Leipzig. “No Service Incoming,” trying to reach Ian Farrell by phone, ends in an English mailbox. An external number appears on the mobile phone screen. Ontario, Canada. But the impression is deceptive: The 28-year-old from Bradford no longer resides in his home between Lake Huron and Lake Ontario, two of North America’s Great Lakes. Farrell has been back in Leipzig for a few weeks, so the IceFighters rest is big in return. The German-Canadian has been playing at the trade fair since 2016. It wasn’t clear for a long time that he was on the ice at the electric circus this season.
Farrell has not been seen in Leipzig since the beginning of the epidemic; He sat across from the pond a year and a half ago. The coach, fans and teammates had to shiver for a long time, shortly before the start of the season came the news of recovery: the number 24 ice fighter has landed. “It was a tough time. I really wanted to come to Leipzig last season, but because of the pandemic it didn’t make sense for me. me to leave Canada,” revealed Farrell, who recently worked with the Canadian government. “I had a great job that I can’t go back to now. So I had to think carefully about my options in the summer and make a decision about my future.”
Five hits, two passes
The fact that Traveler doesn’t feel homesick at all could also be due to his team’s strong start to the season. Fifth place in Oberliga Nord with only nine goals received the strongest defense in the league – what is the secret of success? “We’ve been doing incredibly well defensively this season, every player is doing their job and the coaching staff is very committed.” With five goals and two assists, Farrell is his team’s top scorer, but his main focus is elsewhere: ‘Defensive’ number one! Sure, goals are more important, but in the game I mainly think about defense. “The stats speak for Farrell. If you ask him how satisfied he is with his performance this season, he can’t shake his sportsmanship. Praising his teammates in the following sentence, Farrell says: “As an ice hockey player, you are not entirely satisfied, you can always give the team More.” “In my opinion, we have the strongest goalkeeper duo in the league. We all know that both of them will save our donkeys in case of emergency.”
The The loss against the Tilburg Trappers last Friday is the notorious exception to the rule. It was 1:2 after overtime. A painful result in which Farrell finds affirmation above all else. Playing against a top team at eye level and getting a point at the end was so valuable to Leipziger’s confidence. The goal declared by IceFighters coach Sven Gerike to attack the top four in the league, Farrell considers realistic. Especially when captain Florian Eichelkraut and striker Hannes Albrecht return after injury.
Advertise on Facebook
So the fourth season in Leipzig could be the most successful for Farrell. In 2016, he reached out to the team in an unconventional way. The 23-year-old wrote to the IceFighters on Facebook, hoping to secure a contract. For coach Jerich Farrell, it was largely a blank slate, but several years in the Canadian Junior League sparked interest, and suddenly things moved quickly. “A few days later, Sven called me and we had a very good conversation,” Farrell recalls. I didn’t even hold my nationality at the time. The whole German bureaucracy was pure anarchy. And the first preparation for the impending culture shock.
Farrell’s grandparents live in Lübeck, which is why he was able to easily apply for citizenship. He saw the country for the first time when signing the contract. “That was a big change. I didn’t know the language and the way ice hockey is played is so different,” says Farrell. “In Canada, they play a lot more physically. In contrast, the game in Germany seems to be faster. The fact that Europeans, especially Scandinavians and Russians, are excellent at runners is a cliché in Canada that has been emphasized time and time again. “So Farrell had to change his approach as well: fewer head-to-head duels with the opponent, more racing in the open spaces.
The skills acquired were also important in the evening. IceFighters were guests at Ligaprimus Hannover Scorpions (after this issue went live). A strong performance against Tilburg should give the necessary boost in a duel of the best defense with the most successful attack in the league. Ian Farrell was aggressive up front: “We know it’s going to be tough. But we’re going to make it as hard for them as possible.”
“Internet nerd. Avid student. Zombie guru. Tv enthusiast. Coffee advocate. Social media expert. Music geek. Professional food maven. Thinker. Troublemaker.”