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“This will be a great place for a hockey team”
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August 30, 2002; 05:09
“This will be a great place for a hockey team”
Kent Fearns on his first couple of weeks in Ingolstadt
Frank Johne

Warrior: Despite his eye injury, Fearns didn’t miss a single playoff game last year

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Ingolstadt, Germany - The Munich Barons might be gone, but Kent Fearns isn’t. While most of Munich’s key players are spread all over the league or have returned to their native countries, the 29-year-old defenseman is still around - sort of: Fearns joined DEL expansion team Ingolstadt, located just about 50 miles north of Munich. caught up with Kent after Ingolstadt’s 6-0 exhibition win over DEL rival Nuremberg Ice Tigers last Sunday.

Kent Fearns tallied 81 points (26 G, 55 A) in his three years with the Munich Barons
Leading DEL Scorers
(as of Feb 19, 2005) Kent, you just scored a goal as your new team Ingolstadt blanked the Nuremberg Ice Tigers 6-0 in its first-ever home exhibition game. What does the win mean to you, considering that you are an expansion team?

Kent Fearns: I think it was good. It was great for the city. I think we played a pretty tired team. They only had about five defensemen and stuff like that. But it was great for us. If you’d have asked me two weeks into training camp if we could score six goals in a game, I would have said: ‘Not a chance!’ I thought we’d score about six goals from the start of training camp through the first two weeks. But we looked a lot better, a lot more fresh. Against Augsburg, we were pretty tired and didn’t play that well. We got a little bit of rest this week and we had some jumping, which was nice to see. If you compare your new head coach Jim Boni to [Barons coach] Sean Simpson, is there a major difference in their approach to the game?

Kent Fearns:No, actually they’re pretty similar. Under Jim, it’s a little bit more intense in training camp and things like that. But I think they are pretty similar behind the bench. They run good practices and their system is fairly close. I think they have some very close styles. Jim’s used to working with younger players while Sean is used to working with Pete Douris and guys like that who are a little bit older. But overall, they are very comparable. You’ve been in that situation before, coming into the league with a new team, when you joined the Barons three years ago…

Kent Fearns: Yeah, it’s kind of the same here, it’s fun. The fans are all excited and everyone around the team is excited. Everything is brand new. It’s a little bit unorganised at the start of the season, but I mean that happened in Munich, too. The first year is always most exciting for the city and everybody. And for us players, just look at how excited the fans for an exhibition win, it’s great. I mean if we can win a few games here and have some success, this will be a great place for a hockey team. Was that one of the major reasons that made you come here to Ingolstadt, to be able to start something new once again?

Kent Fearns: Yes, that was a part of it. I knew that there was gonna be quite a few younger players, to be one of the older guys. And just to come into a new city, it’s fun, the excitement in the town. If you go somewhere else, like even going to Munich after the third year, I mean there wasn’t the hype up, it was just ‘ok, here’s another hockey season’. Here, everyone’s like ‘oh, we got a new team!’. Everything’s new and exciting here. So that was one of the reasons. But I also wanted to stay in Bavaria. I really like it down here, like being close to the mountains. So there’s a few reasons that I wanted to stay here. How far do you think the team can go this season?

Kent Fearns: I don’t know. I’d like to see us make the playoffs. We have some talent on the team, but we’re pretty young still, so we’re not gonna win a championship. If we’re in that battle for a playoff spot at the end of the year, I think that’s a pretty successful season for us. I think that’s all we can ask for right now. And who knows? Come November, December, and things are different, we will change the goals.
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