We start our weekly roundup on Wednesday as the Rhein-Neckar Löwen were busy in the Champions League, which saw the match against Leipzig rescheduled to mid-week. The league leaders were without starting goalkeeper Mikael Appelgren, but Richard Stochl used his calm style to make some key saves, as Leipzig had done very well for most parts of the game. But the lions were just too strong in crunch time and went on to beat SC DhfK by a final score of 28:22 (12:11).
One of the key games on the weekend included Kiel hosting Hamburg. What used to be a close and hard-battled encounter over and over again in the past decade has become a lopsided affair since the guests had to sell numerous stars, including Domagoj Duvnjak and Joan Canellas, who both joined the THW in 2014. Duvnjak was decisive this time, scoring seven times, and Kiel used its superior strength on defense, as the HSV had also lost defensive leader Piotr Grabarczyk in the first minute after a hard foul on Marko Vujin. Kiel cruised to a 29:23 (13:11) win with a strong second half.
Another crucial matchup took place in Göppingen where Frisch Auf hosted the surprise team of the league, HSG Wetzlar. Both teams saw players sent off with a direct red card. While Wetzlar was able to compensate the loss of Joao Ferraz, the Swabians had a difficult time to replace keeper Primoz Prost, as his back-up Bastian Rutschmann missed the game due to injury. Daniel Rebmann did well, but not well enough to prevent Wetzlar from winning the game 29:28 (15:15), thanks to Steffen Fäth’s directly converted free-throw as time had already expired.
Balingen used to be a tough place to conquer, but not anymore. HBW lost for the sixth time in seven home games this season against second-placed MT Melsungen. But to be fair, the guests were heavily favored coming into the game and it showed why. The team of Michael Roth controlled most of the match, leading by seven (17:10) at the half. Johannes Sellin had a heck of a game, scoring ten times, twice from the spot, in what ended up being a 36:30 win.
After a hard fight against Zagreb in the Champions League on Wednesday, Flensburg travelled to Eisenach facing a newly-promoted side which had already collected five points. But nobody expected them to beat the SG and it showed, as the game wasn’t even sold out in a city known to be crazy about handball. The money was well saved, as the guests stormed to a 19:10 lead at the break, winning by a final score of 32:24.
In Wuppertal the Bergischer HC hosted the Füchse Berlin and with Kristian Nippes and Christian Hoße coming back from injures the sky-blue hoped for an important win in their fight against relegation. But the latest injury to playmaker Viktor Szilagyi was too much to overcome and various key saves by Petr Stochl made sure the foxes would take home both points in a 29:26 (17:14) win, as the BHC fans where left in disappointment once more.
Lübbecke remains winless after 13 games as a three-goal lead at halftime (14:11) wasn’t enough to hold off a VfL Gummersbach side which lacks any kind of consistency, let it be throughout the season or within games themselves. The guests came back also thanks to eleven goals, five from the line, by left-wing Raul Santos to win 28:25.
Magdeburg seems to back on track as the SCM was able to beat lowly Lemgo 36:29 (16:13) in front of almost 7.00 fans. There’s not much to add about a game which the hosts had controlled from midway through the first half and won thanks to nine (2) goals by right-wing Robert Weber.
Last but not least league newbie Stuttgart was chanceless in Hannover, as the TSV rolled to an easy 30:22 (14:10)win which never really looked in doubt. Young right-wing Timo Kastening scored a career-high eight goals to lead Hannover. Dominik Weiß had five for the guests.