By Martin Merk – IIHF.com
THE MEN’S ROSTER
After the German Ice Hockey Association had shortlisted 30 candidates last week, the final roster of three goaltenders, eight defencemen and 14 forwards has been announced today by the German Olympic Sport Association today.
After having missed the Olympics for the first time in over six decades in Sochi 2014, the German men’s national team will be back for PyeongChang 2018 after winning its qualification tournament. For former NHLer Christian Ehrhoff it will be the fourth Olympics, for Marcel Goc the third and for Dennis Endras the second participation while all other players have never played at the Olympics before.
“We have a good mix of experienced players,” said head coach Marco Sturm after the last cut. Several players have had more than 100 national team games including Yannic Seidenberg (147), Felix Schutz (132), Marcus Kink (128), Patrick Hager (122), Moritz Muller (121), Frank Hordler (116), Christian Ehrhoff (110) and Marcel Goc (104).
16 of the 25 nominated players were part of the German national team that competed on home ice in Cologne during the 2017 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship where the team reached the quarter-finals.
“It’s important that a big part of the team has played together and knows our system. Opposed to the World Championship we only have three preliminary-round games so the team play has to work from the first game on,” Sturm says looking to the group-stage games with Finland, Sweden and Norway as opponents – a strong group as he calls it. “But we want to try to annoy the big ones.”
All 25 players join from the German DEL led by champion EHC Red Bull Munich with seven players and Adler Mannheim with six.
Goaltender Mathias Niederberger, defencemen Konrad Abeltshauser, Sinan Akdag and Justin Krueger as well as forward Stefan Loibl didn’t make the final cut and are listed as “on demand” for the Olympics.
The German team will convene on 3rd February for a camp in Fussen. On 6th February they will travel to Switzerland for an exhibition game against the host in Kloten before flying to Korea the next day.