After eight months of stagnation and almost a year without an international game, the national players have given ice hockey a step back in Germany.
At the start of the most unusual German Cup in its 33-year history due to the crown, the A-side of the German Ice Hockey Federation (DEB) beat the Olympic prospect team effortlessly 7: 2 (4: 1, 1: 0, 2: 1) without national coach Toni Söderholm.
Yasin Ehliz (9th minute), Marc Michaelis (12th), twice Marcel Brandt (15th / 49th), Colin Ugbekile (18th), Marcel Noebels (33rd) and Markus Eisenschmid (58th) shot in the Krefelder Arena without spectators the gates of the current national team. Only Nino Kinder (3rd), 19, and Haakon Hänelt (58th), from Eisbären Berlin, 17, met for the talent selection overseen by national Under-20 coach Tobias Abstreiter.
Söderholm, infected with the corona virus, was only able to follow his national team’s first game 361 days after the last German Cup 2019 international match against Slovakia via video stream. Its representatives – U18 national coach Steffen Ziesche and Bremerhaven coach DEL Thomas Popiesch – saw a level that could be improved at the start of the tournament. Most players were only able to resume training on the ice recently. “At the beginning, we didn’t have a structure in it. There is certainly still room for improvement, ”admitted double scorer Marcel Brandt of the Straubing Tigers.
After the German ice hockey league season ended in March due to the corona crisis, there was no professional gaming operation in Germany. International matches and the World Cup in May have been canceled. Unlike other sports leagues in Germany or other European ice hockey leagues, the DEL has so far not been able to resume playing without hearing income. “We want to use games wisely to bring the sport to life. We want to continue our daily life afterwards, ”Noebels said before the start.
DEB had also gone to great lengths to revamp their traditional home tournament, which has actually been played with four nations for several years. After some refusals from other teams, only three teams from two nations are participating this year. The third team is Latvia, which will meet the German talents on November 6 (5 p.m. / MagentaSport) and the German team A on November 7 (4:45 p.m. / Sport1 and MagentaSport).
Even games without spectators are a novelty for the DEB which, according to its own press release, lacks 300,000 euros at the box office. However, by hosting the tournament, the association deliberately wanted to set an example in the decisive weeks to come. This weekend, DEL2 and the top third-class leagues also begin their gaming operations. In the coming week, eight of the 14 DEL clubs will be launching a specially created preparatory tournament. The elite league wants to decide on November 19 if they can still start with a season in mid-December.