Rot Weiss earn return ticket to EHL, topping German regular season table

© Frank Uijlenbroek

Rot Weiss Köln secured top spot from the German regular league season and a return ticket to the Euro Hockey League thanks to a 5-3 win over nearest rivals Uhlenhorst Mülheim.

They had been surprised on Saturday by tenth placed Nuremburg 4-3 to delay their push for top spot but they bounced back to beat their nearest rivals to go seven points clear with one game to go in the competition.

"We are definitely glad that we have a guaranteed place and are in the EHL next year," said coach André Henning after the match. "This was a great performance today and a very different performance from yesterday!"

They got off to a great start, Christopher Zeller scoring in the third minute. Tom Grambusch added a pair of penalty corner goals for a 3-0 lead by the 17th minute.

Jan Fleckhaus made it 4-0 in the second half before Tobias Matania scored two and Timm Herzbruch was also on the mark, making it 4-3 with three minutes to go. Moritz Trompertz, though, made the game safe for Rot-Weiss in the final minute.

It assures them of top seeding in the German playoffs. Uhlenhorst Mülheim are also going to the playoffs where they will play against Mannheimer HC after they beat Club an der Alster's 4-0 and Harvestehuder THC 4-3 with Gonzalo Peillat scoring six goals.

Fourth place will be a battle between Harvestehuder and Crefelder HC. The former are on 37 points with the latter two points back. Both have tough away games on the agenda; HTHC go to Club an der Alster while Crefelder go to Rot-Weiss.