German Elite League Hockey * English coverage of Germany's DEL Deutsche Eishockey Liga
Get inside the DEL! Hamburg Freezers goalie Boris Rousson - nicknamed "The Spider" - opens his web journal. Check out the latest issues of "Spider's Web":
New start (September 5, 2005)
The last stretch (February 21, 2005)
New year, new hope (January 13, 2005)
It's not the size of the dog (December 4, 2004)
Good time for a little break! (November 16, 2004)
Can't buy any goals (November 1, 2004)
2nd shutout (October 21, 2004)
Power Play festival (October 14, 2004)
Exciting (October 9, 2004)
Here we go! (September 20, 2004)
Disappointing (April 14, 2004)
Four teams left (March 25, 2004)
Bring on the Adler! (March 8, 2004)








2 Ingolstadt 30-3-2-17 98 -
3 Düsseldorf 26-4-7-15 93 -
4 Nürnberg 26-2-9-15 91 -
5 Köln 24-6-5-17 89 -
6 Hamburg 21-8-6-17 85 -
7 Hannover 21-7-7-17 84 -
8 Krefeld 19-9-4-20 79 -
9 Frankfurt 18-5-6-23 70 -
10 Mannheim 19-4-3-26 68 -
11 Iserlohn 18-3-5-26 65 -
12 Augsburg 15-5-6-26 61 -
13 Kassel 15-5-3-29 58 -
14 Wolfsburg 12-5-5-30 51 -
Playoff spots: 1-8
Relegation series: 13-14

W = Win (3 points)
OTW = Overtime Win (2 points)
RT = Regulation Tie (1 point)
L = Loss (0 points)

Spider's Web   |   September 5, 2005  home
New start
Goaltender Boris Rousson of the Hamburg Freezers opens his web journal
By Boris Rousson

New Hamburg Freezers head coach Mike Schmidt
"The atmosphere has improved 1000%, and Schmitty [coach Mike Schmidt, pictured above] has a lot to do with it."
Hamburg, Germany - Well, training camp is over. We officially ended it today, or as Schmitty put it before the game, we started our season today already, when we played our 1st round DEB Pokal game against the Essen Moskitoes. We won 3-0, with Paul Manning, Mike Smazal and Alexander Barta scoring our goals, one every period. I played the whole game, recorded the shutout, although it wasn't my hardest one. It was a pretty good game, well balanced and I had to make a few good saves, especially in the second period when the Moskitos put a little more pressure on us. When we scored our second goal, the game shifted a little more on our side and we were never really tested after. With the win, we erase a little bit the nightmare start from last season when we lost to Kaufbeuren in the Pokal opener, and it kind of set the tone for a very average season... Kaufbeuren ended up finishing last in the second league!! Hopefully, we will be able to build from this success to have a good season and home opener on Friday, against Hannover.

What is our team going to look like in 2005-2006? Well, even if we have been busy to work already for over a month, it might be too early to say how we will look. We still have three foreigner spots open, and we should use one or two of them pretty soon to add a little power to our offence...Training camp has been good, very good even. Our team has changed a lot since last September. The biggest and most important change, in my opinion, was made already at the end of last season, when Mike Schmidt became our head coach, replacing Dave King. The atmosphere in and around the team has improved one thousand percent, and Schmitty has a lot to do with it. Hockey is fun again, and we enjoy coming to practice and hanging around each other, which was not the case in the last two seasons. For the few guys from the Munich years of the Freezers (it's only me, Chief and Smash now), it was nice to have Doug Bradley coming back as an assistant. He completes Mike very well, and is also a great guy to be around in the dressing room. Dougie always has a story for every situation! When you add our goalie coach André "Prof" Lebrun, we have to say that we are in good hands!

I have a new partner in goal this season, well, two new partners. Steffen Karg comes from Ingolstadt, and Tobias Güttner from Nürnberg. Unfortunately, Kargie suffered a knee injury during the first week of training camp and could not play any preseason games. He should be ready to back me up on Friday though. He already has a lot of DEL experience and will definitely be a good help for me. Steffen's bad break in August was somewhat a good one for Tobi, who took advantage of the increased practice and playing time to show what he could do. I was very impressed with his cool during the games. I guess he will play in Stuttgart in the Oberliga (Div-3), and come back to help us in case of injuries to either me or Kargie.

The Freezers signed Alexander Barta from the Berlin Polar Bears
"Alex Barta has impressed me the most by his skill, guts and game intelligence"

Our defence will pretty much be the same. Only Molling is gone, the other seven all came back. That is great news for me, because I believe we have a very solid group of defencemen. Experience, speed, excellent two-way game, and a lot of leadership! Peacock, Van Impe, Letang, Manning, Smazal, Walter and Martinovic. I am sure they will make it very hard for opponents to get too many good scoring chances!!

Up front, a lot of changes! Gone are Reid (to Rapperswil, in Switzerland),Johnson (DEG), Purdie (Iserlohn), House (retired), Tomlinson (Martigny/Swiss Div-2), Rumrich (retired, now sports director in Kassel), Antons(still waiting) and Young (retired). Only Jacko returns from our top forwards from a year ago. Oravec and Forster also return, but started training camp a little later following injuries. They are now ready to play.

Our new forwards are young, very fast and very skilled. First, a trio of French-Canadians with Beaucage, Gratton and Fortier, all three of them with good experience of European hockey and solid, dependable two-way hockey sense. From other DEL teams, we got Florian Schnitzer (Krefeld), an outstanding penalty killer and hard working physical winger; Christian Hommel (Kassel), a very hard nosed player who creates something every time he's on the ice; Björn Bombis (Nürnberg), very fast and skilled winger, who always seem to score "highlight reel" goals; and Alexander Barta (Berlin), who has impressed me the most by his skill, guts and game intelligence. Four guys had tryouts with us during training camps, and a real still around. Max Lingemann, Martin and Benjamin Hinterstocker played together on our fourth line all of training camp and were very effective, all deserving an extension... Max and Martin got licensed as affiliate players, while Benny received a contract. The fourth one, American winger Aaron Fox, also received a tryout contract, and is still very much in the running to get one of the free import player spots...

Where do we fit in the DEL? Very hard to say at this moment, because we only played against a few teams. But on paper, Hannover, Düsseldorf and Iserlohn have all improved, and they were all the teams right behind us last season. Berlin still has five or six foreigner spots open, so they will change their look as the season goes along. Frankfurt, Köln and Ingolstadt remain very solid teams. Nürnberg might be hard pressed to repeat their third place finish, although they improved in goal with Labbé. And there are new starts in Augsburg, Krefeld and Kassel with new coaches and management. And we don't know much about Duisburg, except that they have a very famous coach in Germany!! One thing is for sure, the new season will be exciting, and it is harder than ever before to predict anything!!

So, this season again, I'm back with an insider look at the Freezers, the DEL, and hockey in general, as I see it, behind the mask. Of course, like the years before, I am always happy to hear from you, the readers of the Spider's Web and of If you have questions, comments or ideas for my column, don't hesitate to send them at, and I will be more than happy to answer you.

Let the season begin!! Have a good one!! 

Join in with experts and fans from all over the world to dicuss German hockey on our forum. Here's a look at the hottest topics:
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@ Berlin Eisbären
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Mannheim Adler 5-4
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Hamburg Freezers 2-3
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@ Frankfurt Lions
Games in progress: Click here for live scoring @

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