4: 1 against Krefeld: Successful dress rehearsal for the Kölner Haie


Cologne –

It was a long time. Since March 6, 2020, there had been no ice hockey in front of spectators in the Lanxess Arena due to Corona. 18 months ago the Kölner Haie defeated the Eisbären Berlin 5-3 in the DEL. On Saturday, visitors were allowed to visit the Deutzer Arena again for the first time, around 3,000 fans saw the last test match of the KEC in preparation for the DEL season 2021/22. They were given a good show, the Haie impressed with a compact team performance and celebrated a 4-1 win over the Krefeld Pinguine. Cologne’s goal scorers were Alexander Oblinger (20th), Sebastian Uvira (21st), Marcel Barinka (37th) and Andreas Thuresson (60th). Jeremy Bracco (50) was successful for the penguins. The German-Czech Tomas Pöpperle guarded the Cologne goal, who made a stable impression.

The test match balance of the KEC is positive. Before the win against Krefeld, the Haie had defeated Schwenningen 1-0, Mannheim 2-1 nV, Düsseldorf 2-1 nV and the Danish club Aalborg 3-1. In Iserlohn they conceded their only defeat with a 1: 3. “I’m satisfied, the team’s attitude and morale are very good,” says Haie coach Uwe Krupp. “But of course it’s just preparation.” It gets serious on Friday when the KEC starts the new season with a home game against the Grizzlys Wolfsburg, coached by Krupp’s predecessor Mike Stewart.

On Saturday, the KEC was still missing the newly signed defender Pat Sieloff (27), who arrived in Cologne on Friday. The US professional first has to undergo medical checks and will probably start training with the Haie team on Monday. Sieloff is a defender for purely defensive tasks, a man for the outnumbered game. “I know some coaches well who have trained him. Pat has been on my list for some time; he is an unpleasant opponent, ”reports Krupp. Sieloff, 1.85 m tall and 91 kilos, has so far mainly played in the American Hockey League (AHL), the class under the NHL’s elite league. He has not yet gained any experience in European leagues.

Cologne Sharks still need a defender

The Cologne team is not yet complete with the signing of Sieloff. “Our topic at the moment is the depth of the squad,” says Krupp, who urgently needs another defender. With Moritz Müller, Maury Edwards, Pascal Zerressen, Colin Ugbekile and Jan Luca Sennhenn, there are only five tried and tested defensive players in the KEC team besides Sieloff – and, as an addition, young player Maximilian Glötzl. With the knee injured Norwegian Jonas Holös (34), who signed a one-year contract in Cologne in the summer, is not expected for the time being. Since Holös has sustained cartilage damage, it is unlikely that he will be able to play at all this year. Therefore, the sharks will not initially grant him any of their eleven possible foreign licenses. The shoulder injured striker Zach Sill (33 / Canada) is also not licensed for the time being.

The two try-out players, defender Alex Roach (28) and striker Andrej Bires (27), who both have German passports, have a good chance of staying in Cologne. Roach is struggling at the moment, however. Before the sharks give him a contract, there are medical examinations. At the moment, 9,300 visitors are allowed to attend the home games of the KEC, 50 percent of the capacity of the Lanxess Arena. The 3G rules apply – that is, those who have been vaccinated, recovered and tested receive admission.

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