Top favorite EHC Red Bull Munich started the playoff quarterfinals for the German ice hockey championship with a surprising defeat.
Coach Don Jackson's title candidate was beaten by outsiders Bremerhaven 1:3 (0:0, 0:1, 1:2) in the first of a maximum of seven duels.
The sovereign main round winner of the German Ice Hockey League had a number of chances, but only got past Bremerhaven goalkeeper Maximilian Franzreb in the final phase. Austin Ortega's late goal (58th minute) after a pass by national striker Yasin Ehliz, the player of the year, came too late in the end. Bremerhaven's Markus Vikingstad scored the final score with 24 seconds to go into the empty goal with his second goal.
Poor conversion of opportunities
"If you create chances, it will be a completely different game," said Munich striker Patrick Hager at MagentaSport: "We created an incredible number of chances. That's why we won't go crazy now."
Bremerhaven had finished the preliminary round in bottom place and prevailed against the Nuremberg Ice Tigers in the first playoff round. Munich qualified directly for the quarter-finals. On Friday, Bremerhaven now has home advantage against the EHC. The playoff rounds will again be played in best of seven format starting with the quarterfinals this season. If you win four times, you advance one round.
On Tuesday, the Kölner Haie had clearly defeated the Adler Mannheim 4:0 at the start of the quarter-finals, the Straubing Tigers had beaten the Grizzlys Wolfsburg 5:3. All four series continue on Friday.