Munich’ Red Bull professional ice hockey team won the regular season of the German DEL Deutsche Eishockey Liga (German Ice Hockey League). For the second year in a row, they have thereby qualified for the Champions Hockey League based on their regular season finish in the DEL. Last season they finished 2nd behind Adler Mannheim. This year they finished first, after a 3–1 victory on the final day of the season on the road over ERC Ingolstadt this Sunday, March 6, 2016.
The race went right down to the wire, with six teams still in contention to finish 1st with three rounds to go in the regular season. Entering play on the final Sunday, Munich and the Iserlohn Roosters were tied for top spot with 91 points each, 2 up on CHL founding members Eisbaren Berlin. Whoever finished with more points between Munich and Iserlohn would get the CHL berth, whether it was for 1st place or for 2nd behind Berlin. Munich held the tie-breaker, so as soon as Iserlohn lost 1–0 on home ice to Kolner Haie, the CHL spot belonged to Munich. With Berlin shutting out Mannheim 4–0, however, the Red Bulls needed the win to claim the No. 1 seed heading into the DEL playoffs. Led by a goal and an assist from captain Michael Wolf, they did that.
“This season was a challenge. We had a difficult start but the guys just kept battling. We have a good character club here, and we're looking forward to the playoffs,” head coach Don Jackson told the club website after the win in Ingolstadt. “Also one of the goals we achieved was to qualify for the Champions Hockey League, but I'm not going to think about that too much right now. We have another challenge ahead of us.”
The Red Bulls don't know yet who their quarter-final opponents will be this season – they will have to see who survives the preliminary round for teams seeded 7 through 10. Those include Koln, Ingolstadt, the Straubing Tigers and Mannheim. The first match is set to take place on March 15, 2016 at 7:30pm at the Olympia-Eissportzentrum in Munich’s Olympiapark. Tickets are available from Muenchenticket.de. They cost from 19.80 to 35.20 euros plus fee.