The sixth-seeded Pinguine lead the best-of-five series 2-1 and can claim their first-ever DEL title with a home win Saturday night.Goring, Zach: Who’s under pressure now?
“We knew we wouldn’t win every game”, Krefeld Pinguine head coach Butch Goring explained. “So we’re not too disappointed. The pressure is on the Haie. They need another win to stay alive.”
“It’s gonna be another tough game”, Haie head coach Hans Zach said. “But we’ll be ready. The pressure is on Krefeld now.”Championship celebrations postponed
“Krefeld already had concrete plans for the championship celebrations”, Haie defender Andreas Renz added. “But we will continue to tease them.”
After being swept in the four-game regular season series and losing the first two games of the finals, Thursday’s victory marked Cologne’s first win over Krefeld this season.Shaky Haie get off to good start
With a sellout crowd of 18.610 packing the KölnArena, Krefeld looked not as offensive-minded as in the previous two games. Although the Kölner Haie looked a little shaky early on, they took the initiative and drew first blood 8:53 into the contest. Off Dave McLlwain’s faceoff win, defenseman Mirko Lüdemann ripped a one-timer from the left point past screened Pinguine goalie Robert Müller for the 1-0 lead.
The Pinguine responded early in the second. Down a man because of a penalty to goaltender Müller, Stephane Barin cleared the puck out of his own zone. Gary Shuchuk picked it up, creating a 3-on-2 shorthanded breakaway. Shuchuk sped along the left boards and passed the puck back to the trailing Barin who rifled a shot low past Haie goalie Chris Rogles’s glove side to tie the game at one apiece 33 seconds into the middle frame.
Cologne kept pressing, but came up short again and again. Sebastian Furchner, Dave McLlwain, Niclas Sundblad and defender Shane Peacock were denied by Müller, a shot from defenseman Brad Schlegel from between the hashmarks rang off the crossbar late in the period. Eduard Lewandowski, who sat out Game 2 with the flu, was denied from the near left slot in the waning seconds of the middle frame.Hock, Peacock give Cologne a two-goal lead
Cologne’s efforts got rewarded 6:03 into the final stanza. Schlegel sped along the right boards into the Krefeld zone. His centering feed bounced off goalie Müller and the puck came right to Robert Hock who beat Müller low to the stick side from the left slot to put the Haie up 2-1.
With Krefeld’s Jonas Lanier in the sin bin for roughing, Peacock doubled the lead on the powerplay six minutes later. After a nice solo effort from Lewandowski, Peacock unleashed a mighty one-timer from the left point that hit Pinguine defenseman Christian Ehrhoff in the goal crease and bounced into the net to make it 3-1 in favor of the Kölner Haie at 12:09 of the third.Purdie strikes again, but cannot spark rally
Krefeld showed some life and responded less than a minute later. Christoph Brandner worked the puck free behind the Haie net and got it out in front do Brad Purdie, who wristed it past Rogles from the near right slot to cut Cologne’s lead to 3-2 with 6:55 to go, bringing his playoff total to 12 goals in 12 games.
The goal could not spark a rally though. Purdie had another good opportunity, but the Pinguine were not as sharp and poised as usual and Cologne managed to hold on for the win.