The German national ice hockey team has started preparations for the World Cup in Nuremberg, Latvia. The DEB team attends a one-of-a-kind base camp in the Franconian metropolis.
National coach Tony Soderholm has not been on the gang for more than 14 months. Coaches are all the more ready for the opening shot of the World Cup preparations, even if it involves many inaccuracies. “I am very happy indeed,” Sauderholm said in advance.
Test match against Slovakia and Czech Republic
Their team will initially prepare for two Tests at the Nuremberg Arena, which they will play against the hosts on Saturday and Sunday in Slovakia. Then it goes back to Nuremberg, where two more trials are to be held against the Czech Republic on 29 April and 1 May.
Play-off and quarantine rules make preparation difficult
However, in this first phase of preparation, especially young players will get an opportunity to prove themselves. Because many seeded regular players are still active in the play-offs of the German Ice Hockey League. And stars such as Leon Drassitel or successful young Tim Stutzley from the North American Professional League NHL could also be activated for this upcoming World Cup which is highly unlikely due to complex hygiene and quarantine rules.
Six budding artists get a chance
The 24-man squad has six debuts in the first Test phase. Since the play-offs in the German Ice Hockey League are running at the same time, the first line includes almost exclusive players from the DEL teams who failed in the preliminary round. The non-DEL player is defender Tobias Foehler from HC Ambari Piotta from Switzerland. With eight professionals, Düsseldorf EG provides the most national players.
Three Nuremberg Ice Tigers in line
For three players in the Nuremberg Ice Tigers, the season is not over yet. Because national coach Söderholm has also appointed three Nurembergers in the current squad, along with goalkeeper Nickels Tretel, defender Oliver Mabus and striker Daniel Schmölz.
World Cup in Latvia from 21 May
The World Cup in Latvia will take place from 21 May to 6 June. The DEB selection caters to title favorites in its group such as Canada, Finland and the United States. Other rival hosts in the preliminary round are Latvia, Norway, Italy and newly promoted Kazakhstan.