Anxious looks at the video cube – sports

Serge Pelletier was in a situation in which no coach likes to find himself: he and his team had done their part, but their sporting destiny was no longer in their hands. And it showed in the Augsburg Panthers coach on Sunday afternoon. “It’s obviously not a pleasant feeling,” he said – and he smiled tormentedly. On the 60th and final day of the main round of the German Ice Hockey League (DEL), his team defeated Düsseldorfer EG 3-0, his players overtook him and were celebrated by the home crowd as he was “very satisfied” with his team’s performance.

But this Sunday it wasn’t just about themselves for Augsburg – and that’s why some Panthers players again sat on the bench after the victory lap and looked up at the cube video. There the ERC Ingolstadt away game at the Kölner Haie was recorded, which was not yet finished. Five minutes were still missing – and from Augsburg’s point of view, a goal from Ingolstadt. They would have needed that to take tenth place at the expense of the Haie and thus qualify for the pre-playoffs. But the goal did not fall, the suddenly sad Augsburg had to watch how Cologne celebrated the 0-0 after 60 minutes as a victory. The Panthers finished the main round in eleventh place, a measly 0.03 points behind the Haien in the DEL final table calculated using the points coefficient. The season is over for the Swabians.

EHC Red Bull Munich still secures second place and completes a remarkable race to catch up

This continues for the remaining four Bavarian DEL clubs. And according to EHC Red Bull Munich, it will still be a while. DEL record coach Don Jackson’s team beat the Iserlohn Roosters 5:0 at home and secured second place because the Grizzlys Wolfsburg lost their home game against the Fischtown Pinguins of Bremerhaven 1:4. he Munich team made a remarkable catch-up run, because in mid-February they were still in danger of breaking out of the top six and therefore direct places in the quarter-finals, they were already 15 points behind Wolfsburg. Since the end of the Olympic break, however, they have really stepped up and scored the most points of any DEL team in that span.

The last weekend of the main round was representative of this: two days before the clear victory against Iserlohn, they won 6-0 in Düsseldorf. Munich’s Norwegian keeper Henrik Haukeland kept a clean sheet in both games, with all eleven EHC goals of the weekend coming from ten different players. The only one to double was Zach Redmond – a defender. His team is “definitely” ready for the playoffs, EHC striker Maximilian Kastner said on Sunday. “We wanted to be hot at the end of the season. We want to take that momentum with us and make the most of it.”

Fourth-placed Straubing Tigers meet Adler Mannheim in playoff quarter-finals

The second Bavarian team that is already in the quarter-finals is the Straubing Tigers. For Lower Bavaria, who played no games on Sunday, it was already clear on Friday that they would finish fourth in the main round and meet Adler Mannheim in the quarter-finals of the playoffs – just like last season. The quarter-final duels begin on April 10. For ERC Ingolstadt and the Ice Tigers of Nuremberg, the pre-playoffs continue on Tuesday. The Upper Bavarians finished the main round in seventh place, just ahead of the Franconians, who won 5-4 after a penalty shootout at Schwenninger Wild Wings. The Ingolstadt side, who lost 1-0 in extra time in Cologne, must face Kölner Haie again in the best of three rounds, Nuremberg meets Düsseldorf. Both Ingolstadt and Nuremberg have home rights in a possible all-important third game.

The Augsburgs entered the final matchday in twelfth place in the table. They needed a three-pointer against Dusseldorf and hoped Ingolstadt would win at Cologne in regulation time and Bayern would get at least one point against Iserlohn. Augsburg’s experienced defender Henry Haase wanted to get away from all the math before the game. “I know the constellations, but I don’t care about any of that now. We only have three points, we can’t influence what happens elsewhere,” he explained – before adding: “We are all excited.” That became clear after just 26 seconds when Slovenian defender Blaz Gregorc made it 1-0 for the Panthers and Curt Frenzel Stadium quickly became euphoric. Chad Nehring made 2-0 (28th) in the “most important game of the year” (quoted by David Stieler) and when Vincent Saponari made 3-0 (42nd) at the start of the last third (42nd) , it was clear that the Panthers were going to win their game would do some of the work. But that was not enough.

Munich will now take a close look at what Ingolstadt and Nuremberg will show in the pre-qualifiers. Because the two Bavarian rivals are potential quarter-final opponents for them. “We hope,” Kastner said, “that we haven’t fired the powder yet.” A phrase the Augsburgers would have been only too happy to use on Sunday.


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