Crefeld and Berlin cause shocks in German playoffs

The German playoffs saw two major surprises on the men’s side as top ranked Rot-Weiss Köln and Mannheimer HC both lost the first leg of their best of three quarter-final series.

Crefelder HTC produced a remarkable first half performance to defeat Mannheimer HC 5-2; they built a 4-0 half-time lead with two goals from Martin Ferreiro against the side with the second best record in the regular season.

Raphael Hartkopf got MHC on the board but a second effort from Masi Pfandt put Crefeld out of sight and within one win of the final four.

Berliner HC stormed back from 2-0 down to defeat Rot-Weiss Köln – the best team in the league phase – with three goals in a four minute spell.

Christopher Rühr and Maximilian Siegburg had Rot-Weiss in a strong position but Tom Nesselhauf got one back in the 45th minute which was quickly followed by a Luis Gill goal. Nesselhauf then completed their scoring in the 48th minute for a shock victory.

Der Club an der Alster took the advantage in their series against city rivals UHC Hamburg with goals from Philip Rothländer, Struan Walker and a late goal from Niklas Bruns.

They will now head across the city to UHC hoping to get the second win they need to reach the final four.

Hamburger Polo Club picked up the only away win of the round, coming from a goal down to defeat Harvestehuder THC 2-1 with efforts from Kane Russell and Paul Smith.

On the women’s side, the quarter-final first legs followed a more expected path based on the regular season as Alster defeated HTHC 6-2, Rot-Weiss beat Berliner HC 3-0 and Mannheim were 6-1 winners over Münchner SC.

The tightest battle saw EHL bronze medalists Düsseldorfer HC fall to UHC in Hamburg. All seven goals came in the last 20 minutes of a see-saw battle which ended with UHC scoring twice in the last minute through Lena Micheel and Sofie Stomps to win 4-3.