Chelsea Transfer Target
Dec 16, 2011, 11:15 PM
Location: Odense, Denmark
Team(s): Portsmouth, OB, Svendborg fB, Tved B
Post #17 of 112
Ice hockey, DEL (top level in Germany)
Adler Mannheim v Kölner Haie 4-0 (2-0,1-0,1-0), Admission €25, programme free (4 pages, A4 size), pizza slice and coke €5.80, att. 12,663.
This was a day at the office shifting papers for Adler Mannheim against a Köln side that offered nothing going forward. With it being 1st against 6th with only 10 points separating the two sides before the game, I had anticipated a closer game. A truly runwellian journey, delayed plane, delayed train, but managed to miss only three minutes still. The steward at the entrance asked me to wait for a stoppage before finding my seat. This turned out to be a 2 min sinbin for a Köln player. Despite not looking convincing, Mannheim managed a goal when their forward skated round the goal and played the puck neatly in in front of the keeper where it was bundled home. It was a niggly game at this stage with many skirmishes on and off the puck. Köln got their chance to make a game of it when a home player earned himself a match penalty and a 5 min sinbin for a bad tackle from behind. Köln’s ineptness tonight was epitomised as rather than put Mannheim under serious pressure, a back slipped and lost the puck in the build up of an attack leaving a home forward with a one-on-one with the keeper. In the detail of the match, the forward kept cool, extremely cool, and made the keeper move before he wrong-footed him twice to lay the puck neatly into the bottom corner amidst much jubilation from the large crowd, only 150-200 supporters had made the trip from Köln. The 2nd and 3rd period followed in the same vein, Mannheim soaking up what feeble efforts Die Haie managed and controlling the game completely carving out chances regularly. A moment of controversy as the puck was in the net midway through the 2nd period but the referee ruled out the goal after video review, a home player had scored with his skate. The third goal was a clinical finish in play 5 against 3 and after that the intensity of the game evaporated slowly. The final goal, near the end, came about after slack defending and poor goalkeeping.
This was my first ice hockey game in Germany and I was a tad disappointed by the standard of play. Too many instances of players losing footing when unchallenged and poor passing under no pressure. Also both teams managed to play themselves off side while playing 5 against 4 on more than one occasion. Nevertheless, a good evening was had.
SAP arena is a fairly new state-of-the-art build and is easily reached by local trains. Two continuous tiers, separated by a ring of executive boxes, make for a compact arena holding around 13,500. One end is standing on both tiers and most of the singing and chanting naturally emanates from this end. The atmosphere tonight was great. I was seated on the second row of the upper tier and whilst not feeling far from the action, we had to lean forward to see the near side of the rink. SAP is the company of Dietmar Hopp, the bankroller of Hoffenheim, who is also heavily involved in Adler Mannheim. The arena is shared with Rhein Neckar Löwen from the handball bundesliga.