The Straubing Tigers celebrate their first two CHL home games – Sport

The spoilsport par excellence had the fans of Straubing Tigers easily spotted – and not on the ice. “No virus destroys our dream. Blue and white makes history,” read the banner that stretched across the entire curve of the ice stadium at the Powder Tower. Actually, the Straubing Tigers would have gone on a European tour in the 2020/21 season when they had qualified for the Champions Hockey League (CHL) for the first time a few months earlier. But that CHL season fell victim to the corona pandemic. The Tigers environment was all the more euphoric when coach Tom Pokel’s team qualified again for the CHL in the spring of this year.

Last weekend, the Tigers were finally able to offer their home crowd CHL ice hockey – two years late, so to speak. And the Straubingers celebrated their first two home games: the expected 3-2 win on Friday against Comarch Cracovia from Kraków was followed by an impressive 5-2 win over the Swedish champions Färjestad BK on Sunday, which after the final siren “Oh, how is it that triggered beautiful” chants in the audience. Before the game, Pokel made it clear how important this victory should be when he described the Swedes as “one of the three best teams in Europe”.

The Tigers and the city of Straubing had made a real effort to give their CHL premiere a festive setting. In the summer, the CHL Cup was flown in for a day and a fan festival was held for the first two home games. Even the city tower shone in the CHL colors and logo for one evening.

Coach Pokel takes “very valuable material” from the first leg

The euphoria all around also reached the team, although they were in a “tunnel”, as Pokel put it. This focus on the game was there from the start on Sunday. Even without Mike Connolly, one of their formative playmakers, the Tigers started the game focused. Parker Tuomie (1st) and Travis St. Denis (3rd) appeared alone in front of the visitors’ goal early on, but were denied by Färjestad goalkeeper Matt Tomkins. The 1-0 lead was then taken by Jason Akeson with a powerful outnumbered shot (15′). Tuomie also put the disc on the net shortly afterwards – but with the helmet on, and since that in the ice Hockey is not allowed, the narrow lead remained – which was gone shortly before the end of the period because Remie Elie made it 1-1 with a deflection (18th).

Unlike a week earlier at the guest appearance in Sweden, when the Tigers also took a 1-0 lead, but then lost clearly 1:6, the Lower Bavarians remained stable on Sunday. The “very valuable material” that their trainer Pokel had brought from the far north was well processed. Luke Adam (28′) and captain Sandro Schönberger (33′) scored in the middle third with a rebound, Adam also outnumbered (39′). The “strong mix of speed and technique” that Pokel feared in the Swedes rarely shone as the Tigers were close to their opponents and defended rigorously in front of goalkeeper Hunter Miska. Schönberger, who before the start of the CHL had spoken of “pure pride” to be able to take part with Straubing, made everything clear with a goal into the empty goal (58th). With their third win in the fourth group game, the Tigers drew level with Färjestad in Group F on points. In the two final group games against Villacher SV they have the best chance of making it through to the round of 16.

EHC Red Bull Munich also wins its fourth group game

EHC Red Bull Munich has already taken this step. The CHL regular guest also won their fourth group game on Saturday, beating the Slovakian record champions Slovan Bratislava 5-1. Coach Don Jackson’s team took the lead in Group C. “Ben Street’s line caught fire,” Jackson commented with a smile after the formation of Street, Frederik Tiffels and Andreas Eder scored eight points against Slovan.

After the first intensive CHL block, Straubing and Munich can now focus on the start of the league in the German Ice Hockey League (DEL). The Jackson team starts on Thursday in Cologne, Straubing on Friday at home against the Nuremberg Ice Tigers. Both have already had plenty of positive experiences.

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