The German Ice Hockey Association made several staff changes for the upcoming season following the elections including new coaches for the U20 and women’s national teams.
Men’s national team coach Pat Cortina will now fully focus on coaching and also take the lead for the U20 national team that will play in the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship in Toronto and Montreal. Former U20 national team coach Ernst Hofner will take over Cortina’s tasks as Sport Director.
Michael Pfuhl was named new General Secretary and replaces in this position Franz Reindl, who resigned from this position several weeks ago to become President of the German Ice Hockey Association.
“You cannot successfully combine the structural requirements of a sports director with the tasks of a national team head coach. Pat Cortina has the full responsibility for the current development and presence of our national teams, which entails the short and mid-term goals of improving our world ranking, ensuring a top performance at the 2017 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship, and achieving Olympic qualification in 2018,” Reindl said.
For Canadian-Italian coach Pat Cortina it will be the third year in the national team program and the first as head coach of the U20 national team. The 49-year-old was previously coaching EHC Munchen in Germany, for seven years the Hungarian national team and for three years the Italian national team.
On the U20 national team Reindl said: “We have good, talented, and motivated players at the U20 and U18 levels. For us, what placement the teams achieve is not our goal, but rather the development of our players. That development can only be optimal at the top level. Therefore, it must remain our primary objective with both of these junior teams to remain at the top level.”
The German Ice Hockey Association also named Benjamin Hinterstocker as new head coach of the women’s national team. He replaces Peter Kathan, who retired.
The 34-year-old former junior national team player ended his playing career in 2007 and turned to coaching after 11 years as a professional player including stints in the top league with the Kassel Huskies, Eisbaren Berlin, Kolner Haie and Hamburg Freezers. He also represented Germany in three U20 World Championships (two in the top division) and two U18 European Championships.
Hinterstocker was Kathan’s assistant at several tournaments, most recently in the 2014 Olympic Winter Games, and the head coach of the U18 women’s national team in the 2014 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 Women’s World Championship Division I. He was also coaching Preussen Berlin in the third-tier men’s league during the 2012/2013 season.
“In ex-DEL pro Benjamin Hinterstocker, the DEB has now contracted a young certified coach who will continue the upswing development of the program after it was served so diligently for years by Peter Kathan,” Reindl said. “We will be investing more money and dedicated commitment into the area of women’s ice hockey.”