Scoring efficiency made the difference. Krefeld was outshot 32-23, but outsmarted the Haie as in its four-game regular season series sweep.
The game was tied 1-1 at the first intermission after scores from Alex Hicks (powerplay) and Patrik Augusta. The Pinguine jumped out to a commanding 4-1 lead behind second-period tallies from Sandy Moger, defenseman Darryl Shannon and Brad Purdie (powerplay). Hicks cut the deficit to two goals early in the third with his second powerplay goal. That was as close as the Kölner Haie could get, though. Purdie sealed Krefeld’s win with an empty-netter. Purdie: “Whole team effort”
„It was a hard effort“, Pinguine head coach Butch Goring said. „I’m glad we got the first win.“
The Pinguine lead the best-of-five series 1-0. Game 2 will be played in Krefeld Sunday afternoon.
“Were just playing a solid hockey game right now”, playoff-leading scorer Brad Purdie explained. “Sunday's a huge game for us. We knew we had to win a game here in Cologne. To get this win in the first game is very nice, of course. It was a whole team effort. Robert (Müller) and our defensemen are playing perfectly."Worries about star netminder Müller’s leg
The only thing Pinguine coach Butch Goring has to be worried about is the condition of thriving netminder Robert Müller, who turned aside 30 shots. The 22-year-old, who leads all playoff goalies with a .933 save percentage and 1.89 GAA, got injured late in the game, apparently twisting his leg when Haie forward Ron Pasco stumbled over him after a check from Günter Oswald.
Obviously limping a little, Müller was able to finish the game. Krefeld’s staff made no comment on his condition. If the injury turns out to be serious, Goring might have to start Swedish veteran Roger Nordström on Sunday, who only made eight appearances during the regular season, posting a .888 save percentage and 3,28 GAA.Haie coach Zach: ”Krefeld deserves the win” – Norris’s return questionable
"Krefeld was the better team”, admitted Haie head coach Hans Zach. “They played well, 60 minutes of solid hockey. They deserved the win tonight. We knew what to expect as they have had a terrific playoff run so far. If we want to beat them, we got to improve in all areas."
"Of course, we were missing Dwayne Norris tonight”, Zach added. “But that's no excuse. That’s part of the game. Even if we lose another key player down the stretch, we will have to step up and compensate the loss."
Norris, second on the team in scoring and one of the key players during last year’s championship run, flew home to Canada last weekend because of an illness in his family. His return is questionable.Cologne fails to capitalize on early lead
With a capacity crowd of 18,565 packing the KölnArena, Cologne got off to a great start. With Krefeld’s Mario Doyon in the sin bin for unsportsmanlike conduct, the Haie drew first blood when Alex Hicks converted the rebound of Dave McLlwain’s shot 3:08 into the contest.
Krefeld’s top line responded right away, though. Brad Purdie worked the puck into the Haie zone, attracting the attention of two opponents alongside the right boards and thus opening a lane for Patrik Augusta, who skated between the hashmarks and wristed the puck low past Chris Rogles’s stick hand to tie the game at 1-1 at 6:34 of the first period.
“The goal was very important, it got us back into the game”, coach Butch Goring explained. “In the regular season, we often struggled after an early deficit. But this time, we were able to get back to our game plan.”Momentum shifts after Moger’s goal
The Haie kept pressing for the lead and wasted a big opportunity on a powerplay early in the second when Hicks missed the puck on the doorstep after a nice feed from McLlwain.
The momentum shifted just minutes later. With the teams skating 3-on-3, Pinguine defender Christian Ehrhoff took the puck out of his own zone. At the same moment, teammate Sandy Moger stormed out of the penalty box, one step ahead of Cologne’s Markus Jocher who also returned to action, and sneaked behind three Haie players, took Ehrhoff’s perfect feed and beat Rogles with a forehand-to-backhand deke to put Krefeld up 2-1 6:35 into the middle frame.
Less than five minutes later, defenseman Darryl Shannon doubled the lead to 3-1 on a mighty point blast (31:20). Off Gary Shuchuk's faceoff win, Bill Bowler passed the puck back to the blueline where the former NHLer hammered it past screened goalie Rogles.
With 4:40 to go in the second, red-hot Brad Purdie even extended Krefeld’s lead to three goals. On the powerplay, Patrik Augusta got denied by Rogles on the first rebound after a point shot, but the puck dribbled to the left edge of the crease where Purdie lifted it over the diving netminder to give the Pinguine a commanding 4-1 lead at the second intermission.Cologne willing, but Müller stands tall
An early powerplay goal gave Cologne new hope early in the third. With Günter Oswald in the penalty box, Hicks cut Krefeld’s lead to 4-2 with his second score of the night, redirecting defenseman Brad Schlegel's shot from the right slot past goalie Müller.
Although back-to-back penalties to Krefeld’s Shuchuk and Ehrhoff then gave the Haie four straight minutes of powerplay time, including 8 seconds of 5-on-3 action, Cologne failed to rally.
With just under 90 seconds to go, Haie coach Zach pulled his goalie for an extra attacker. Just seconds later, Purdie capped the scoring at 5-2 with his second goal of the night, an empty-netter at 18:48 of the final period.