ERC Ingolstadt is now playing the 11th season in the DEL. The club was founded in 1964, when a few young guys played hockey on a pond. Just right there, a new rink was created in 1974, the legendary “Eisstadion an der Jahnstraße”. There the team played the first games in an amateur league.
After playing years in amateur leagues, the club developed continuously and reached the professional hockey leagues in the 1990´s. In 2002 the club made a big step and played his first year DEL, just one year later the Saturn Arena was ready to be the new home of the “Panthers”.
During the NHL-Lockout in 2005, the club could get some NHL-flair into his arena, Jamie Langenbrunner, Andy McDonald (both now playing for the St.Louis Blues in the NHL, wearing the “A”). Even Aaron Ward and Marco Sturm, who was just born 50 km away from Ingolstadt came back and played during the lockout for the Panthers and won the German Hockeycup competition that year.
As mentioned before, the club is now playing his 11th season in the DEL, during this time the club missed the playoffs only two times, played four times the semi-finals and will hopefully see a final-series soon. So far, last year was the best season for Ingolstadt's hockey team finishing in 2nd place after the regular season and getting to the semi-finals one more time. After a hard best-of-five series the team lost 3-1 against fellow European Trophy team Adler Mannheim.
Thomas Greilinger is now looking forward to his fifth year in Ingolstadt. After winning the DEL championship with the Munich Barons in his first DEL-year and contracts in Schwenningen, Nuremberg and Mannheim, he had to quit his professional carrier due to a knee-injury.
But, he made a comeback at his local club, the Deggendorf SC in the third league, where he scored 98 times in 37 games. After one more year in Deggendorf he got a contract in Ingolstadt in 2008. One year later he was awarded as best player in the year 2009/2010 and scored additionally the most goals this season in the DEL (38).European Trophy