Douris tallied his 50th and 51st goal as a Baron, becoming the first player in the franchise’s three-year history to cross the 50-goal mark. His second score at 51:10 also turned out to be the game-winner.
“Those individual accomplishments are nice,” Douris remarked. “I’ve been here longer than anybody. So I should have more (goals) I suppose… [starts laughing]”Three teams tied for first place
The win moved Munich into a three-way tie for first place with the Krefeld Pinguine and Mannheim Adler. Krefeld once again showcased offensive firepower, handing Mannheim a painful 5-1 loss. With seven games remaining in the regular season, all three teams now have 107 points.
The Barons seemed to have the Lions in the ropes after building a 4-0 lead midway through the contest. But Frankfurt battled back, capitalizing on a series of individual mistakes.Simpson: “Team in bad shape”
“We really didn’t play well tonight,” Barons head coach Sean Simpson said. “There was a lack of concentration, focus and intensity. I can’t even name you three of my players who are in good shape right now. We definitely have to improve our game, it’s only seven more games till the postseason.”
„We could have played better than that,” Douris agreed. “We ended up winning, but we struggled at the end.”
Frankfurt suffered its first loss under its new head coach, Islanders legend and four-time Stanley Cup winner Butch Goring, who had won his first two games in the German league.
“It was a good and fast hockey game,” Goring said. “The Barons created a lot of good offense,, probably the most offense I’ve seen since I came here (to Germany).”Oliver continues hot streak
Munich opened up the scoring with back-to-back goals late in the first period. David Oliver continued his hot streak, tallying a goal for the third straight game. He knocked in the rebound of a Shane Peacock’s point blast on the man advantage to make it 1-0 at 17:09. Less than a minute later, Mike Kennedy sped down the left wing, cut into the middle and dumped the puck at the net from the high right slot. Douris got his stick in there to slightly redirect the shot and the puck trickled past Lions netminder Leo Conti to give the Barons a 2-0 lead at the first intermission.
The Barons doubled their lead to 4-0 on back-to-back goals midway through the middle frame. First, Peter Abstreiter capped an odd-man rush after a nice feed from Douris. Just 23 seconds later, Jörg Handrick sent defender Greg Johnston on a breakaway. Johnston, a forward with the Boston Bruins during the 80’s, got Conti to dive with a nice deke and then lifted the puck into the wide-open net.
But Munich’s sluggish play got Frankfurt back into the game. Defenseman Hans Lodin turned the puck over to Lions forward Iain Frasier behind his own net. Frasier’s attempt was denied by Barons goalie Boris Rousson, but Johnny Walker converted the rebound to cut the lead to 4-1 at 32:37. Less than two minutes into the final period, Alex Selivanov and Vadym Slivchenko fooled the Barons defense with a nice give-and-go to make it 4-2.Frankfurt puts on late rally
The Barons responded at 51:10 when Peacock dumped the puck into the Lions zone, and Douris scored of the rebound of a shot by Kennedy.
Frankfurt’s resistance wasn’t broken yet, though. Only 24 seconds later, Simon Wheeldon lost the puck in the neutral zone. Frasier skated in all alone on Rousson to cut the deficit to two goals. With 5:36 remaining in regulation, Greg Evtushevski capped a 2-on-1 shorthanded breakaway to get the Lions to within a goal.
The Barons recovered, though, and were able to hang on to the close win.
Three players got ejected: Munich’s Andy Schneider and Frankfurt’s Robert Francz both received game misconducts after getting into heavy fisticuffs late in the first period. With less than twelve minutes to go, Lions forward Brent Tully got a match penalty for headbutting Munich’s Alex Serikow.