Sportivi Ghiaccio Cortina has already locked up their two top scoring players for the 2017-18 Alps Hockey League season. Ontario Hockey League grads Riley Brace and Zack Torquato have signed for one more year with the Italian club. Torquato and Brace were previously teammates in the ECHL with the Wheeling Nailers.
Riley Brace started 2016-17 in Germany’s DEL2 but after 12 games with the Ravensburg Towerstars, he moved over to Cortina. Playing just over half the regular season schedule with SGC, Brace put up extremely good numbers with 17 goals and 28 assists for 45 points over 22 games. He added seven goals and four assists in seven playoff games as Cortina fell in the semi-finals.
Riley played five years in the OHL from 2008-09 to 2012-13, all in Mississauga. For his first four years, the team was named the Majors and in his final season, the name changed to the current Steelheads. At the 2008 OHL Priority Selection, Brace was taken in the second round by Mississauga, 28th overall.
Over his Ontario Hockey League career, Brace crossed the 300 regular season game plateau, playing in 304. He scored 89 and assisted on 145 for 234 points. In 48 playoff games, he added 35 points.
Torquato played five years in the OHL from 2005-06 to 2009-10 with the Saginaw Spirit and Erie Otters. The Spirit picked Zack third overall at the 2005 OHL Priority Selection, behind just John Tavares and Mark Katic.
Over his Ontario Hockey League career, Torquato played 330 regular season games, scoring 134 and assisting on 195 for 329 points. In just 13 playoff games, he added 10 points.
A sixth round pick of the Detroit Red Wings at the 2007 NHL Entry Draft, 178th overall, before coming to Italy this past season, Zack’s pro career was spent in the AHL and ECHL.
Sportivi Ghiaccio Cortina is coming off a fifth place finish in the 16 team Alps Hockey League in 2016-17. The team fell in the semi-finals. This was the first year of the AlpsHL, combining teams from Italy’s Lega Italiana Hockey su Ghiaccio (LIHG) and Austria’s Inter-National Liga.
Cortina was last champions in the LIHG in 2006-07. The team plays home games at the 2,700 seat Stadio Olimpico Del Ghiaccio in Cortina D’Ampezzo, Italy.