Under the guidance of three Finnish coaches, the Germans will face Finland in the Ice Hockey World Cup in 2021. Will DEB’s choice be on the path to success?
Riga / Munich – When the World Cup match against Kazakhstan (2: 3) was about finding a way to score, German national team coach Tony Söderholm took a break. 30 seconds to give the team a solution. He did not order himself, but took a step back. One of his assistants spoke, who was in charge of the attack and the number of matches. The professional scientist looked at the hardly any-attention man in the German media: Phil Peltonen is a big name in the ice hockey world.
Germany and its training partner: “increased interest in the Finnish media”
The now 48-year-old was a player for the NHL, in Switzerland – but above all a player he owned in April and May. The most famous World Cup. His time. He was initially in 13 world championships, meeting 107 matches. Peltonin was once a world champion, and a four-time runner-up. His collection includes three World Cup and Olympic bronze medals and one silver in the 1994 Olympics. “The Finnish media has increased interest in German ice hockey because we have an elephant in our coaching staff,” says Söderholm, who often answers questions from his country of origin at press conferences in Riga. It will be the same again on Saturday. Because on the fifth day of world Cup Germany meets Finland (7.15 pm, Sport1).
The fact that Söderholm (43) has a Peltonin at his side is a date for this one-off tournament. Together they became runners-up as players, “Phil was the captain of some of the teams I played in. We are friends, but when we work, we work.” He brought Peltonin because he’s the best assistant coach I can find. He has knowledge, analyzes quickly, knows how to handle situations. “
“When I saw Phil Peltonen in our dressing room for the first time,“ DEB President Franz Rindl remembers the preparations for the World Cup, ”I noticed the players horror. What it looks like, how does he get to the heart of things in the shortest time possible – it’s a number.” Reindl thinks he’s speaking as Toni Söderholm, “When this guy is by your side, take responsibility yourself.” After the World Cup, Peltonin will be the coach – at IFK Helsinki.
DEB team against Finland in the 2021 World Cup: Three Finnish coaches against their home
In addition to American Matt McLaughan (Salzburg), with whom Söderholm already worked as equal assistant in EHC Munich (2016/17), and Alexander Duck, there is another Finn in the coaching staff of the national team: Ilpo Kauhanen (47). From 1998 to 2010 he was a goalkeeper for German clubs (Bad Tolls, Kassel, Ingolstadt, Hannover, Mannheim) and also obtained German citizenship. He has been coaching goalkeepers since 2015, in Schöiningen and with Al Ittihad. He and Söderholm have known each other since 2018, and their paths never crossed in Finland. Söderholm is not asking Kauhanen to do art work with the three goalkeepers “in an intense tournament”. Instead, the tasks: “He should be the goalkeeper and discussion partner, ensuring that the goalkeepers get the correct training. And when it comes to games, our video coach is there.”
And also against Finland. Two years ago, in the first World Cup under the leadership of the new national coach, the only German national team to beat Finland were world champions. The game now (full schedule), as Söderhol looks, is “not as special as the 2019 game. But maybe I should ask my mom first.”
Meanwhile, the NHL star strengthens the DEB team at the World Cup in Riga. Officials hope Dominic Cahon will be able to intervene soon.