Ron Pasco scored 5:23 into overtime as Mannheim wrestled down the Kassel Huskies 3-2 on the road. The Adler had to battle hard, though, despite dominating most of the game. Kassel managed to rally back from two deficits. An early third period tally from Brent Peterson sent the game into overtime. Mannheim can wrap up the series at home on Friday and secure its fifth trip to the DEL finals in the last six years.
The series between Cologne and Munich might turn out to be as tight as both coaches projected. Sparked by a large majority of the 14,140 fans at the KölnArena, the Haie evened the semifinal series at one game apiece with a 3-2 home win on Wednesday. Cologne jumped out to a 3-0 lead over the sluggish Barons before a powerplay tally by Mike Kennedy brought Munich back into the game midway through the third. The Barons started pressing and moved to within a goal on a powerplay blast by Shane Peacock with just over six minutes to go. With the momentum obviously on their side, a controversial penalty call by referee Gerhard Müller put a halt to Munich’s rally.”Ridiculous” penalty stops Munich’s efforts
“After we scored the second goal, we were thinking about winning the game,” Barons winger Mike Kennedy explained. “Frankly, I think the ref made a terrible call, a neutral zone penalty. That was just ridiculous. There was nothing we could do about it. We had to kill it off. And then (he called) another penalty at the end - it’s brutal. I thought for sure, down by a goal with five minutes to go, we’re gonna tie it up. We were all over them. I think he (referee Müller) just wrecked the flow for us.”
Cologne, which still hasn’t scored a powerplay goal against Munich all season, build its three-goal lead thanks to efficient special teams play. Two goals were scored just seconds after the respective penalties expired, the other one with an extra attacker on a delayed penalty call.
“It was a tight game,” Kennedy added. “There was not too many scoring chances on both sides. They got a couple of goals that weren’t great goals. But that’s playoff hockey. You gotta win the tight ones.”Herter out for season?
The Haie were missing three regulars (Niklas Sundblad, Andreas Renz and Tino Boos). Barons defender Greg Johnston (charley horse) missed his second straight game and remains day-to-day while forward Andy Schneider’s return (broken hand) is still doubtful.
“Andy’s not gonna play in this series,” Barons head coach Sean Simpson explained. “And Jason Herter got injured again tonight, he’s probably out for season.” Simpson would not reveal details of the injury, but said that Herter had not re-aggravated the meniscus injury that had been bothering him all year.Cologne jumps out to 3-0 lead
Cologne got off to an energetic start. Eric Bertrand put the Haie on the scoreboard 7:29 into the campaign. With a penalty to Munich’s Mike Smazal just expired, Cologne’s Andre Faust unleashed a point blast from the left slot. Jason Young quickly seized the rebound and got it to Bertrand who knocked it home from the doorstep.
The Barons failed to create much pressure on their three first-period powerplay opportunities. Their biggest chance came early in the second on a breakaway by Christoph Schubert, who had just come out of the penalty box. Kennedy failed to capitalize on another odd-man rush minutes later.
The Haie were more fortunate. On a delayed penalty call to Andrej Strakhov, Björn Barta deflected a one-timer by John Miner from the right point past Barons goalie Boris Rousson to double Cologne’s lead to 2-0 midway through the second.
And the Haie kept pressing. A solo effort by Alex Hicks was denied, but the Haie once again managed to score two seconds after a penalty expired. With Munich’s Schubert returning from a holding minor, Jason Young dumped the puck at Munich’s net from the left slot. Standing all alone in front of Rousson, Collin Danielsmeier did not hesitate to score off the rebound to put the Haie ahead 3-0 at 35:25.Reshuffled lines spark late rally
Munich’s head coach Sean Simpson reshuffled his lines heading into the final period. And it worked. With Alex Hicks in the penalty box (slashing), Kennedy fired a slapshot past well-screened Haie netminder Chris Rogles from the far left slot to eventually get the Barons on the board with just over twelve minutes remaining.
Kennedy’s goal turned out to be the much-needed wake-up call. All of a sudden, the Barons took control of the game and started pressing. With Cologne’s Brad Schlegel out for high-sticking, Barons defender Shane Peacock ripped a blast from the right slot past goalie Rogles, beating the netminder high to the glove-side - his team-leading fifth playoff goal.
But two late penalty calls by referee Müller took all the momentum away from the Barons. At 54:41, Peter Abstreiter was penalized for holding. Seconds after Simpson had decided to pull Rousson for an extra attacker, Peacock was sent off for hooking in the neutral zone.
In between the calls, Schubert had a big scoring opportunity after a solo effort, but his shot from the left face-off circle was turned aside by Rogles. Derek King and Derek Plante wasted Munich’s final opportunity on a counterattack with just over a minute to go.Kölner Haie - Munich Barons 3-2 (1-0, 2-0, 0-2)
Scoring: 1-0 (7:29) Eric Bertrand (Jason Young, André Faust), 2-0 (29:09) Björn Barta (John Miner, Jason Young - 6:5), 3-0 (35:25) Collin Danielsmeier (André Faust, Jason Young), 3-1 (47:40) Mike Kennedy (Peter Douris, Christoph Schubert - 5:4), 3-2 (53:33) Shane Peacock (Derek Plante, Johan Rosén - 5:4).
Shots on Goal: Cologne 30 (11:9:10), Munich 25 (6:8:11).
Penalties:: Cologne 20, Munich 22 plus 10 game misconduct for Johan Rosén.
Power Play: Cologne 0 of 10, Munich 2 of 7.
Goalies: Chris Rogles (Cologne); Boris Rousson (Munich).
Referee: Gerhard Müller. Linesmen: Peter Gerharz, Wolfgang Lindlar.
Attendance: 14,140 (KölnArena, Cologne).Kassel Huskies - Adler Mannheim 2-3 OT (1-2, 0-0, 1-0, 0-1)
Tore: 0-1 (1:49) Edgerton (Hlushko, Picard), 1-1 Valenti (Kreutzer, Robitaille), 1-2 (14:00) Hynes (Picard, Roach), 2-2 (40:30) Peterson (Kathan, Mikesch - 5:4), 2-3 (65:23) Pasco (Junker)
Penalty: Kassel 8, Mannheim 8.
Referee: Stefan Trainer
Attendance: 5,787 (Eissporthalle, Kassel).