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First-ever first-place finish
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März 17, 2002; 23:33
First-ever first-place finish
Fearns sparks comeback win, Barons gain top seed
Frank Johne

 
Tops in the league: Peter Douris’ penalty conversion gave Munich the needed overtime win

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Munich, Germany - On the final day of the regular season in the DEL, the league-leading Munich Barons needed a huge comeback to secure home-ice advantage throughout the playoffs. Defenseman Kent Fearns scored two goals and captain Simon Wheeldon added a goal and an assist as the visiting Barons rallied from an early three-goal deficit to beat the Iserlohn Roosters 4-3 after shootout.
 

Defender Kent Fearns started Munich’s comeback with back-to-back scores
Leading DEL Scorers
(as of Feb 19, 2005)

Peter Douris converted the decisive penalty shot. With the two-point overtime win, the Barons finished the 60-game regular season one point ahead of defending champion Mannheim Adler. Munich not only claimed the top seed for the first time in the team’s three-year history. With 121 points, the Barons also set a new DEL record for most points in the regular season (32 wins, 9 overtime wins, 2 shootout losses/regulation ties and 15 losses).

Due to a lack of discipline, the Barons had their backs to the wall early on. Simultaneous minors to Christoph Schubert (cross-check) and Simon Wheeldon (spearing) gave Iserlohn an early two-minute 5-on-3 powerplay just 2:55 into the game. Sean Tallaire seized the opportunity and put the Roosters ahead 1-0.

Midway through the opening period, the Barons had a chance to respond, but couldn’t convert on a 221-second powerplay, including a 19-second two-man advantage. Thanks to Iserlohn’s aggressive penalty killing, Munich was hardly able to get the puck into the zone.

Iserlohn capitalizes on Munich’s sluggish play

Munich’s sluggish play continued with both teams back at full strength and allowed Iserlohn another goal at 15:15 when Steve Washburn beat Barons netminder Boris Rousson.

The poor opening period reached its climax when the Barons conceded a shorthanded goal only 35 seconds later. While on the powerplay, defenseman Kent Fearns couldn’t control the puck at Iserlohn’s blueline. Doug Ast intercepted it and capped his breakaway by blasting the puck past Rousson: 3-0 in favor of the Roosters.

Fearns sparks huge comeback

Fearns, who returned from a month-long injury break just a fortnight ago, made up for his mistake, though, and gave Munich some life. With less than two minutes left in the opening period, he got the Barons on the scoreboard after a nice move.

A goal that shifted the momentum heading into the middle frame. Munich started pressing, but Iserlohn had its chances, too. But it was Fearns again who cut the Roosters’ lead in half midway through the second period with the teams skating four aside. With heavy traffic in front of Roosters goaltender Dimitrij Kotschnew, Barons captain Simon Wheeldon came up with the 3-3 equalizer at 38:17.

Although Munich continued to dominate, the Barons couldn’t create many quality scoring opportunities in the final twenty minutes and the game had to be decided in a penalty contest.

Derek King put the Barons ahead on their second attempt, but Iserlohn responded when Andreas Pokorny converted their fourth try. Boris Rousson then denied Cory Laylin on Iserlohn’s final attempt, while Peter Douris converted the game-winning shot for Munich.

Iserlohn Roosters - Munich Barons 3-4 (3-1, 0-2, 0-0, 0-1) after penalty shootout
Scoring: 1-0 (4:05) Sean Tallaire (Tomas Martinec, Cory Laylin - 5:3), 2-0 (15:15) Steve Washburn (Sean Tallaire, Cory Laylin), 3-0 (15:50) Doug Ast (4:5), 3-1 (18:18) Kent Fearns (Simon Wheeldon, Peter Abstreiter), 3-2 (30:16) Kent Fearns (David Oliver, Jason Herter - 4:4), 3-3 (38:17) Simon Wheeldon (Mike Smazal, Jörg Handrick).
Game-winning penalty shot: 3-4 Peter Douris.
Penalties: Iserlohn 20, Munich 20.
Attendance: 3,578 (Eissporthalle, Iserlohn).
Frank Johne

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