It was quite early when I had to get up because already at 5:30 more than 500 Krefeld Pinguine supporters had to gather at the Krefeld main station to start their long trip towards Straubing at 6:00. But this was gladly accepted and so the athmosphere was excellent on the way there.
Already very early on Saturday morning a bus started form Krefeld towards the hanseatic town to first visit the monuments and on Sunday the O2 World to hopefully take the three points back home. Because of Servus TV is broadcasting live on tv the first bully was delayed by one hour. Therefore they kindly showed the prepared choreography of the motto "Ballermann 6-undreissig". Especially for this many supporters came wearing shorts and t-shirts (kudos for this because it was extremely cold outside).
The game was announced quite short-termed and so "only" 513 fans went to the Nordhorn Ice Rink. For the Ritter it should be the first test against an equal or even better opponent because no one else than the present champion of the Dutch 2nd division, the Romijnders Devils from Nijmegen were guest.
Long time the party train of the Krefeld Pinguine was prepared and on 26.02. in started during nighttime towards Munich. Additionally one group went down by bus and many privately by car, so that a really impressive picture was shown at the Munich ice rink. Of the 3909 visitors roughly 500 were from Krefeld and showed that loudly already before the game had started.
Already in beforehand the game of GEC Ritter Nordhorn against the CRE Icefighters from Salzgitter was handled as a top game of the Regionalliga Nord which was not promised too much. The call was followed by 1642 visitors and so a new record on number of viewers could be celebrated during this season. Many visitors were expected but finally due to the huge press of people the game was delayed by 20 minutes as long rows were in front of the ticket boxes.
Again the ice rink was quite good crowded by 650 visitors when the GEC Ritter Nordhorn played against the 1b team (also known as Juniors) of the EHC Grizzly Adams Wolfsburg. Nordhorn playe without four players (besides Sascha Maat and Sami Chehade also J.J. Kalarwarny and Karel Horak were missing) and could not start their powerfull game during first period as they were used to. Additionally the physically strong Wolfsburg player were directly from the beginning resisting. This could obviously be seen on the given penalties. Again and again players of both teams had to take place on the penalty bench so that the first two periods were quite fuzzy.
After the premiere of the Euregio Cup in front of the home audience had gone pretty bad (the Gijs Bears Groningen left the ice during second period and aborted the game) it first had to be clarified how to continue. Because of the Gijs Bears Groningen declared the leave of the Euregio Cup only the Heerenveen Flyers 2 and the GEC Ritter were left over. Both teams agreed on continuing in each case this cup and that this shall be done in best of three mode.
The first game of the new founded Euregio Cup should take place at Nordhorn and the opponent should be the Gijs Bears Groningen. The cup shall be established as a fixture where German and Dutch teams could compete during the period free of play.
When I arreived at 18:30 at the hall I thought I was in the wrong epoche. It looked in front of the hall just like in the good old GEC Nordhorn times end of the 90ies. The people were standing in queues. OK, that was for two reasons: first one was that the club was able to welcome impressive 999 visitors (for 1000 it was just not enough), the second one was that they have to improve the situation at the entrance massively.
The evening was already ill-omened when the German ice hockey national team faced on 15.04.2011 the Finnish national team during the Euro Hockey Challenge. On the one hand the Finns were the only undefeated team during the Challenge and was also able to win the game against the German on the evening before by 4:2. On the other hand the last victory of a DEB team against the Finns was more than 15 years in the past (it was a 3:2 on 19.04.1995).