Bayern Munich got back to their winning ways with a huuuge win against Hamburg on Saturday. Read about it here. But they aren't the only ones at Säbener Strasse who are celebrating. And they aren't the only ones with a clean sheet on the pitch over the weekend. EHC and Generali Haching may be in the postseason, but they have a lot of work to do before they can get into the finals of their respective sports. Here's your weekend wrap.
Mission Accomplished - Unlike the Bush Administration, Dirk Bauermann can put a banner up at Munich Square Garden and actually say, 'we did it'. Bayern Basketball jumped all over the Merlins early and held on for 69-58 win Saturday night in Crailsheim and clinched promotion to the Basketball Bundesliga.
Aleksandar Nadjfeji continued his recent form of solid, effective play with 20 points on 8-of-11 shooting to lead all scorers. Steffen Hamann chipped in with 14 points.
Posters were up in midsummer around Munich stating 'Mission Promotion' and now with six matches still to play, the mission is complete. Bayern can now focus on winning the outright championshp of the ProA, the second divison of German basketball.
Bayern host BG Karlsruhe on Saturday, March 19th at the Olympia Eissportzentrum, tip off at 19:30.
Step Backwards - VfB Friedsrichshafen lost the German Cup Sunday to Generali Haching, so a little revenge was their motivation as they hosted a rematch of the two clubs. And for now, VfB got the upperhand back in this rivalry.
Juraj Zatko earned MVP honors as he led Friedsrichshafen to a 3-1 (16-25, 25-16, 25-22. 25-16) at ZF Arena Saturday night.
"If a team wants to beat Friedsrichshafen, they have to play each set at a high level," commented Haching head coach Mihai Paduretu. "We did that in the first set. After that, Friedsrichshafen were clearly the better team."
The team from Bodensee took the lead for the top seed in the volleyball playoffs. Haching can take comfort that this wasn't the playoffs - they have lost to VfB five consecutive years to end the season.
Haching return home for a match on Wednesday night. NETZHOPPERS KW-Bestensee visit the Generali Sport Arena, first serve at 19:30.
Lions stampede Bielefeld - TSV 1860 München perhaps saw what their neighbors FC Bayern did on Saturday against Hamburg, and realized they can keep up. The Lions got goals from Christopher Schindler, Stefan Aigner, and Kevin Volland to beat Arminia Bielefeld 3-0 Sunday afternoon at SchücoArena. The result is their best of the season and ends a 12-match streak of scoring one goal or less.
"This was a highly focused performance during the 90 minutes," said head coach Reiner Maurer of his team's win. "We were engaged with everything that occurred on the pitch."
Maurer promised this type of effort from his team in the press conference, and the Lions came right out and were more aggressive in the opening stages. Youngster Volland delivered a pass to Schindler who scored to make it 1-0 after 13 minutes.
In the second half, Kai Bülow's free kick found Aigner's head and it was in from 7 meters out for the 2-0 lead. Volland has come on strong for 1860 of late, and he finished the scoring in the 83rd minute.
"Three points are very important for us, because Bielefeld are the not the only ones under pressure, we are too," exclaimed scorer Aigner. "We displayed our fight and deservedly won."
TSV return home Friday and host Karlsruher SC at Allianz Arena. Kickoff at 18:00.
"We now have to bring the momentum from our road matches and do the same at home," described Maurer about his team's 6-match winless streak in Munich. "We have to show our fans the same performance and earn three points."
EHC limp into postseason play - Win or lose, head coach Pat Cortina was always focused on how his team is playing. As the regular season has ended and playoffs start this week, he has to be worried.
EHC München lost twice over the weekend, 2-1 in front of 14,000 fans in Berlin on Friday night, and 6-2 Sunday afternoon in the Bavarian derby against ERC Ingolstadt to drop down to 8th in the table. The weak finish means EHC have to earn a chance to advance into the quarterfinals. They will face the Cologne Sharks in a two-match 'pre-playoff' starting Wednesday.
"I am a little disappointed that we ended the regular season with a loss," said Cortina. "ERC displayed a strong performance, they were pressuring us throughout the match."
Munich's Mike Kompon helped jump start the scoring only 5:21 into the match with a goal, but Ingolstadt scored 5 unanswered goals, two each by Richard Girard and Thomas Greilinger to put the match away. After Kevin Lavallee finally broke the scoring drought for Munich with 10 minutes left, Greilinger earned a hat-trick to help Ingolstadt earn the bye from the pre-playoffs that EHC were hoping to keep.
Coming into this weekend, EHC were in position to finish the season 6th or better and earn the all-important bye and rest up for the playoffs. But a last minute loss at the o2 World to the Ice Bears put unwanted pressure into Sunday's game at home against a squad that had won Friday night. Ingolstadt defeated Straubing 1-0 after three consecutive losses.
"We were perhaps nervous at the circumstances of this match and that is why we lost," explained Cortina. "Regardless, we are happy that we are in the playoffs."
The Sharks visit the Olympia Eissportzentrum Wednesday night, face-off at 19:30. The return match is in Cologne on Friday evening.