Defending champion EHC Red Bull Munich has successfully started the new season of the German Ice Hockey League. The championship favorites laboriously defeated Düsseldorfer EG 4:2 (2:0, 0:0, 2:2).
In the opening match of the 30th DEL season, former national coach Toni Söderholm's home team initially lost a 2-0 lead in the final third before two EHC strikers secured victory.
The Munich team dominated in the first third in front of 4,381 spectators in the Olympic ice rink. Ben Street (11th minute) after a fine combination and Andreas Eder (12th) scored within a minute - with the second goal conceded, DEG goalkeeper Henrik Haukeland, who was voted DEL goalie of the year last season, made a mistake.
Kastner brings the point to a close
With the weakened Düsseldorf team, ex-national player and ex-EHC professional Philip Gogulla initially failed with two great chances to score. In the final third, Luis Üffling (47th) and Victor Svensson (50th) surprisingly equalized. There was still a happy ending for the hosts: Trevor Parkes scored with a goal (55'), and Maximilian Kastner scored the final point into an empty goal (60'). Three days after the opening game, the biggest test of this DEL season awaits the Söderholm team when the team visits co-favorites Adler Mannheim on Sunday.
Before the game started, the Munich team had pulled their championship banner under the stadium roof in a small ceremony - the flags for the DEL titles 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2023 are now hanging there. The Red Bulls started their last season in the venerable Olympic ice rink before A new multifunctional arena is to be moved into for the 2024/25 season.