EHC Red Bull München 3 Krefeld Pinguine 1
Munich went into Friday night's game on a high after Tuesday's victory against arch rivals Straubing, but were without injured duo Brent Aubin and Toni Ritter. Krefeld boasted $4m man Christian Ehrhoff on their roster thanks to the current NHL lockout, and former fan favourite Martin Schymainski returned to Munich for the first time since his move to the Penguins in the off-season.
EHC Red Bull got off to a perfect start in this game. Ulrich Maurer started a move with a neat pass out to the wing and moved smartly to the centre where the return pass fell for him to bury the puck past Scott Langow in the Krefeld net and give Munich a 2nd minute lead. The Penguins looked for a quick response but failed to capitalise on several chances, with Munich goalie Jochen Reimer starting to look like the league leading goalie he was last season. EHC Red Bull were unlucky not to double their lead in the 13th minute, when some good pressure on a powerplay ended with Martin Buchwieser shooting past Langkow only to see the post rescue the visitors. Munich's luck turned 4 minutes later though. A good face-off win in the neutral zone by Mike Kompon resulted in defenceman Sören Sturm taking a speculative long distance shot from outside the blue line. The Krefeld netminder was taken by surprise and could only parry the puck and watch it drop into the back of the net. 2-0 to EHC Red Bull and that's how it stayed to the end of the 1st session.
Krefeld started the middle period on the powerplay and looked as if they meant business, trying to get themselves back in the match, but Reimer was rock solid at the back for Munich. The best chance of the session occured in the 35th minute as Penguins forward Patrick Klöpper was sent through on goal only to be impeded by the back checking Ryan Kavanagh. The referee somewhat harshly awarded the Krefeld player a penalty shot, but Reimer made himself big as the shot was taken and saved well to keep the score at 2-0, which is how the period ended.
Into the final period the Penguins were still trying to get themselves on the scoreboard. Munich were standing firm and were given a powerplay opportunity in the 48th minute. They wasted little time in making the man advantage count, and just 7 seconds into Joshua Meyers' interference penalty, Ryan Kavanagh shot the puck in through traffic from the blue line and Martin Buchwieser was on hand to tip the puck past the unsighted keeper. The referees wanted to review the play though and went to the video replays. Anxious seconds past before they returned to the ice and confirmed that the goal was good. 3-0 to the home side now and the 3 points were looking safe. Krefeld weren't just going to lie down though and continued to press. EHC Red Bull got themselves in pematly trouble with just 2 minutes left to play. Both Felix Petermann and Sturm were sent to the sin-bin within 20 seconds of each other to give the Penguins a 2 man advantage. They pulled their goalie in favour of an extra attacker too, so we were effectively playing 6 against 3. Munich were being dragged around as Krefeld moved the puck well, and with 52 seconds left in the match, that man Ehrhoff received the pass in the right circle and fired an unstoppable shot past Reimer to deny him a deserved shut-out. The game wasn't over yet though, and Krefeld still had a powerplay and kept their goalie off the ice. The visitors powered forward and another shot crept through the Munich goalie, but fortunately he turned to see it bounce back off the base of the post. EHC Red Bull managed to see the last few seconds out comfortably when the referee evened up the numbers by sending Ehrhoff to the penalty box on a slashing infraction and took the points with a 3-1 victory.
Another deserved win for EHC Red Bull Munich who were afforded a bit of luck along the way, but the players stuck to their task and will be happy that the hard work is starting to show dividends. The player of the game was the outstanding Munich netminder Jochen Reimer - a welcome return to form.
Next home match : Sunday 14th October v Iserlohn Roosters. Face-off 16:30 @ Olympia Eisstadion
EHC Red Bull Munich play away matches in Cologne and Nürnberg before hosting the Roosters on the 14th. It will be a busy Sunday in the Olympia park with the Munich marathon also taking place (good luck to all involved in that), and the game promises to be another close affair. Last season's games in Munich were split 1 each, and EHC Red Bull will need to keep a close eye on star forwards Michael Wolf and Robert Hock if they are going to come away with their 3rd straight home win. Full ticket information can be found on the official site