“Good, but what’s next?” Jessica Campbell wondered rhetorically after a few games as assistant coach Tom Rowe at the Nuremberg Snow Leopards. She was appointed on the recommendation of sporting director Stefan Ostorf, Nuremberg sporting director and former national player, as attacking and majority coach for the Franconian club DEL. It paid off. Apparently this led to more creativity in the game, and the team was able to create more chances.
Campbell, 29, 1.65 meters tall, Canadian, from the ice hockey country, has made an impression. After her stop in Nuremberg, she said this was “only the beginning” and Rowe was so excited that after a guest appearance at his club he predicted her “a bright future” – recommended by national coach Toni Soderholm.
He had six conversations with Campbell, according to Soderholm’s report, before bringing it to his coaching staff in order to achieve as much success as possible at this World Cup and in the hope of making adjustments at the Olympics. So calculates Söderholm.
Campbell says interest in her is ‘exciting’
She is now the assistant coach of the German national team in Helsinki and the first female coach at the Men’s World Cup. But this is not the most important thing for her. “Everyone, no matter who you are, where you are from, what your gender is — if you are good at what you do, you should be able to be successful and be given the opportunity to do so,” she says.
This Thursday, when Germany can take a decisive step towards reaching the quarter-finals against Denmark (3:20pm / Sport1 and Magenta Sport), they will be behind the gang once again as before.
In men’s ice hockey, women are the absolute exception. Campbell is the first female coach in the history of the men’s World Cup, and the World Federation paid tribute to the individuals in an advertisement at the World Cup. Interest in the former Canadian international is similarly high. She ice skated in Calgary Inferno and Malmö Redhawks, among others, and won silver with the Canadian Women at the 2015 World Championships. After her career, she began working as a coach.
She says caring for her is “sexy,” but conveys self-confidence. “I don’t really see obstacles, I only see goals,” she says. “My goal as a coach has always been to train at the highest level. It’s not necessarily about men’s sports or women’s sports.” She knows she has a different, perhaps ‘unique’ view of the game. She doesn’t know if this is the female perspective.
Your boss is trying to take a sober look at the employees. “It’s a hockey decision. For me, it doesn’t matter if it’s a man or a woman,” says Söderholm. The 44-year-old prefers not to continue the discussion between women and men: “Don’t turn around on the plane if you notice that the captain is a woman.”
Campbell knows that the opportunity to make her point will help her earn a spot in men’s hockey. She says she thinks a lot about how to convey her views. Söderholm highlights direct and clear communication as one of her strengths: “She has different keywords, when to use them, and how to use them. If you speak two or three sentences, you might say one.” “Refreshing,” says World Cup newcomer Alexander Ill: “Everyone is happy. With a superwoman like Jessica, we can learn a lot from her.”
She made great progress in the World Cup in Finland
The basis of their game idea is communication and playful solutions. “I’m not going to say or try to convey anything I haven’t experienced in hockey myself. I try to communicate as clearly and simply as possible, and I think players feel that. They know I don’t care what I say, but they succeed,” Campbell said.
Her different opinion of the game scenes is exactly what Söderholm wants and hopes for. Söderholm is so confident in Campbell that he put her in charge of the workforce game – a factor that often changes the rules of the game.
She follows in the footsteps of her predecessor Matt McElvan, says Captain Moritz Muller. Campbell was well received by the veteran (35) and others on the German squad around young NHL star Ceder (21). “You have to convince with professional competence. It doesn’t matter if you’re a woman or a man,” Mueller says. She had the experience and therefore respect for the team from day one.”
The German Ice Hockey Federation is on track for this World Cup with two wins from three matches in the preliminary round, but it can still improve. The successes against Slovakia (2:1) and France (3:2) were perfect by one goal difference.
Competing Denmark ranks 10th in the world rankings, just behind Germany (9th) and is a direct contender in the group for a place in the quarter-finals. At the Olympics, the Danes – unlike the DEB team – reached the last eight. The team’s previous results with long-time professional NHL team Frans Nielsen, who just became champion with Eisbären Berlin, were 9-1 against Kazakhstan, 0-6 against Switzerland and 2-1 against Italy.
After Thursday’s game against the Danes on Friday (3:20 pm), Germany will have to play Italy. We face Kazakhstan on Sunday. The group stage ended on Tuesday against Switzerland. The top four from each group advance to the quarter-finals.