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Augsburg stuns Munich with poised comeback
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März 23, 2002; 04:18
Augsburg stuns Munich with poised comeback
Barons and Panthers treat sellout crowd to great playoff hockey - Opening night marked by upsets
Frank Johne

 
“We could have used one more, I guess” - Derek Plante’s 2G, 1A were not enough

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Munich, Germany - The first sellout crowd of the season in Munich’s Olympia-Eisstadion got treated to some great playoff hockey as the top seeded Munich Barons opened their first-round series with the Augsburg Panthers Friday. Led by two third period goals from thriving youngster Andreas Morczinietz, the Panthers rallied back from two deficits to upset the Barons 6-5 after penalty shootout. A three-point effort from Derek Plante and multiple point nights from Johan Rosen, Shane Peacock and Hans Lodin were not enough as the Barons squandered an early three-goal cushion and a one-goal lead late in the game. “Upset” seemed to be the big motto on an opening night that saw the other three favorites stumble, too.
 

Stunned: Barons netminder Rousson watches as the Panthers celebrate the upset
Leading DEL Scorers
(as of Feb 19, 2005)

All four higher seeded teams lost their opening contests. 10:14 into overtime, Steve Larouche’s breakaway goal capped a 3-2 comeback win for the Berlin Eisbären (7) over the Mannheim Adler (2). With only three seconds left in regulation, Berlin’s captain Marc Fortier had come up with the equalizer. The Kölner Haie (6) wrestled down the DEL’s most successful home team, the Krefeld Pinguine (3), 2-1 after penalty shootout. Kassel’s Ilpo Kauhanen registered the first shutout of the postseason as the Huskies (5) blanked the Nuremberg Ice Tigers (4) 4-0.

Munich squanders three-goal lead

With a sellout crowd of 6,254 spectators on hand at Munich, Augsburg drew first blood with a tally from Vasily Pankov just 75 seconds into the contest. The Belorussian, who had a positive doping test at the Olympics, had been cleared to play just hours before. But the Barons bounced back immediately with a spectacular offensive outburst. Scores from defenseman Hans Lodin, Shane Peacock and two goals from Derek Plante, including a short-hander, gave Munich an almost commanding 4-1 lead. Igor Alexandrov’s 4-2 gave Augsburg some life late in the opening period, though.

As time went on, the Panthers got more and more involved in the game. But despite showing a lot of poise, they failed to close the edge. Near the midway point of the third period, Andreas Morczinietz finally managed to get the puck past Barons netminder Boris Rousson on the powerplay. He struck again 87 seconds later to tie the game at four apiece. With the momentum apparently shifting, Munich recovered, though and got the potential game-winner when Johan Rosen knocked home a rebound at 55:33. Augsburg responded immediately, though. Chris Straube’s goal sent the game into overtime only 28 seconds later.

The overtime period remained scoreless despite opportunities at both ends. Igor Alexandrov’s game-winner capped a perfect penalty shootout for Augsburg. The Panthers converted all their five attempts, while Munich’s Kent Fearns got denied by Augsburg’s Magnus Eriksson after the shootout had been opened by an amazing seven straight scores.

Simpson: ”The worst period of the season”

“We actually played well,” Barons head coach Sean Simpson remarked, “but only during the first forty minutes. But what followed probably was our worst period of the season.”

“It was a great playoff game,” Augsburg’s Danny Naud added. “As expected, it was a derby with a lot of emotions. It was great to win the opener, but we gotta keep our feet on the ground.”

Plante: “Now we gotta go win one in their barn.”

“It’s definitely a tough loss”, Barons center Derek Plante remarked. “We had a 4-2 lead going into the third period. That’s what we asked for. We gotta come through and play sixty minutes like forty minutes. We had a couple of mistakes and they didn’t quit - credit to them. It was nice we got the lead at the end there again. But they just kept battling. Now we gotta go win one in their barn.”

Barons start with offensive outburst

Augsburg’s 3,000 supporters got to cheer first. On a counterattack, Vasily Pankov sneaked past Munich’s David Oliver, and converted a diagonal feed from Jakub Ficenec with a nice backhand move to give the Panthers the lead only 1:15 into the contest. The Barons weren’t shocked and responded immediately, though. Coming out of the right corner, Simon Wheeldon found Hans Lodin just inside the blueline. The Swedish defender sent a low wrister at the net that slid past screened netminder Eriksson to tie the game at one apiece 44 seconds later. And Munich kept on pressing. Derek King got denied on the doorstep after a nice feed from Plante, David Oliver couldn’t convert a solo effort. Defenseman Shane Peacock was more successful at 6:24. Skating four aside, Peter Douris won a faceoff in the Augsburg zone and knocked the puck back to Lodin who dumped it to Peacock. “The Chief” skated along the right boards and unleashed a mighty blast just from the outer corner of the right faceoff circle. Although he apparently had good vision this time, Eriksson couldn’t stop the bad-angle shot - 2-1 in favor of the Barons.

Even a man short, Munich’s offensive machine continued to roll. Right off his own faceoff win, Derek Plante pulled to the Augsburg net and went top-shelf with a quick wrister to extend the lead to 3-1 (9:20). Plante followed up his terrific short-hander with an even nicer goal at 17:28. A turnover by the Panthers at their own blueline gave Munich a 2-on-1. Plante played give-and-go with youngster Peter Abstreiter. With the puck on his forehand side right in front of the goalcrease, Plante hesitated long enough to make Eriksson go down. He quickly shifted to the backhand and lifted the puck into the wide-open net to put Munich up 4-1.

“The faceoff was just lucky,” Plante explained. “The second was a good play. ‘Abbey’ (Abstreiter) sent me in and I was able to get it in the net. But we could have used one more, I guess.”

Indeed. Individual mistakes paved the way for Augsburg’s comeback. Off a turnover in the neutral zone, Panthers defenseman Christian Lukes worked the puck across the blueline. Barons defender Christoph Schubert had a chance to play it, but fanned on it. Lukes picked it up and sent it across to a wide-open Igor Alexandrov who sent it past Rousson to make it 4-2 with only 40 seconds remaining in the opening period.

Morczinietz sparks Augsburg’s comeback

Augsburg managed only five shots on goal in the middle frame, but seemed to be closer to the next goal. Five minutes into the period, Quinn Hancock was denied by Rousson on a shorthanded breakaway. A little less than three minutes from the intermission, Barons defender Kent Fearns made a save on the goalline for his already beaten goaltender.

Augsburg caught a big break five minutes into the final period when Munich’s Mike Kennedy failed to put the game out of reach on a breakaway. The Panthers seized the moment three minutes later when Marc Beaucage set up Andreas Morczinietz right at the doorstep to pull Augsburg to within a goal. Lousy positioning on defense gave Morczinietz the chance to shine again only 87 seconds later. After a diagonal feed from Rob Guillet, the wide-open youngster rifled a slapshot from the far left slot past Rousson to even the score at 4-4.

Munich responded to Augsburg’s poised comeback, though. Netminder Eriksson couldn’t handle a point shot from Peacock, Johan Rosen picked up the rebound and knocked it across the goalline to put the Barons back in front with less than five minutes remaining in regulation. Sloppy defensive play cost the potential win, though. Right in front of his own net, Greg Johnston misplayed a slow Augsburg pass, the puck got through to Panthers forward Mickey Elick. He got stopped by Rousson, but picked up the rebound and quickly dumped it back out in front where the trailing Chris Straube knocked it into the wide-open net to tie the game at 5-5 and sent the contest into overtime at 56:01.

Game ends with high-scoring shootout

The overtime period saw opportunities at both ends. Morczinietz could have capped his stellar performance with a game-winner. But he got denied on a shorthanded breakaway eight minutes into OT. With the game apparently headed for the penalty shootout, Munich’s David Oliver got denied by Eriksson with only seconds to go. The Panthers countered. With time expiring, a kick save by Rousson denied Ficenec and Morczinietz on a 2-on-1.

As if the game’s offensive output hadn’t already been big enough, the fans got to see an unusual number of goals in the shootout, too. Thanks to some lucky bounces, the first seven attempts were all converted. Augsburg’s Sergej Vostrikov beat Rousson to the glove side to open the shootout, his teammate Morczinietz was lucky that the puck trickled past Rousson. Rob Guillet saw his attempt trickle through the netminder’s five-hole before Marc Beaucage beat Rousson high to the stick side. David Oliver got Munich on the board with a quick forehand move, Peter Douris knocked the puck through the five-hole and Derek King outwaited Eriksson to convert top-shelf to even up the score respectively.

With Munich trailing 4-3, Kent Fearns tried to beat Eriksson high to the glove side, but got denied. Igor Alexandrov then beat Munich’s Rousson low to the glove side to cap Augsburg’s perfect shootout and to give the Panthers a 1-0 series lead.

Munich Barons - Augsburg Panthers 5-6 (4-2, 0-0, 1-3, 0-1) after shootout
Scoring: 0-1 (1:15) Vasily Pankov (Jakub Ficenec, Chris Straube), 1-1 (1:59) Hans Lodin (Christoph Schubert, Simon Wheeldon), 2-1 (6:24) Shane Peacock (Hans Lodin, Peter Douris - 4:4), 3-1 (9:20) Derek Plante (Derek King, Mike Smazal - 4:5), 4-1 (17:28) Derek Plante (Peter Abstreiter, Johan Rosén), 4-2 (19:20) Igor Alexandrov (Christian Lukes), 4-3 (48:10) Andreas Morczinietz (Marc Beaucage, Robert Guillet - 5:4), 4-4 (49:37) Andreas Morczinietz (Robert Guillet), 5-4 (55:33) Johan Rosén (Shane Peacock, Derek Plante), 5-5 (56:01) Chris Straube (Quinn Hancock, Mickey Elick).
Game-winning penalty shot: 5-6 Igor Alexandrov.
Penalties: Munich 20, Augsburg 22.
Shots on goal: Munich 41 (11:9:9:12), Augsburg 28 (7:5:9:7).
Powerplay: Munich 0 of 5 (600 sec), Augsburg 1 of 5 (498 sec)
Goalies: Boris Rousson (Munich), Magnus Eriksson (Augsburg).
Referee: Ralph Dimmers (Krefeld). Linesmen: Andreas Sprenger, Christian Walter.
Attendance: 6,254 (sellout - Olympia-Eisstadion, Munich).
Augsburg leads best-of-five series 1-0.
Frank Johne

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