EHC Red Bull München 3 Straubing Tigers 1
Munich went into Tuesday night's derby match against Straubing desperate to kick start their season which had begun with 5 straight losses and saw them rooted to the bottom of the DEL. Straubing were last season's surprise package and reached the play-off semi-finals before being beaten by the eventual winners Berlin, and visited the Eissatdion having had a reasonable start to the season with a .500 record.
EHC Red Bull were looking to get on the scoreboard early and started the match with confidence, but were dealt a quick setback in the 3rd minute when Christian Wichert was penalised for hooking. He also lost control of his stick in the challenge and caught his opponent around the mouth causing a slight cut. This left the referee with no choice but to increase the penalty to a 5 minute major and eject Wichert from the game. Munich played smart on the long penalty kill and took no risks when they had the puck. The closest Straubing came to opening the scoring was from a shot which went through EHC goalie Jochen Reimer and bounced out. The Tigers players were convinced that the puck had crossed the line and asked for the video replay, but to the relief of the home fans, after reviewing the play, the referees stuck by their original decision of no goal. With Munich now back at full strength they attempted to take control of the match but were unable to capitalise on a couple of chances. Both teams were playing cautiously and the first session ended goalless.
The middle period was going the same way as the first. Neither team wanted to make a mistake and go behind. There were some good chances for both sides but neither could find the finishing touch. EHC Red Bull had a big let off in the 30th minute when Straubing blew a huge opportunity to take the lead when a dreadful pass failed to find the free man in front of an open net. A breakthrough eventually came in the 36th minute and it went to the home side. A neutral zone face-off win and a neat pass from Lubor Dibelka through the heart of the Tigers defence, gave Martin Buchwieser the chance to skate in on goal from the blue line. He buried his shot low to the keeper's stick side and gave Munich the lead. EHC Red Bull pushed for the 2nd, and in the 38th minute they had a 2-on-1 break, but a poor decision on the pass resulted in a Straubing counter attack. Munich's players skated hard to break up the attack, but they lost their shape in their desperation and the puck fell kindly to an unmarked Michael Endraß in the high slot, to power a shot into the EHC Red Bull net and tie the game at one. Munich fell foul of the referee for the 2nd time in the match less than a minute later. Ulrich Maurer was penalised for a slashing, but like Wichert before, he caused a facial cut and was assessed a 5 minute major penalty and sent for an early shower. He was also given an additional 2 minute minor penalty for a separate infraction, giving the Straubingers a massive 7 minute powerplay opportunity. EHC Red Bull managed to get to the end of the 2nd period still level, but the Tigers had a great chance to steal the match when the 3rd started.
Munich began the final period fairly comfortably. They were able to relieve the pressure of the long penalty kill regularly and Straubing were struggling to assert any kind of authority on the match. EHC Red Bull cleared the puck the length of the ice for the umpteenth time in the 44th minute, but a huge blunder by the Tigers goalie and defenceman gifted the puck to the slowly onrushing Klaus Kathan. He wasted no time in firing the puck past the scrambling Jason Bacashihua in the Straubing net, to score shorthanded and give Munich the lead back. The visitors tried hard to get the goal back, but Munich were gaining confidence and looking at ease in defence. They were happy to sit back and hit Straubing on the break and in the 55th minute, Bryan Adams broke into the Tigers zone and made the perfect pass for Mike Kompon to bag his first goal of the season and give EHC Red Bull the vital 3rd marker. Straubing tried hard to get back into the match, and pulled their goaile in preference for an extra out skater with 3 minutes remaining. The Munich defence stood firm though and Reimer turned away anything that got through to him. EHC scored a 4th into the vacant Tigers net, but it was ruled out for offside. It mattered not though and EHC Red Bull Munich celebrated a deserved victory at the final whistle.
Next Match : Friday 5th October v Krefeld Penguins. Face-off 19:30 @ Olympia Eisstadion
Former fan favourite Martin Schymainski will return to Munich with his new club on Friday evening. Krefeld also boast a recent recruit from the NHL due to the lockout in North America. German international, and Buffalo Sabres defenceman Christian Ehrhoff is currently icing for the Penguins. It'll be a tough game for Munich as they lost both home matches to Krefeld last season, but they'll be boosted by Tuesday's win. All eyes will be on Ehrhoff though and seeing players of this calibre will be worth the entrance money alone. All ticket information can be found on the official site