Usually the middle third is the phase in an ice hockey game when the polar bears prefer to score and lay the foundation for success. Against the Nürnberg Ice Tigers, however, the Berliners came under a lot of pressure in the second section, conceding two goals with only one goal from Mark Zengerle. In the end they lost 1: 3 (0: 0, 1: 2, 0: 1) and for the first time since the Germany Cup break. Before that, they had won three times.
On Friday evening, Serge Aubin’s team was shaken by the bottom of the table, Bietigheim Steelers, and only made it through 5: 4 in the penalty shoot-out. Against the Franks, however, it was not possible this time to compensate for the renewed failure of the striker quartet Blaine Byron, Kevin Clark, Zach Boychuk and Marco Baßler.
Even before the 1-0 victory in Nuremberg, the guests had cheered over the alleged opening goal. When Patrick Reimer shot Daniel Schmölz, who a little later scored the first valid goal and prepared the 2-0 through Gregor MacLeod, hindered the Berlin goalkeeper Mathias Niederberger.
In front of 5614 of a possible 9600 spectators who are dying due to the worsening corona situation on the square again wearing mouth and nose protection, the Ustorf family in particular had a lot of fun on this evening. Father Stefan, six-time German champion with the polar bears, who stood behind the gang as a substitute for assistant coach Manuel Kofler, can breathe a sigh of relief after troubled days with positive Covid 19 tests and a few defeats as sports director. Son Jake, who flourishes much more in Nuremberg than in Berlin, sets offensive accents.
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MacLeod in particular gave the polar bear a hard time. At the beginning of the last third, he personally catapulted the disk into the polar bears’ enclosure for the second time that evening. But also this goal of the Nuremberg was rightly not given. The Canadian had pushed the puck over the line with a clear kicking movement. At 3: 1 into the empty goal, he delivered Reimer’s 800th DEL scorer point.
“We were in an unfavorable position 2-0 and were in the penalty box too often,” said Zengerle at Magentasport. The fact that he scored his first goal of the season did not placate Zengerle either. “We have to do a lot better.” And not just in the second third.