After his 1000th game in the German Ice Hockey League (DEL), Frank Hördler showed his emotions: “It was a huge thing for me, a great gift. Something you can’t pay for,” said the visibly moved captain of the Eisbären Berlin the celebrations at the home game against ERC Ingolstadt on Sunday. “I’m happy and proud.”

In fact, it was an afternoon of great emotions in the arena at Ostbahnhof: the entire team wore Hördler jerseys to warm up, and before the game the 37-year-old defender, who won nine championship titles with the capital city team, was honored by the DEL and given an impressive choreography by the fans. Relatives and companions reviewed the career of the club legend in short films on the video cube.

The only drop of bitterness for the celebrant was the result: the troubled capitals, who are only 13th in the DEL, had to admit defeat to the new table runners-up 3: 4 after a penalty shootout. “It was an incredible day. It’s a shame we couldn’t crown it, but we took a point,” said Hördler.

The captain is hopeful for the upcoming game against the Iserlohn Roosters on Wednesday evening (7.30 p.m., live on Magentasport) because the Berliners were able to force extra time after a previously very poor performance and a 1:3 deficit in the final third thanks to two power play goals. “We were all motivated and had the confidence that we could turn it around. And we turned it around,” emphasized Hördler. “It’s a shame we didn’t finish it in overtime or in the penalty shoot-out.”

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