DGermany’s national ice hockey players are counting on an increase in the number of spectators at the next games of the Deutschland Cup in Krefeld. “Of course we hope that more will come at the weekend,” said striker Daniel Schmölz from the Nuremberg Ice Tigers after the 3: 2 (1: 1, 1: 1, 0: 0) after extra time against Denmark at the start on Thursday evening.
Schmölz scored the decisive goal in the fourth minute of overtime. The man from Nuremberg had already scored in regulation time together with Marc Michaelis from the Swiss team SCL Langnau. Anders Koch from the Aalborg Pirates and Nicolai Meyer from Red Bull Salzburg were successful for Denmark.
Officially, the German Ice Hockey Federation announced 1,680 spectators. In fact, there were probably significantly fewer in the hall. Because compared to last year, when only 1560 spectators were announced for the first game against Russia, only around half of the spectators were there on Thursday.
“As soon as the puck is on the ice, you try to hide it,” said Schmölz. “We try to give everything. Whether it was a few hundred or several thousand ago.” In the German Ice Hockey League, the average attendance is currently just under 5,000 visitors.
“For me, fans are an important part of the game. When players fight so hard, they want to reward fans too. Every player wants to play in front of a full crowd,” said national coach Toni Söderholm, who will play with his team against Austria on Saturday (5:30 p.m., live on Sport1 and MagentaSport) and against Slovakia on Sunday (2:30 p.m., live on MagentaSport). The DEB is currently looking for a new location for 2023. The contract with Krefeld expires.
The focus of the national coach at the Germany Cup is more on the talents or returnees such as Frankfurt’s Dominik Bokk and Cologne’s Maximilian Kammerer, who, after good performances recently in the German Ice Hockey League, got another chance with regard to the World Cup next May in Tampere, Finland. Even then, Germany meets Denmark again in the preliminary round.
Expectations were particularly high for the exceptional talent Bokk, who despite his contract with the Carolina Hurricanes is still waiting for his NHL debut. The 22-year-old, who is currently the third-best DEL scorer as a loan player from Löwen Frankfurt, did not initially do any self-promotion like many others. Since there was little from the Danes trained by former DEL player Heinz Ehlers, the backdrop suited the manageable level on the ice. In terms of speed and intensity, there was still a lot missing.