EHC Red Bull come up empty

Munich drew a blank. Photo EHC.EHC Red Bull München 0 Augsburg Panthers 2

The first big derby of the season was watched by 4309 expectant fans on Friday as the Augsburg Panthers visited the Eishalle. A fiery atmosphere was created during the pre-game build up with home support keen to see a continuation of last season's form, twice beating Augsburg on home ice including a 5-0 drubbing in a sold out Olympiahalle.

EHC got the puck into the AEV zone quickly, but were immediately hit on the break and confusion between Felix Petermann and Blake Sloan in the Munich defence allowed Panthers hotshot Sergio Somma room to shoot. He didn't waste the opportunity, firing past Jochen Reimer after only 20 seconds to send the visiting contingent wild. The rest of the first period was a somewhat scrappy affair with neither team able to take control or capitalise on the others mistakes. EHC Red Bull couldn't produce anything meaningful on a couple of powerplay opportunities and went into the first break a goal down and with plenty to think about.

The second period followed a very similar pattern to the first. Munich were getting plenty of possession in the Augsburg end, but lacked any kind of cutting edge to trouble the Panthers goalie. Martin Buchwieser was penalised for a high stick after 32 minutes resulting in Augsburg going on their first powerplay of the match and they soon showed Munich how it should be done, with Robert Brown pouncing on a rebound at the far post to slide the puck home and double the Panthers' advantage. Another Munich penalty came to nothing and the period ended with Augsburg having a 0-2 advantage and Munich looking devoid of ideas.

It was still hoped that EHC Red Bull could stage a 3rd period fightback, but there were more and more errors and cheap turnovers in the last 20 minutes. Alot of the mini battles were being lost and Munich were being out-muscled and out-fought. The simple things weren't being done and even with changes to the lines made by coach Cortina, the team couldn't get going. Munich needed someone to stand up and be counted, but it never happened. Checks weren't being completed and despite a couple more chances on the powerplay towards the end of the match, EHC didn't get the puck to the net or put themselves into the dirty areas to capitalise on any scraps, and AEV ran out 2-0 victors.

A hugely disappointing performance overall and despite not showing much themselves, Augsburg deserved the points. There will be plenty for the coaching staff to talk about after that match and the players need to show more passion and a higher workrate if they are to get anything from their next game.

Hamburg Freezers 1 EHC Red Bull München 0

Munich travelled up to Hamburg on Sunday to play the Freezers hoping to improve on last season where they failed to score in either visit. It turned out to be another very defensive game and neither team was able to stamp their authority on the match. The only goal of the game came just after the midway mark. Hamburg defenceman Mathieu Roy took a pass on the blue line and fired one through traffic and past the unsighted EHC Red Bull goalie. Munich battled hard throughout and successfully killed off numerous penalties but seem to be lacking ideas in the opposition zone, a fact highlighted by not having a single shot on the Hamburg goal for the first 10 minutes of the final period. EHC Red Bull finally had a couple of big chances with 5 minutes left as Lubor Dibelka hit the post but nothing was getting past player of the game Dimitrij Kotschnew.

The games don't get any easier for Munich next week as they visit German champions Berlin on Friday and then host last year's runners-up, Mannheim on Sunday 30th September. Face-off for Sundays match at the Olympia Eishalle is 16:30. All ticket information can be found on the official site .

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