Local top league hockey teams battle it out this week
Munich, October 4 - The Oktoberfest maybe over, but Bavarians have a reason to celebrate for another week. Ice hockey rinks will heat up the cooling nights in the Freistaat starting with EHC München hosting ERC Ingolstadt tonight at the Olympia Eissportzentrum. Face-off at 19:30.
A win by Munich will set up a top-of-the-table clash Friday night in Nuremberg against the Thomas Sabo Ice Tigers. Despite the huge week coming up, Munich's head coach Pat Cortina is more focused how the team develops over the course of the season and how they play.
"(First place) is not something we are focused on, we´re not focus on results either," claimed Cortina. "We are just trying to focus on performance."
After a slow start, Munich has been performing at a high level. They won three of their past 4 matches moving up the standings. However, heading up to tonight's first derby match, EHC lost Sunday night against Wolfsburg 3-1. Grizzly Adams went up 3-0 in the first 10 minutes.
"We were guilty of watching," Cortina admitted. "We didn´t skate with them, we were waiting to see what they are going to do and then decide whether we have a chance or not."
Meanwhile, Ingolstadt come in on a two-game losing streak after losing last Friday to the Ice Tigers 4-2 and Sunday by the same score to the DEG Metro Stars. ERC are back in 11th place in the table.
Munich are still 4 points behind table-topping Nuremberg and need a victory tonight to set up the first place match on Friday. But first, how will EHC shake off the disappointing loss and get back to winning?
"We have to make sure we´re ready at the start of the game," stated Cortina. "Hopefully, the fact that it is a derby... and there are going to be some good fans in the building will help us to do that, but we have to focus to making sure that Munich is ready to play. Otherwise it doesn´t matter who you play."
Curd Butz contributed to this article.