone unbeaten through the first six games.
Currently sitting top of the table is the Waterford Vikings, last years League 1 South champions. Backstopped by Marek Kosar and with a solid lineup throughout they are in prime position to take the title again. However, they know they will have they work cut out and will likely have to go unbeaten in the second half of the season and will be looking for Stanislav Skorepa to continue his scoring streak.
Right on tails of the Vikings is the West Coast Pirates who are currently just one point behind and too will like their chances for the title. Vincent Hornak in the Pirates net is yet another example of one of the number of young goalies making their mark. Michal Holub currently leads the team in scoring and will be a key player down the stretch but perhaps the biggest asset they have is the depth in scoring that they possess.
A further point back but with a game in hand is the Clare Waves who won League 1 West last year. Roman Kralovanec and Tomas Pastorek are the key scorers for the Waves while in nets Lucia Ondrejova has once again put in a number of great performances and continued on from her all-star award last season. The Waves are right in the title race and will be looking to make the most of their game in hand.
A point behind the Waves in fourth spot in the Waterford Shadows and are also well and truly in the title race. They will look towards league leader Lucian Verkin to continue to lead the way on the scoring front. While to have a real shot at the title they will need more production from depth scorers and improve their defensive record.
Then just outside the top 4 is the Galway Bay Lightning who will be looking to finish strong and finish inside a playoff spot. Gatis Vinnins currently leads the team in scoring but may soon make the jump to Elite League full time as he approaches his game played limit. If that happens then it may be a difficult end to the year for the Lightning who will need more from their depth players also.
Returning this season after a few years absent is the Kilkenny Bandits who started their return well with a win but have been winless since. The Bandits will look to put in some good performances in the remaining games and could cause an upset or two and have an impact on the league title.
Currently sitting in last place and winless through the first half of the year is the Clare Badgers who have been short benched for every game to date. This being only their second year of league play they appear to be improving each and every game day and should look to keep that up over the rest of the year.
Photo courtesy of West Coast Pirates.