Ice hockey champions Eisbären Berlin: A title that was two years in the making

Leo Pföderl first had to take a moment to reflect. And then follow up again. “That thing there, or what?” the Eisbären Berlin striker asked the interviewer and pointed his hand to the side. There was the trophy that had just been presented to him as the most valuable player in the final series in the German Ice Hockey League (DEL), but Pföderl didn’t want to claim it for himself. It was “a team thing anyway,” he said.

On Friday evening, the Eisbären expanded their record collection in the DEL: Thanks to a 2-0 win at the Fischtown Pinguins, they secured the tenth championship in the club’s history in Bremerhaven and started the celebrations for their third title in the last four years. Could such a team be called a dynasty selection? “I’d be happy to,” said Pföderl, shrugging his shoulders and laughing. The striker, who scored an impressive four goals and seven assists in the final series, ended the interview with club TV in the finest Bavarian: “I just don’t want to celebrate now.”

With Aubin as coach, the Eisbären have yet to lose a playoff series

The anniversary title came after a special year: Last season, as the reigning champions, the Berliners completely unexpectedly missed the playoffs and were even in relegation trouble at times. They still stuck with coach Serge Aubin, who had led them to the championship in each of the previous two seasons. This decision paid off.

“The boys took it very seriously from day one,” said Aubin at the moment of triumph. This success is special, it feels “as if it was two years in the making.” With the title, Aubin also knitted into his personal playoff myth: Since he took over as coach of the Eisbären in the summer of 2019, the Berliners have not lost a playoff series.

Olympic Ice Sports Center

:End of the Ice Age

The ice stadium was the first arena to be built in the Olympic Park, and after 57 years the era is now irrevocably ending. A journey through history, with FC Bayern, freezing table tennis players and crazy dogs.

By Christian Bernhard, Joachim Mölter and Johannes Schnitzler

Jake Hildebrand doesn’t yet have Aubin’s title routine, but the Eisbären goalkeeper made a big contribution to the success in his first year in Berlin. “If we hadn’t had Jake, we wouldn’t be standing here,” said national player Jonas Müller about his goalkeeper, who was only defeated twice in the final and therefore decisive three finals. “Mission accomplished,” said Hildebrand after his first title in the DEL – mission accomplished.

It became clear early in the season that this mission would be possible. Nuremberg’s experienced coach Tom Rowe emphasized after the sixth matchday that Berlin was working “so incredibly hard” as a team this year. That, he emphasized, was the biggest difference from the previous season. The Eisbären missed first place in the main round on the last matchday against Bremerhaven, but in the playoffs they switched to unstoppable mode. After a 1:7 home defeat in the first quarter-final game against Adler Mannheim, they won twelve of the following 14 playoff games – and they did so with confidence.

“I said after game one against Mannheim that we would win the championship in 15 or 16 games,” revealed Jonas Müller as he stood on the Bremerhaven ice on Friday with the gold medal around his neck and a beer in his hand. In the end there were 15 games in total.

The Berliners are also compensating for the loss of a top striker

The Berliners won four games in a row against both Mannheim and Bremerhaven. Marcel Noebels, one of their top strikers, missed the last three final games due to injury. “We simply found each other,” said Müller, who, together with captain Kai Wissmann, was one of the beacons of the reliable Eisbären defense. In addition to Pföderl, Ty Ronning, the most successful goalscorer in the playoffs with eight goals, and Noebels (14 points scorer in twelve games) also stood out offensively. “It worked quite well for me in the final, before that the others scored,” was Pföderl’s final report: “If not everyone is there, you won’t win.”

Everyone was there to celebrate anyway. After a night in Bremen, the team was welcomed by their fans at the arena at Berlin’s Ostbahnhof on Saturday afternoon. The official championship party will take place on May 1st. This all fits well into Pföderl’s plans. Ideally, he said in Bremerhaven, he would now “party for a whole week”.

Source link

Leave a Comment