Elite League versus Germany

Belfast Giants were the last EIHL side to host a German team in the CHL (PHOTO: Press Eye/William Cherry)

Cardiff Devils are set to kick the new season when they host crack DEL outfit Adler Mannheim on Thursday in the CHL.

A brief history of Elite League teams against Germany in the CHL

But, as you’ll see, Elite League clubs have a decent home record against the Germans on home ice and something Jarrod Skalde will be keen to keep going at Ice Arena Wales on Wednesday.

So let’s take and see just how EIHL sides have handled themselves against those German teams in Champions Hockey League tournaments in the recent past.

Robert Lachowicz was on target in Nottingham’s historic CHL win over Hamburg Freezers in 2014 (PHOTO: Timo Savela)

23 Sep 14 – Nottingham Panthers 3 Hamburg Freezers 1

The Freezers may no longer be in existence, but it was a memorable night for Corey Neilson’s men as they picked up the first ever CHL points by a British side in the competition.

Cory Wild opened the scoring after eight minutes, with Hamburg’s Matthew Pettinger equalising a few minutes later to tie the game up after the first.

Panthers found an extra gear as the game went on and made the breakthrough again through Nathan Robinson in the second period, followed by Robert Lachowicz adding the third in the third and confirm an historic win.

05 Sep 15 – Braehead Clan 6 ERC Ingolstadt 4

The Clan’s maiden CHL campaign was a real education for them under Ryan Finnerty and going into their final game, had grown to adapt to the high quality in their opponents.

This culminated in a massive 6-4 win in Glasgow on one of the loudest nights at Braehead Arena despite Petr Taticek opening the scoring for the Germans after four minutes.

Clan hit back through Matt Keith and Brendan Brooks – both former Ingolstadt players – but Tomas Kubalik hit back to level.

Chris Bruton’s go-ahead goal early in the third led to two quick fire goals from Taticek with his second and Benedikt Schopper, restoring the lead for the Germans.

However, a late salvo from the home side saw captain Keith level again with a couple of minutes to go before Alex Leavitt and Marcus Gotz finished into the empty net to confirm victory.

31 Aug 19 – Belfast Giants 2 Augsburger Panther 3 (OT)

After victory over Bili Tygri Liberec in their opening game two nights previously, Belfast Giants went into game two against Augsburger Panther in understandably confident mood.

This was a first foray into the CHL for Adam Keefe’s side after winning the EIHL title in dramatic fashion – a title they still hold to this day because of the pandemic.

Matthew Fraser’s seventh minute marker for the visitors was cancelled out by Jordan Smotherman before the end of the first period.

Patryk Wronka put Belfast in front in the second stanza, but Marco Sternheimer’s leveller early in the final session restored parity, where the scoreline was deadlocked until the end of regulation time.

Fraser scored the overtime winner for Panther as they clinched two points, while Giants had to console themselves with only the one, despite an excellent display in front of the fans in the SSE Arena.

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