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Ice hockey: “Like brothers”: DEL champions Berlin celebrate their title comeback

Ice hockey: “Like brothers”: DEL champions Berlin celebrate their title comeback

After a disappointing season, the Eisbären Berlin are back on the throne in ice hockey Germany. There are a few reasons for the tenth DEL title.

The day after the tenth German ice hockey championship, the Eisbären Berlin were celebrated by their fans at home in an open double-decker. In front of around 1,000 supporters in front of their home Uber Arena, the professionals presented the German Ice Hockey League championship trophy they had won the evening before in Bremerhaven and enjoyed the bath in the crowd before continuing to celebrate with their supporters in the arena.

“There is no better feeling,” Leo Pföderl told the German Press Agency after the decisive fourth victory over the Fishtown Pinguins from Bremerhaven. The 30-year-old played a big part in the title. With three goals and eight assists in the final series, he was named the best player. “I would love to celebrate for a whole week now,” he said. The national team striker still has to be patient. The official championship party will take place on May 1st, as the club announced on Saturday.

Pföderl is champion with the Eisbären for the third time after 2021 and 2022. But he was also there in the weak last year, when the title collectors were even in danger of relegation and clearly missed the playoffs. Almost twelve months later, the crowning moment came with a 2-0 win in the fifth final game in Bremerhaven. “We are a close-knit bunch,” said the striker. “We have grown very, very together this season.”

“We deserve this title”

Coach Serge Aubin sensed early on that a title contender had quickly been found again. Instead of replacing the coach after a disappointing round as usual, the polar bears stuck with the former professional. “It didn’t take long and it became clear that this is a very special team,” explained the Canadian. “Like brothers, like in a family with different characters. We are back and we deserve this title.”

National defender Jonas Müller also sees the lessons of the past season as an important point for winning the tenth championship. “We all know that it wasn’t a good year for us,” explained the Berliner. “But we also knew that we had a good team again. We felt from the start that we could fight our way back this season.”

It wasn’t a walk in the park for the Berliners in any playoff round. In the quarter-finals, they were beaten 7-1 by Adler Mannheim in game one. At the start of the final there was a 2:4 in Bremerhaven. After the second final game, national player Marcel Noebels also dropped out. “But we didn’t get nervous,” said captain Kai Wissmann and emphasized: “That’s also part of the quality. We can just carry on playing calmly.”

World Cup in the Czech Republic is coming up

Coach Aubin played a big part in this. “We analyzed really well and drew our conclusions from games like that,” said Pföderl. In the last three finals against Bremerhaven, Berlin’s outstanding keeper Jake Hildebrand only conceded two goals. “From my experience, the defense wins the title,” said Wissmann. “We always have the quality to score a goal ourselves.”

The season is most likely not over for the defender. The World Cup in the Czech Republic is coming up. The Berlin defensive duo with Müller and the Eisbären captain are actually included in national coach Harold Kreis’s national team squad. “I don’t know what the plan is,” Wissmann said. Müller, on the other hand, is a little more offensive. “I want to be there,” said the 2023 runner-up. “But now I want to celebrate and enjoy first. That’s part of a championship. After that, I’ll concentrate on the World Cup,” said the 28-year-old.

Source: Stern

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