Cologne rallied from a 2-0 first-period deficit to tie the best-of-five series at 2-2. The championship will be decided in Game 5 in the KölnArena Monday afternoon. Zach: “Odds are fifty-fifty” - Lewandowski’s season already over
“My team showed terrific poise and spirit tonight”, Haie head coach Hans Zach stated. “Although many people will say that the momentum is on our side now, this series ain’t over yet. I guess the odds for Game 5 are fifty-fifty. The Pinguine have already proven that they can beat us in Cologne. We also lost Eduard Lewandowski tonight. But we’re going to be ready.”
Lewandowski, who had missed Game 2 with the flu, got dismissed late in the first period after injuring Krefeld’s Christian Ehrhoff with a high stick. His game misconduct automatically results in a suspension for Game 5, the final game of the season. Goring: “We’re trying, that’s all we can do.”
“It’s a blow, but we are not done yet”, said Krefeld Pinguine head coach Butch Goring. “It was a very emotional game tonight and I’m sure it’s going to be another great game in Cologne on Monday. We’ll see who’s got any legs left, both teams looked pretty tired in the end. We’ll give our best effort. We’re trying, that’s all we can do.”
“It was their final chance tonight”, assistant coach Karel Lang added. “They were down 2-0 in the series. Now it’s tied at 2-2 and it all comes down to Monday’s Game 5 in Cologne. Butch is a very experienced coach and I’m confident that we can win in the KölnArena.”Back-to-back goals by Brandner
With 6,714 in attendance at the sold-out Rheinlandhalle, Krefeld tried to set the tone early on. Only two minutes in, Stephane Barin almost scored on wrap-around. A minute later, Sandy Moger got denied on the doorstep by Haie netminder Chris Rogles after a feed by Gary Shuchuk.
Ron Pasco had Cologne’s best chance in the early going, almost poking the puck into the net after a fine solo effort by Andreas Morczinietz.
But it was the Pinguine who drew first blood. Brad Purdie moved the puck into the Haie zone and got it to Patrik Augusta. The Czech winger pulled to the net and dropped the puck back to wide-open defenseman Dan Lambert who could have taken a shot himself but passed it across to the left post where Christoph Brandner chipped it home for the 1-0 lead 7:46 into the game.
Krefeld’s top line took a little rest and struck again on the next shift. The Haie won a faceoff in their own zone but Game 3-hero Shane Peacock turned the puck over behind his own net. Augusta picked it up and found Christoph Brandner right on the doorstep to double the Krefeld lead to 2-0 at 9:44 of the opening stanza. Steffen Ziesche almost added another score with six minutes left in the period, but got denied on the goalline by a joint effort from netminder Rogles and Ron Pasco.Momentum shifts in the middle frame
Krefeld remained in control of the game early in the second but failed to create scoring opportunities. Haie forward Ron Pasco wasted a big opportunity early on when he had Müller beaten on a shorthanded breakaway but - with defenseman Mario Doyon charging in at the last moment - only hit the outside of the net.
A lucky bounce brought Cologne back into the game late in the second. Dave McLlwain lifted the puck high into the Krefeld zone. Doyon misjudged the airborne pass and deflected it right to Andreas Morczinietz who cut in all alone on Müller and beat him with a forehand-to-backhand deke to cut Krefeld’s lead to 2-1 with 4:11 to go in the period.
The Haie appeared to have tied the game at 2-2 two minutes later when Alex Hicks got stopped by Müller and Peacock buried the rebound. Although replays showed it was a regular goal, official Harald Deubert disallowed the score after video review.
“You could clearly see that it was a goal”, forward Morczinietz said. “But there was no time for complaining. It was tough, but we knew we could not let this affect us too much.”
“It’s a damn shame to have something like that happen in the finals”, Haie sports director Gerhard Brunner said.Hicks keeps Cologne alive
Pinguine defenseman Daniel Kunce almost put the game out of reach midway through the final period, but his point shot rang off the crossbar.
With just under four minutes to go, Haie defenseman Mirco Lüdemann burst into the Krefeld zone, rumbling past Sandy Moger and a linesman along the left boards, and sent the puck back to trailing fellow-defender Brad Schlegel who faked a shot from between the hashmarks and passed the puck to Alex Hicks who jammed it home from the near right slot to send the game into OT at 16:11 of the final period.OT: Cologne doesn't waste much time
The momentum seemed to be shifting again when a holding call to Pasco gave the Pinguine a powerplay just seconds into overtime But down a man, Cologne was the hungrier team. Lüdemann cleared the puck out of his own zone, creating an odd-man rush. Hicks stormed along the right boards and passed it back to Lüdemann who knocked it past Müller for the game-winning score just 35 seconds into the extra period.
"We actually weren't very smart in OT", Pinguine goalie Robert Müller said. "But with the series tied at 2-2, Krefeld's the underdog again and we've felt very comfortable in that role."