The team of the hour in the ice hockey upper house lived up to its role as favorites against the bottom of the north. The Grizzlys Wolfsburg played concentrated against the Krefeld Penguins, did not burn much and won with goals from Pekka Jormakka, Matti Järvinen, Gerrit Fauser, Max Görtz and Toto Rech with 5: 2 (2: 0, 1: 1, 2: 1). The team of head coach Pat Cortina ended the Wolfsburg record series of victories (nine successes) from 2015 under coach Pavel Gross and climbed to second place.
In terms of personnel, there were no surprises at the Grizzlys: Striker Jordan Boucher came back in against the bottom line, which on paper was offensively weaker than Berlin, while defender Phil Bruggisser stayed out as a surplus import player. In addition, defender Dominik Bittner made his comeback in Berlin, which he coped well with. This time the Grizzlys only had six trained defenders.
Scenes from the DEL game between the Wolfsburg Grizzlies and the Krefeld Penguins on March 4, 2021
That’s how the game went
Front runners Eisbären Berlin, possibly spurred on by three defeats in a row, two of them against Wolfsburg, had recently broken down Bremerhaven, second in the table, with 5: 1. Wolfsburg was able to jump into second place itself – and did it. After the rock solid performances in Berlin, perhaps the most important thing against the bottom group was not to take it easy. And the hosts got serious. They dictated the game and again proved efficient. The lead fell away from the face-off point: Mathis Olimb won the face-off (which Wolfsburgs rarely managed because Krefeld is very strong here), Jormakka worked right on it – 1-0. It was the Finn’s seventh goal in the eleventh game. Only Spencer Machacek (9) scored more often – in more missions.
Nikita Shatsky hit the post from a distance for Krefeld, Grizzly keeper Chet Pickard had no view. Shortly thereafter, Sebastian Furchner put a shot at Krefeld’s young keeper Nikita Quap (18). The goalkeeper, who was strong against Cologne on his DEL debut, ricocheted off, Järvinen said “Thank you” – 2-0. The grizzlies were in control. Fauser warned in the interval interview: “You haven’t won a game in 20 minutes. We have to stick with it.” He followed up with deeds, marking the 3-0 in pursuit after his team had dominated the second section up to that point. That the reminder was justified was then shown: Ex-grizzly Lucas Lessio shortened after passing through the middle. He skilfully danced Wolfsburg’s top defense with Jeff Likens and Julian Melchiori.
“We want to ride this wave as long as we can”
In the final third, however, the grizzlies made it immediately clear that they were not going to be casual. They increased the pressure. All that remained was the question – what about the power play that runs like clockwork in the winning streak? Well, the grizzlies got the opportunity for the second time. It was a double majority. And that lasted only 15 seconds. Because Görtz made everything clear with the 4: 1. For him it was also the seventh goal of the season. Krefeld shortened, but Rech ensured the final score with his goal, Wolfsburg continued to win.
The fact that the series was discontinued – “that was not an issue in the cabin,” said Captain Sebastian Furchner. “It’s a side effect.” He put it correctly: “We didn’t give our best performance, but on the other hand we did a lot of things well, otherwise we wouldn’t have won.” Series out. Series ago – Furchner: “Of course we want to ride this wave as long as we can.”
App test: To bring fans back
Two fingers wide, half as long as a ballpoint pen – does that help to bring spectators back to events in times of corona, because that’s what all the organizers want? The Grizzlys Wolfsburg tested this yesterday at the game against Krefeld with the admitted visitors, i.e. journalists and functional staff in the ice arena.
They were able to download an app (EPS app) from the mobile phone stores. That is the first condition, if the system developed by Telekom becomes established. Second, every visitor receives the chip. And it has it all. If the distance between the visitors fits, it flashes green; if the distance falls below a minimum, it flashes red. If the limit continues, you will hear an annoying beeping sound. What emerged in the test: The lateral distance will be easy to maintain on seats, direct neighbors in front of or behind the spectator – that will not work.
In the meantime, the system sends the chip contacts to the health department. If a visitor later turns out to be Corona-positive, thanks to the app data, people could be warned who had too close contact with the person who tested positive for too long during the event.
Grizzlys: Pickard – Melchiori, Likens; Bittner, Möser; Button; Adam – Machacek, Festerling, Hungerecker; Görtz, Järvinen, Furchner; Jormakka, Olimb, Rech; Boucher, Fauser, Nijenhuis; Bush.
Penguins: Quapp – Sacher, C. Braun; Mass, Gläßl; Bappert, Bindulis; Bull – L. Braun, Olson, Lessio; Tianulin, Blank, Schymainski; Shatsky, Petrakov, Buncis; Niederberger, Postel, Karsums.
Referee: Rantala / Hunnius. – Penalty minutes: Wolfsburg 10 / Krefeld 8.
Tore: 1: 0 (7:54) Jormakka (Olimb), 2: 0 (10:16) Järvinen (Furchner / Button), 3: 0 (29:35) Fauser (Boucher), 3: 1 (38:14) Lessio (Mass), 4: 1 (47:34) Görtz (Järvinen – 5: 3), 4: 2 (52:42) L. Braun (C. Braun – 5: 4), 5: 2 (57:01) Rech (Olimb / Jormakka).