Günter Oswald and Christoph Brandner (powerplay) scored early third period goals and Steffen Ziesche added an empty-netter in the waning seconds as the sixth-seeded Krefeld Pinguine downed the second-seeded Kölner Haie 3-1 (0-0, 0-1, 3-0) Monday afternoon to claim their first-ever DEL championship. With a capacity crowd of 18,600 at the KölnArena, a flood of penalties had disrupted the flow of the game for almost two periods. The Kölner Haie had drawn first blood when Tim Leahy scored on the powerplay with 2:47 left in the middle frame.
„It’s just incredible“, said Pinguine head coach Butch Goring. “We were lucky today, had a lot of bounces going our way.”
This marked the second year in a row that the sixth-seeded team dethroned the defending champion on the road. Exactly a year ago, the Kölner Haie had won the title with a Game 5 road win over Adler Mannheim.
McLlwain gets ejected early on
Haie center Dave McLlwain got ejected early on
Austrian Christoph Brandner scored his 2nd GWG of the playoffs
Ex LA King Gary Shuchuk hoists the DEL Cup
After lots of heated discussions about bad refereeing over the course of the playoffs, it was kind of fitting that official Gerhard Müller’s calls caused even more controversy. Thanks to Müller’s picky refereeing, there was less than five minutes of 5-on-5 hockey in the first period. The official called a total of 81 penalty minutes. Only six minutes into the game, Cologne’s top center Dave McLlwain was assessed with a five-minute major plus match penalty for spearing. Pinguine captain Gary Shuchuk was holding his stick and McLlwain retaliated with a little poke.
“They were already playing without Dwayne Norris”, Butch Goring explained. “When they lost their leader McLlwain early on, we knew the Haie would have a hard time scoring goals. It was a great break for us.”
Norris, who scored three game-winners in last year’s finals against Mannheim, had to leave the team before the finals to return to his sick father in Canada. Haie head coach Hans Zach also had to replace winger Eduard Lewandowski who was suspended because of his match penalty in Game 4.
„Krefeld has a great team, they deserve the title“, remarked Zach. „I have to tip my head to my team, too, I’m proud of the guys. Although we were missing three key players, we played a great series against Krefeld and almost had them in the ropes, what neither Düsseldorf nor Berlin managed to do in their series.”Leahy puts Cologne up 1-0
Cologne broke the deadlock with 2:47 to go in the middle frame. With Krefeld’s Christian Ehrhoff serving a high-sticking penalty, a mighty slapshot from Haie defenseman Brad Schlegel ricocheted off the backboards and Kai Hospelt backhanded the puck at the net. It bounced off the goalpost and Tim Leahy knocked it home for the 1-0 lead on the powerplay.
Krefeld regrouped and responded early in the third.Goals from Oswald and Brandner turn game around
A hooking penalty to Tino Boos had just expired when Krefeld’s Günter Oswald received the puck between the hashmarks. With his back to the net, Oswald shoveled a backhander at the net. The shot got deflected by defenseman Shane Peacock’s shinguard and sailed past Haie netminder Chris Rogles for the 1-1 equalizer 76 seconds into the final period.
“That was my only goal of the playoffs, I obviously saved it for the right moment. I’m very happy for our team”, Oswald said.
Just a minute later, Peacock was sent to the sin bin for slashing. The Pinguine cashed in on the ensuing powerplay. From the point, defenseman Darryl Shannon passed the puck to Brad Purdie behind the net. Purdie quickly got it back out to Christoph Brandner who one-timed it over Rogles’s stick hand to give Krefeld a 2-1 lead 3:56 into the final period.
“We knew that it was going to be the final period of our season, so we gave ‘em everything we got”, Pinguine netminder Robert Müller said. The 22-year-old goaltender became the first German-born starting goaltender since Düsseldorf’s Helmut de Raaf in 1996 to backstop a team to the DEL championship. Müller made 19 stops, his counterpart Chris Rogles turned aside 30 shots.Final rally
The Haie were shocked but managed to regroup for a final rally. Their biggest opportunity came with less than 90 seconds to go. After a shot from Brad Schlegel, goalie Müller lost track of the puck. It was loose in the goal crease for a moment, but Tim Leahy failed to knock it home. Patrik Augusta got Krefeld into even more trouble with a dumb penalty. He cross-checked Alex Hicks after the whistle had already blown, giving the Haie one more powerplay opportunity, their 12th of the afternoon. Hans Zach also pulled his netminder for an extra attacker seconds later, but Jürgen Ziesche put the game away connecting on an empty-netter from his own end with 14 seconds left.