The 3-2 (0-2, 1-0, 2-0) road victory moved the Lions, the worst team in the DEL last season, into first place. With 12,799 in attendance at the KölnArena, the Haie dominated the first half of the game and jumped out to a 2-0 lead. But Frankfurt turned the momentum late in the second and scored three unanswered goals to claim the win.
„Cologne dominated the first 30 minutes,“ said Lions head coach Rich Chernomaz, who led the Haie to the DEL title in 2002. “We started to get better around the game’s midway point and clearly dominated the final period. My team showed a lot of poise tonight.“
Just seconds after a penalty against the Lions expired, Haie defender Mickey Elick rifled the puck past Frankfurt’s goalie Ian Gordon for the 1-0 lead midway through the opening frame. Fellow defenseman Brad Schlegel doubled the lead late in the period.
Cologne failed to build on the lead though. An apparent goal that would have extended the Haie lead to 3-0 was disallowed because of a goal crease violation. The momentum shifted late in the second when Lions defenseman Peter Ratchuk put Frankfurt on the scoreboard, cutting the lead to 2-1 on the man advantage with 1:17 left in the middle frame.
Knocking home a rebound, Frankfurt’s Martin Reichel tied the score at 2-2 on another power-play score 4:55 into the third. The Lions kept pressing for the lead. Jesse Belanger was denied by Haie netminder Chris Rogles on a breakaway. But minutes later, David Sulkovsky one-timed a feed from Mike Harder’s past Rogles for the game-winning score.