EHC hoping for warmer holiday season

Christmas brought to you by EHC! (l. to r.) Sport Director Christian Winkler, #1 Goalkeeper Jochen Reimer, Third Mayor of Munich Hep Montzeder und CEO Olympic Park Robert Huber.  Photo: Sperduto/TMTOlympic Park, Munich - Hockey teams expect the ice that they skate on to be cold, but not their results.

Even before the winter comes to our fair city, EHC München are playing like they are already frozen.

EHC have lost 8 of their last 10 matches, including the last five, and that has them down to 10th in the German professional ice hockey league, the Deutsche Eishockey Liga (DEL).

Munich return home tonight to host the Hamburg Freezers, face-off at 19:30 CET.

"Hamburg are one of the top teams in the league," said Sport Director Christian Winkler in previewing the match.  "That team is hot right now, however we have played well recently on the road, earning some well-deserved points."

And there is no rest for the weary.  EHC will continue to play through the holiday season, five more matches this calendar year, culminating in the biggest event in the city's hockey history.

Club officials took the opportunity a week before the apex of the gift-giving season to promote their big rivalry match on December 30th in the Olympiahalle against neighbors, the Augsburg Panthers.

It's been almost 18 years since a professional hockey team has played a regular season game in the historic venue.  There have been exhibition matches held in the arena, like the Deutschland Cup, but no DEL games.

EHC Head coach Pat Cortina sat down with Salman Mitha, TMT Sports, to discuss "Volle Halle" in the latest edition of the 'SOS Podcast'.

The third Mayor of Munich Hep Monatzeder was on hand to talk about the place of this game in history.  "Ice hockey has a long history here in Munich, along with all other winter sports.  We want to present our city for Olympic winter sports."

On November 5, 2010, Munich hosted Augsburg in front of their biggest home crowd, as 6,217 fans crammed into the club's current home, Olympia Eissportzentrum.  So it was an easy decision to play the next edition of this derby at a bigger venue.

Close to 9,500 tickets have been sold, and the club and Olympic Park officials are expecting a full house of 11,000.

The Panthers have already beaten Munich twice this season, 3-0 and 7-3, both times in Augsburg, so the revenge factor will be high for EHC.

"The motivation will be tremendous for us," admitted Winkler.  "Not only win this match in front of all the fans, but against a team, in a derby match, that has already beaten us."

Editor's Notes:  Gabriel Nounna, TMT Sports, will be at the EHC vs. Hamburg match.  Follow the action @gabe_TMT_sports.


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