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Pinguine closing in on title
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April 14, 2003; 03:56
Pinguine closing in on title
Krefeld’s strong powerplay puts Cologne in "very deep hole" - Zach criticizes one-sided officiating
Frank Johne

11 playoff goals and counting… Montreal-native Brad Purdie

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Krefeld, Germany - The sixth-seeded Krefeld Pinguine are just one victory away from the DEL championship. After upsetting the second-seeded Kölner Haie 4-1 on the road Friday, Butch Goring’s team held on for a 3-2 (1-0, 1-1, 1-1) home win Sunday afternoon, taking a 2-0 lead in the best-of-five final series.

The Krefeld Pinguine are just one win away from their first-ever DEL title
Leading DEL Scorers
(as of Feb 19, 2005)

Krefeld, which has the league’s top powerplay unit (25% success ratio) struck twice on the man advantage. The pivotal play of the game occurred on even strength when Frenchman Stephane Barin scored after a terrific solo effort by Günter Oswald.

Augusta: ”Pressure is key part of our game plan”

With a capacity crowd of 6,714 packing the Rheinlandhalle, Krefeld started to press right from the opening faceoff and drew first blood on the powerplay when a one-timer from defenseman Christian Ehrhoff hit Haie defender Darcy Werenka and trickled past goalie Chris Rogles 5:44 into the contest.

“Pressure has been a key part of our game plan since the playoffs started”, Pinguine forward Patrik Augusta explained. His team outshot Cologne 33-16 over three periods.

Although the Pinguine continued to press, the Haie came up with the 1-1 equalizer 6:23 into the middle period. On the man advantage, defender Shane Peacock dumped the puck at the net from the left point and Alex Hicks knocked it past Pinguine netminder Robert Müller to make it 1-1.

Momentum shifts after Oswald’s huge effort

Despite rumors of a possible leg injury, Müller was able to start between the pipes. The Haie not only played without Dwayne Norris, who flew home to Canada last week because of an illness in his family. Fellow-forward Eduard Lewandowski had to pause with the flu.

Cologne kept coming but failed to score. The momentum shifted when Stephané Barin put Krefeld back ahead after a terrific solo effort from Günter Oswald with 6:49 to go in the second period.

“A great effort by Oswald”, Pinguine head coach Butch Goring explained. “He drove wide and Barin went to the slot, which is where you keep telling your players to go. He ended up with the rebound and scored a huge goal.”

“It was a great individual effort by ‘Ozzie’”, said Pinguine captain Gary Shuchuk. “It was a turning point. If they were to score the next goal, who knows what would have happened. We got the second goal. It took the air out of them a bit.”

“We just did not play well enough to beat them”, Haie forward Alex Hicks added. “Krefeld scored simple goals because we let them do it.”

Purdie’s early 3rd-period tally mesmerizes Cologne

With Cologne’s Dave McLlwain in the sin bin for high sticking, Brad Purdie made it 3-1 in favor of Krefeld only 15 seconds into the final frame. He tallied his playoff-leading 11th goal after a feed from behind-the net by Christoph Brandner. The Pinguine remained in control thereafter. With an extra attacker on, Cologne’s Ron Pasco managed to cut the lead to 3-2 with traffic in front of the net with only 81 seconds to go. But it was too little, too late.

Haie coach criticizes "one-sided officiating"

Both coaches had a different take on Willi Schimm's refereeing.

„ It was bitter“, Haie head coach Hans Zach said. “They had eight penalty minutes, we had 18. It actually was a very fair game. But it gets frustrating down the stretch when you recognize that the officiating is very unbalanced. I’m not saying that the calls he made were incorrect. But they were one-sided.”

"Obviously, Krefeld was much happier with the refereeing tonight", Pinguine coach Goring admitted. „It was very difficult playing so short the other night in Cologne in the third period. We had a few breaks tonight. We were very, very happy about that.”

Do-or-die on Thursday - Augusta: "Series isn't over yet"

The series will head back to Cologne for game 3 Thursday night, a do-or-die game for the defending champions.

“This series isn’t over yet”, Augusta warned. “Cologne’s got a great team. They won the cup last year, so they know what it takes. Until we get the third win, it’s not over for us.”

Shuchuk: “Can’t give ‘em any life”

“It was a huge win”, coach Goring said. “"It was a nucg tougher game tonight, both teams were very physical. We got a couple of bounces going our way. We maintained our home ice advantage and obviously put Cologne in a very deep hole. We knew that if we didn’t win today, the series goes in Cologne’s favor. We’re excited and we got a pretty good chance now.”

“When you got a wounded dog down, kick it”, added Pinguine captain Shuchuk. “We can’t give ‘em any life. On Thursday, we gotta play as hard as we did today. They have such a good team, such great scorers. McLlwain and Hicks can win games by themselves. We can’t give ‘em any respect. We just gotta win.”
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