Weakened Munich squad looking to take 1st place
Munich, October 8 - Over the last 7 days, Thomas Sabo Ice Tigers sat at home, enjoyed the view from the top of the DEL table, and rested. In the same period EHC Munich went from a 3-match win streak to losing two consecutive on home ice missing chances to move up, and got weaker.
Tonight's derby match that faces off at 19:30 at Arena Nürnberger Versicherung will be a pivotal match for both clubs. For the Ice Tigers, a chance to set the pace in the early season and keep the other teams at bay. Oh, and beating their neighbors to the south would be icing (pun intended).
For Munich, this will be their first major test. Will they overcome this minor slump that has been exacerbated by the many injuries suffered in Tuesday's loss? Uli Maurer (knee) and Michael Kompon (shoulder) were both injured against ERC Ingolstadt during the team's OT loss 3-2.
Maurer will be out 6 weeks and Kompon (3 goals, 4 assists) 3 weeks. EHC will also be missing the services of Daniel Hilpert, Jordan Webb, and Neuville Rautert.
Speaking about the injuries, head coach Pat Cortina took it all in stride. "(Injuries are) part of the game and we´re gonna have to focus on what we have and who we have and make sure that the players we do have bring their best effort and see where that takes us."
The club made a move by adding German-Canadian Kyle Helms from EV Ravensburg. The 24-year-old signed a four-week contract to help the club during this rough time.
It's a long season, so this match may not be a make-or-break moment for Munich. However, EHC has already lost to the Ice Tigers and now are facing an uphill battle with a weaker team against a well-rested team.
"Of course I`d rather play with all my players against Nürnberg," stated Cortina. "But that's hockey, now players from the second division have to step up."
Next home match: Sunday, Oct 10th vs. Hannover Scorpions, 19:30
Curd Butz contributed to this article.