Status: 09/28/2022 10:51 a.m

    The small ice hockey club from Bremerhaven remains the big surprise of this DEL season. But even after five wins, the Penguins don’t fall into euphoria.

    When it was done, coach Thomas Popiesch high-fived his stand-up men one after the other in the cabin aisle. “They fought incredibly and deserved to win,” said the Penguins coach after the 5-3 win over the Iserlohn Roosters.

    The people of Bremerhaven were already 1:3 behind in the local ice arena. But with a show of strength and great will, the Penguins still turned the game around – and got their fifth win in five games.

    “We made a few mistakes in the second period and were 3-1 down. But the team has a crazy heart and believes in itself.” (Penguins coach Thomas Popiesch in Sportblitz)

    “You have to stay in reality”

    Unbeaten leaders of the German Ice Hockey League (DEL) – the small club from Bremerhaven remains the big surprise of the season. And how do the penguins react to this super start? Of course, completely unimpressed.

    That’s how the Northern Lights are and in Popiesch they have a trainer who doesn’t get carried away by short-lived emotional outbursts. “It’s a good feeling,” he explained in an interview with Sportblitz about being the leader of the table. But of course there was a “but” immediately afterwards.

    “You have to be realistic. It was a tough game and we always have to push ourselves to the limit. The team did a great job, but I won’t shed tears of joy here.” (Penguins coach Thomas Popiesch in Sportblitz)

    “We were aggressive and strong in attack – we want to see that”

    Just don’t get too euphoric, that’s the motto of the penguins. And the club, which with its small budget is something like the Gallic village of the DEL, would do well to keep its feet on the ground. After all, only five of the 56 season games have been completed.

    “It’s just a snapshot. The important thing for us is the points. But even more important is the way we play hockey. We were aggressive and attacking and that’s what we want to see.” (Penguins coach Thomas Popiesch in Sportblitz)

    The start of a difficult season, in which many competitors have strengthened massively and in which there will probably be two relegated teams for the first time, was definitely successful for the Penguins. The Bremerhaven have reached the playoffs six times in a row, and that shouldn’t change in their seventh DEL season.

    Are you strong enough?

    The only question that remains is to what extent the penguins can keep up the effort. Last Sunday, after the away game in Straubing, they drove all night in the bus and only got back to Bremerhaven at eight in the morning. “I was a bit cautious about whether we really have the strength today to play power hockey for 60 minutes,” said Popiesch.

    They were still strong enough against Iserlohn, but the next game against Schwenningen is scheduled for Friday. And in this two to three day rhythm it goes on for weeks. A tour de force that requires a broad squad. Popiesch is convinced that the team spirit among the penguins is definitely their big advantage.

    “The majority of the team has stayed together, it’s a tight-knit bunch. And the players know our values, and they pass them on to the new players.” (Penguins coach Thomas Popiesch in Sportblitz)