A cold night in Munich is rather common during winter time in the Bavarian capital but EHC Red Bull München are doing all they can to change the expectations of the season. Despite their opponents Grizzly Adams Wolfsburg having a statistical advantage over EHC (Cortina's men have lost 8 of their last 9 encounters against them), goaltender Jochen Reimer had other plans, helping München to a 3-0 win on Friday night.
With 2,807 people in attendance at the Olympic Ice Arena, Munich were the better team from the start. Stastny, once again in the starting six alongside fellow NHL-star Blake Wheeler and captain Martin Buchwieser, won the opening face-off. Only 4 minutes into the game, the first blood was drawn when a high stick cut Brent Aubin's eye, forcing the player to leave the ice under medical supervision.
Eight minutes later, Paul Stastny scored his second goal in as many games to give EHC a deserved 1-0 lead, much to the delight of his father Peter Stastny, who was in attendance with his family. Stastny Senior was warmly received by the crowd and rightfully so as the ice hockey legend and member of the NHL hall of fame was clearly enjoying watching his son play.
"It's amazing to have both my boys play in the same league (Yan Stastny currently plays for Nürnberg Ice Tigers in the DEL). I can't wait to come back on December 7th and watch the boys do battle on the ice again", Peter Stastny said.
Having taken the lead, Munich switched their focus to defence as Wolfsburg started to create chances. EHC goalie Jochen Reimer was once again in splendid form though, and kept the away sides' efforts at bay. Half way through the game, Wolfsburg's Vincent Mayer's night ended early with a misconduct penalty (5+20 minutes) after a head check on Ty Morris, who was lucky to escape major injury and was able to continue. It wasn't long before Blake Wheeler had the home fans on the edge of their seats again when his wrist shot hit the inside of the post. The referee called for a video replay but the decision went against the Red Bulls and the scored stayed at 1-0.
With time running out, Wolfsburg started to increase the pressure, allowing Munich the chance to focus on counter attacking. The tactic worked perfectly. Wolfsburg launched another attack, EHC defended and then countered. EHC captain Martin Buchwieser, having been helped by star pairing Blake Wheeler and Paul Stastny, buried the puck past Vogl for a 2-0 lead with only 2 minutes and 45 seconds left in the game. Wolfsburg were forced to go for broke and swapped their goaltender for an additional forward. With Joachen Reimer saving everything that was being thrown at him, Wolfsburg's attacking line were left frustrated. Martin Buchwieser (unassisted) sealed the win for EHC a minute before the end with a goal into an empty net.
"All in all, it was a deserved win for us tonight", said EHC coach Pat Cortina after the game. "We've played better games and lost before but tonight I am just happy to take the three points. I would have loved to see more from my team's power play but I think tonight's team performance deserved the win in the end." Reimer was once again named München's Man of the Match after securing his second consecutive shutout. München remain in 12th position in the league standings with 26 points, now trailing a potential pre Play-Off ranking by only two points.
EHC Red Bull München's next game is in Berlin on Sunday at 14.30 CET. After that, the team returns to home ice for their game against second in the table Cologne Sharks on Friday November 30th at 19.30 CET.