“(The preseason)’s going according to plan, I think,” forward Mike Kennedy remarked. “The tournament in Geneva came a little early for us. But we got a few practices now and you can tell tonight we were ready to play.”
“Especially after that (suspended) game against Krefeld, we were really itching to get into a hockey game. Now we are really excited to go to Lugano (Switzerland), where we got five more games in six days. It’s gonna be a good test.”
With 2,276 in attendance at the Nuremberg Arena, the Barons played very patiently and clever and were also backed by great goalie performances from Boris Rousson and Christian Künast, who replaced Rousson halfway through the game. Nuremberg seemed willing to take the offense from early on, but couldn’t get much going. They looked especially poor on special teams.
Part of Nuremberg’s disappointing performance can surely be blamed on the absence of five regular forwards, David Emma, Bruno Zarrillo, Martin Jiranek, Markus Akerblom and former Baron Thomas Greilinger. The 20-year-old Greilinger, by the way, who got some ice time during Munich’s championship run in 1999, looked somewhat overweight with the start of the regular season just two weeks away.
But Nuremberg’s injury woes were only a slight excuse as the Barons also appeared without four regular starters, three of them defensemen (Hans Lodin -wrist, Shane Peacock -back and Jason Herter-ankle). Forward David Oliver also sat out. Like Lodin and Peacock, he will be back in practice next week while Herter might miss up to three weeks.
With about 75 fans from Munich in support, the Barons fielded only four regular defenders (Kent Fearns, Christoph Schubert, Patrick Köppchen, Mike Smazal), so that two-way player Andy Schneider had to help out on defense, too.
It gave the youngsters a chance to step up and cease the opportunity. Defenders Schubert and Köppchen showcased their offensive qualities again and again while not neglecting defensive duties.
It was no coincidence that it also was the offensive-minded Schubert who got the Barons on the scoreboard 7:31 into the game. After a nice feed from Andrej Strakhov, Schubert hammered the puck past former Houston Aeros goalie Frederic Chabot from ten feet out.
Patrick Köppchen doubled the lead midway through the second when he capped a short-handed breakaway, scoring on his own rebound (30:31).
A late third period rally extended the Barons lead to 5-0. First Mike Kennedy deflected a Smazal blast into the net (48:50). Half a minute later, Peter Douris beat Chabot again (49:21). Douris added another one when, accompanied by Andy Schneider, he capped a 2-on-1 break with a nice deke four minutes later (53:34).
Nuremberg avoided a shutout when Jacek Plachta scored a consolation goal at 55:27.