The German national ice hockey team in Nuremberg begins preparations for the World Championships in Latvia. The DEB team moves to a kind of base camp in the Franconian capital.
National team coach Tony Soderholm has not joined the gang in over 14 months. The coach eagerly looks forward to the starting shot of the World Cup preparations, even if it contains many insurmountable matters. “I’m really happy,” Söderholm said in advance.
Test matches against Slovakia and the Czech Republic
His team initially prepares for two test matches at the Nuremberg Arena, and then plays against the host in Slovakia on Saturday and Sunday. Then he returns to Nuremberg, where two more tests are scheduled against the Czech Republic on April 29 and May 1.
Qualifying and quarantine rules make preparation difficult
However, at this first stage of preparation, the young players in particular will have the opportunity to prove themselves. Because many of the regular ranked players are currently still active in the playoff matches of the German Ice Hockey League. And that stars like Leon Dricitel or the successful youngster Tim Stotzel of the North American Professional League (NHL) could be revitalized for the next World Cup is highly unlikely due to the complicated hygiene and quarantine rules.
Six beginners get a chance
There are six junior players on the 24-man squad in the first Test phase. Since the playoff matches in the German ice hockey league take place at the same time, the first squad is almost exclusively made up of players from the DEL teams who failed in the preliminary round. The only player from outside DEL is HC Ambri Piotta defender Tobias Furler from Switzerland. With eight professionals, Düsseldorfer EG provides the most patriotic players.
Three Nuremberg Ice Tigers in the lineup
For three players in the Nürnberg Ice Tigers, the season is far from over. Because with goalkeeper Niklas Triotle, defender Oliver Mebus and striker Daniel Schmholz, the national coach Söderholm has appointed three Nurenbergers in the current squad.
World Cup in Latvia from May 21
The World Cup will be held in Latvia from May 21 to June 6. DEB’s choice meets favorite titles like Canada, Finland, and the United States in their group. Other competitors in the preliminary round are newly promoted Latvia, Norway, Italy and Kazakhstan.