German Bundesliga reaches playoff phase

It’s playoff time in Germany Saturday and Sunday seeing the first fixtures in the quarter-finals of the Bundesliga on both the men’s and women’s side take place on Saturday.

Reigning men’s champions – and EHL finalists – Rot-Weiss Köln topped their section of the regular season and so will face Berliner HC who had the weakest record of the remaining teams and have lost their last four games in a row.

They meet in Berlin on Saturday in the first of their best of three series; game two is the following week in Cologne where the series could end if one side has amassed two wins already. Otherwise, it will go to a third leg, also in Cologne on Sunday, May 21.

Mannheimer HC topped section B and have the best record of any club from the regular season; it gives them a date against Crefelder HTC although Mannheim did fall 4-3 to their opponents at home this term.

Elsewhere, there are two all-Hamburg city duels. Harvestehuder THC faces Polo while UHC are up against Club an der Alster; the way the draw has panned out means two Hamburg clubs will definitely be in the men’s semi-finals on June 3 in Mannheim.

On the women’s side, the same eight teams as 2021/22 have qualified for the quarter-finals. There is plenty of intrigue in the rematch between Munich SC and Mannheimer HC with the former having won the first game of their series this time last year before Mannheim came back to make it through to the final four. This season, Mannheim have been the standout side in the regular season, dropping just two points.

Like on the men’s side, Berliner HC meets Rot-Weiss Köln with the latter the favourites having topped their section of the league while Berline were fourth in Table B. The other quarter-finals sees another all-Hamburg date with HTHC up against Club an der Alster while Düsseldorfer HC will look to overcome a tricky second half of the season when they face UHC Hamburg.

The EHL bronze medalists have won just twice in the second phase of the domestic season to drop below Rot-Weiss into second in the group.

The first of the best of three fixtures takes place on Saturday with leg two on May 20 and, if necessary, the third games will be on May 21.