“Down 2-1 in the series and the way we lost Friday’s game, everyone thought we’d be eliminated here in Cologne today”, Barons sports director Max Fedra stated. “They thought our players were already planning their vacations and ready to swing their golf clubs. But the team was spirited today and managed to bounce back. We always believed in our chance. With the opportunity to wrap up the series at home, Cologne felt a lot of pressure. Our team played physical and stayed focussed for 60 minutes.”
As on Friday, the Barons jumped out to a three-goal first-period lead in front of 16,480 at the KölnArena. A breakaway goal by Kennedy opened the scoring just 48 seconds into the game. But Cologne battled back and seemed en route to another comeback when Alex Hicks pulled them to within a goal during a double minor for David Oliver seven minutes into the final period. Munich responded, though, and Derek King extended the lead to 4-2 on a 5-on-3 powerplay with 8:40 to go. Goalie Boris Rousson had to make a couple of big saves before Kennedy sealed the series-tying victory with an empty-netter three seconds before the final horn.”Kept goin’ for 60 minutes, saved our lives”
“I think we got off the game really hungry and we were willing to battle the whole game this afternoon,” Rousson said. “The big difference was that we kept goin’ for 60 minutes today. We got the lead early and we kept building and building. They came back pretty strong but we held on and the big goal with 5-on-3 did seal it for us. Of course, we had some pressure. But that seems to be the way we like it. We never like the easy things in Munich. We lost the first game against Augsburg and had to win there. Then we lost the last game (against Cologne) at home and we had to come in here to save our lives.”
“We knew we had to get over Friday’s loss quickly,” Barons defenseman Christoph Schubert added. “We had beaten Cologne here twice during the regular season and were confident that if we played that same way, we could tie the series today.”Late-arrival Kennedy strikes early
Mike Kennedy, who had joined the team just hours before after spending the night with his highly pregnant wife, struck on the game’s first scoring opportunity 48 seconds into the campaign. Barons defender Kent Fearns intercepted the puck in his own zone, skated around his own net and played a long pass that bounced off the left boards and found Mike Kennedy all alone at Cologne’s blueline. He skated in on Chris Rogles and beat the Haie goalie right through the five-hole to put the Barons ahead 1-0 on their first scoring opportunity. The goal also marked Munich’s first even-strength tally of the series.
Two minutes later, Peter Douris lost a face-off in the Haie zone, but off an opponent’s skate the puck bounced right to defenseman Hans Lodin, standing a couple of feet inside the blueline. He fired a one-timer at the net, David Oliver seized the rebound and had enough patience to move the puck away from Rogles and lift it into the net to double the Barons lead to 2-0.
The Haie wasted a big opportunity to get back into the game when minors against Rousson and Christoph Schubert gave them a 167-second powerplay, including a 72-second two-man advantage.
Munich showed more efficiency on the man advantage. David Oliver centered the puck from the left boards and Peter Douris knocked it home from the doorstep to extend Munich’s lead to 3-0 on the powerplay at 13:39. Late first-period goal gives Haie some momentum
Cologne showed some life late in the period, though, and Dwayne Norris got them on the scoreboard, ripping a point blast past Munich’s well-screened goalie Rousson. Munich then caught a big break when Alex Hicks failed to beat Rousson on a breakaway with just 29 seconds to go, lifting the puck over the crossbar.
The Haie carried some momentum into the middle frame, though, and started pressing for the second goal. Eric Bertrand nearly caught Rousson off balance, but his shot from the near slot went wide right. Alex Hicks had another breakaway on the powerplay, but once again got stopped by Rousson.
Munich’s biggest opportunity of the second came midway through the period when Alexander Serikow set up Peter Abstreiter in the left slot but his attempt was denied by Rogles.Yet another comeback?
Six minutes into the final stanza, Mike Smazal failed to put the game out of reach when his slapshot rang off the framework. Seconds later, an unfortunate penalty call against David Oliver got Cologne back into it. While losing his balance, Oliver’s stick struck Haie defenseman Toni Porrka in the face, causing a small cut. Oliver was assessed a double minor.
On the powerplay, Corey Millen found Niklas Sundblad in the left slot. His shot was stopped by Rousson but Alex Hicks knocked the rebound home to cut Munich’s lead to 3-2 with just under 13 minutes to go.
With the momentum turning and Cologne seemingly on way to another comeback, the Haie killed themselves with a couple of dumb penalties midway through the third. Back-to-back penalties to Porrka (holding) and goalie Rogles (slashing) gave the Barons a 87-second two-man advantage.
Munich needed 71 seconds to capitalize. Rogles made a sprawling save against Peacock’s blast, but Johan Rosen claimed the rebound and managed to knock it across to Derek King who tucked it home from the other side of the crease to make it 4-2.Rousson: Highway robbery
Cologne tried to battle back once again and Boris Rousson had to make a couple more good saves, including probably his best of the year, robbing Thomas Schinko on the doorstep. Munich’s goalie first mishandled Eric Bertrand’s hammer from outside the blueline, letting the puck bounce right to Schinko with the net all open in front of him. But Rousson dove across the crease to knock down the shot.
“I thought it was offside, so it wouldn’t have counted anyway”, a disappointed Schinko said. “Overall, I think we played too hesitant in the first period, that was the key today.”
Mike Kennedy’s empty-netter, his second goal of the afternoon, capped Munich’s 5-2 win with only three ticks to go.
Game 5 will be played in Munich Tuesday night.Kölner Haie - Munich Barons 2-5 (1-3, 0-0, 1-2)
Scoring: 0-1 (0:48) Mike Kennedy (Kent Fearns, Peter Douris - 4:4), 0-2 (3:04) David Oliver (Hans Lodin, Shane Peacock), 0-3 (13:39) Peter Douris (David Oliver, Mike Kennedy - 5:4), 1-3 (15:36) Dwayne Norris (Eric Bertrand), 2-3 (47:05) Alex Hicks (Niclas Sundblad, Corey Millen - 5:4), 2-4 (51:20) Derek King (Johan Rosen, Derek Plante 5:3), 2-5 (59:57) Mike Kennedy (Johan Rosen, Kent Fearns - 5:6).
Shots on Goal: Cologne 44 (11:15:18), Munich 35 (12:10:13).
Penalties: Cologne 20, Munich 22 plus 10 misconduct Christoph Schubert
Power Play: Cologne 2 of 7, Munich 2 of 6.
Goalies: Chris Rogles (Cologne, 34 shots - 30 saves), Boris Rousson (Munich, 44 shots - 42 saves).
Referee: Wolfgang Hellwig. Linesmen: Raik Bläsche, Frank Schornig-
Attendance: 16,000 (KölnArena, Cologne).
Best-of-five series is tied 2-2.