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#4Nations – Who are the Odense Bulldogs & Aalborg Pirates?

SEASON TICKETS: Don’t miss a moment of the action, get #6GamesFree on your 2018/19 Go Goodwin’s Manchester Storm season tickets, when you buy them before 5 pm on the 31st of May 2018! Tickets can be ordered online, by emailing [email protected], or in person at the Storm Sports store.

With the announcement that the Go Goodwins Manchester Storm will be taking part in the inaugural 4 Nations Showcase, we asked Danish national & the Cardiff Devils social media manager – Fie Adolfsen, to give us an insight into the world of Danish hockey, and the two teams we’ll be facing! 

Danish ice hockey, much like in the United Kingdom, takes a back row seat when it comes to popularity. The main sport is and has always been football, but just as in the U.K., hockey is continuing to grow from strength to strength in Denmark who, despite a population of just 5.6 million people, can boast having stayed in the IIHF Pool A for 16 consecutive years and counting.

Much like in the United Kingdom, the amount of people that know and watch ice hockey isn’t a great number but the people who do are very passionate about the sport, so expect the fans that travel to be proud and passionate hockey fans – and if the Danes and the Brits share one thing, it’s our love of drinking so make sure you got plenty of beer ready!

The Teams

The Odense Bulldogs were formed in 1978 in Hans Christian Andersen’s hometown of Odense, the Odense Bulldogs have played in the top tier of Danish hockey – the Metal Ligaen – since 1991. They’ve yet to claim a league title but have won the Cup (the equivalent to the Challenge Cup) four times, with their last win coming in the 2015-16 season.

This season they made it to the semi-final stage of the playoffs for the first time in four years. On the back of some financial trouble and the salary cap in Danish hockey, the club had to say goodbye to fan favourite Dale Mitchell but with the addition of a new coach (Swedens’ Pelle Svensson) and a 3-year sponsorship deal with Carlsberg, the club are looking towards the future and a rebuilding of the team.

Of the 14 players already confirmed for the 18/19 season, 13 of them are Danish and many are young talents. Homegrown talent, is how the club is hoping to build a team that will challenge for and finally get them that much-desired league trophy.

Danish hockey tends to see the majority of the players on every team to be from Denmark, however the Bulldogs have had some great import players pulling on the jersey, and perhaps most notably for the EIHL, Scott Matzka played 3 seasons for the club and wore the captains ‘C’ in his last season with the club.

Meanwhile, the Aalborg Pirates waited 37 years, but finally claimed another Danish title this season as they beat the Herning Blue foxes 6-1 in game 6 of the playoff final series. Having come second 10 times, there was talk of a curse for the Pirates in getting that league title, but the wait is finally over for the team who also won the Danish cup for the second time in their history having previously won it in 2007.

The team play in the Cool East Arena in Aalborg in front of 5000 fans making it the biggest hockey arena in Denmark. Aalborg Pirates will also need to add a new coach as their ‘golden coach’ Canadian Brandon Reid who brought so much success to the team in a short period of time, has left to coach in the DEL for the Krefeld Penguins. Having claimed the Danish league title, the Pirates will also be competing in the CHL for the first time in the club’s history and will be hoping to do better than their league rivals Esbjerg who were the only team to lose all 6 games in last seasons CHL.

For the upcoming season, the club has confirmed five players, all of whom are young and Danish with the average of the five being 22 years. Rumour has it that Martin Lefebvre, who was named the best player in the Danish league, is making the move to Krefeld with the departing coach, a player that will be very hard to replace for the Pirates. Mark McCutcheon (Giants) Jace Coyle (Steelers) and Bryce Reddick (Devils) all played in Aalborg before making the move to the EIHL in the past 5 years.

SEASON TICKETS: Don’t miss a moment of the action, get #6GamesFree on your 2018/19 Go Goodwin’s Manchester Storm season tickets, when you buy them before 5 pm on the 31st of May 2018! Tickets can be ordered online, by emailing [email protected], or in person at the Storm Sports store.