Krefeld The two homegrown players of KEV completed the final preparation of the national team for the World Cup in Finland at the weekend. But only the Ottawa Senators forward is included in the final squad.
Tim Stützle and Alexander Blank, who both learned the ice hockey basics in the youth team of KEV 81 on Westparkstrasse, left the German national team’s training camp on Sunday after the team’s last test in Schwenningen against Austria (3:1), with different perspectives .
While NHL professional Stützle can look forward to his first World Cup participation and was a sought-after interview partner for press representatives after the game, hardly anyone took any notice of Penguin Blank. The 20-year-old striker had played in all six preparatory games for the DEB selection and had performed well.
In his international matches number three to eight he collected four points. Even when outnumbered, he was regularly given ice time by coach Toni Söderholm. It looked as if he could make the leap into the final World Cup squad (May 13-29 in Finland). But it didn’t work out with the nomination.
Blank was allowed to get a taste of DEB’s A-Team last year in preparation for the World Championships in Riga. Although he received a lot of praise from the national coach at the time, his preparation was over after two games. After a rather mixed season for him, he was now allowed to show himself in six games. Blank is certainly a player, if he develops in the DEL, who has the future in the national team.
However, he took the ejection on Sunday professionally and was happy about the almost four weeks with the national team: “While I was very nervous last year, I now felt much more confident with the puck. They were games and training sessions at a high level. The coach gave me a lot of confidence and I also played outnumbered. Internationally, it’s completely different than in the league,” Blank said two hours before the game in Schwenningen in an interview with RP, when he and two colleagues who were also not nominated for the game against Austria were having a small one-on-one Walk around the Helios Arena.
It was already clear to him that the World Cup dream would not come to fruition for him this year. “I’m not lined up today, so I won’t be at the World Cup,” said the young striker, assessing his situation realistically. “There are a lot of good players in the squad, some from North America. If the team sticks together as well as they did in preparation, then the semi-finals are possible,” predicted Blank. He and six friends are going to Mallorca for a week at the end of May. He did not want to comment on his likely upcoming move to Düsseldorf: “But I would never go to Cologne, I couldn’t stand them even when I was a junior.”
It looks completely different for Tim Stützle, who was born in Vorster. The 20-year-old was clearly looking forward to his first World Cup, despite the stress of traveling over the past few days. “After returning from Ottawa, I stayed with my family in Vorst for a short time, then I went to Mannheim and from there to Schwenningen for my international debut. I’m happy to be here and it was fun playing with the guys. I know we can play better and I want to be a leader on the ice,” said the Ottawa Senators attacker. “The national coach was with me in Ottawa a long time ago and talked about a possible participation in the World Cup,” said Stützle, one of the reasons why he is now playing the World Cup. Speaking of his second year in the NHL, he said, “It was a season where it went up and down for me.”