MIERCUREA CIUC, Romania – Romania is 27th in the IIHF World Ranking, while Hungary will play with the 16 elite nations at the IIHF World Championship, but the joint league of the neighbouring countries was won by a Romanian team this year.
After two Romanian teams played in the Hungarian league last season – with a second-place finish for HC Miercurea Ciuc – the MOL Liga was created with teams from both nations.
Six teams from Hungary and four from Romania played a 36-game regular season before a best-of-three semi-final and the best-of-five final.
Only Hungary’s Alba Volan Szekesfehervar, which plays in the Austrian league, was missing. The club was represented in the MOL Liga with a second team and finished in last place.
The two top teams came from Romania’s hockey hotbed as HC Miercurea Ciuc and SC Miercurea Ciuc were the best squads.
HC Miercurea Ciuc, coached by Finn Timo Lahtinen, won 30 games in the regular season and ended the playoffs undefeated, winning the final series against SC Miercurea Ciuc 5-2, 6-3 and 5-3.
Former AHL player Arpad Mihaly was the best scorer of his team with 40 goals and 39 assists in 39 games and was only be topped by SC Miercurea Ciuc’s Swedish forward Patrik Sigvard Wallenberg, who had 50 goals and 31 assists and was named the league MVP.
Best goalkeeper: Björn Wallberg (Budapest Stars)
Best defenceman: Igor Rufus (Ujpest Budapest)
Best forward: Arpad Mihaly (HC Miercurea Ciuc)
All teams will return to their respective national leagues, which will crown the national champions of Hungary and Romania. The games between the Hungarian teams in the MOL Liga also count towards the national championship.
Final ranking: 1. HC Miercurea Ciuc (ROU), 2. SC Miercurea Ciuc (ROU), 3. Ujpest Budapest (HUN), 4. Budapest Stars (HUN), 5. Dab Dunaujvaros (HUN), 6. Steaua Bucharest (ROU), 7. Ferencvaros Budapest (HUN), 8. Progym Gheorgheni (ROU), 9. Miskolc JJSE (HUN), 10. Alba Volan Szekesfehervar (HUN).