It was already light again in Frankfurt when, at the end of a night of partying, we heard what the future should sound like.
When the second division ice hockey champions from Frankfurt were welcomed by around 200 fans at dawn on Saturday, they all sang together in front of the ice rink not only about the second division, in which they "never want to play again".
The big rivals from Mannheim, with whom the previous club Frankfurt Lions had repeatedly fought heated duels until their bankruptcy in 2010, were teased again.
So everything like before?
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The impromptu party was part of the promotion celebrations.
On Wednesday afternoon, the city of Frankfurt invited the lions to the Römer, where the 2004 German championship was celebrated.
There will certainly also be a season-ending party with the Frankfurt promotion heroes, who found it difficult to put their happiness into words immediately after the triumph.
"It's unbelievable how we've pulled it off now," said striker Manuel Strodel after the 2-1 away win in Ravensburg, the fourth in the best-of-seven series in the final.
And for captain Maximilian Faber, who had made it 1-1 towards the end of the second period before Reid McNeill shot the lions lucky five minutes before the end, it all still felt a bit surreal: three years after losing the final against Ravensburg to win the second division championship at the same place of all places is unbelievable.
The team that was built for the moment, according to sports director Franz-David Fritzmeier, worked at the moment - and how: In the play-offs, the lions didn't lose a single game in twelve games.
On Friday evening, not only the accompanying Löwen fans had a good sense of who stood out from the outstanding team in the final series and who played a major part in this success.
Even before the most valuable player of the play-offs was announced, the fans chanted the name of their goalkeeper: Jake Hildebrand, who rightly received this award after a brilliant season.
There are only a few days left
Fritzmeier, the architect of sporting success, focused on the big picture: “If you want to become champion, a lot of things have to fit.
Everything we set out to do has worked out,” he said.
Started more than four years ago with the aim of leading the lions back into the first division, Fritzmeier also seemed visibly relieved when he asked a question to the celebrating crowd in front of the ice rink, the answer to which he already knew before, but again wanted to savor to the full: "Should we continue playing against Bad Nauheim or do we go to the DEL?"
The lions are back where they think they belong: on the top floor of German ice hockey.
In order to be able to really compete there in September, however, they still need the license.
The champion of the DEL2 must have submitted his application documents to the league office in Neuss on May 3rd.
For top-tier clubs, the cut-off date is 24 May.
So the people of Frankfurt only have a few days left.
For the club management, it is now a matter of setting up a strict budget plan for the new season in order to obtain the license.Keywords: