EHC drop out of the league's top ten following a one-point weekend
German ice hockey dropped to a new low after the national side missed out on qualification for the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sotchi, Russia. A 5-1 win over the Netherlands followed an overtime defeat to Italy (2-1), meaning Germany had to beat Austria in regulation time. Despite taking the lead twice in the decider, Austria scored the equaliser (2-2) and managed to hold on to it to qualify for their first Olympia Games since Salt Lake City some 12 years ago. For the first time in 65 years, Germany will not have an ice hockey team at an Olympic Winter Games. EHC captain Felix Petermann was the only EHC player selected by Germany's head coach Pat Cortina for the deciding Olympia qualifier in Bietigheim. Both Cortina and Petermann have now returned to "home ice" in München to switch their focus back to their respective club duties in order to secure a playoff berth for the Red Bulls.
München travelled to Bavarian rivals Straubing Tigers on Friday. The tigers are a direct opponent in the battle for a top-ten finish and are a team they had already beaten twice this season.
5,365 supporters turned out to witness a fierce and hard fought Bavarian derby. Defender Viktor Ekbom finally returned to the ice for the Red Bulls following a broken wrist, giving München additional depth in defence. Reimer saved an incredible total of 36 shots on goal throughout the game, but Straubing's Blain Down beat him once, scoring the first and only goal of the night seven minutes into the game on a power play. The Tigers were able to run out 1-0 winners. Christian Winkler spoke of an "emphatic derby between two great clubs. Reimer was sensational in goal tonight, but unfortunately our boys were unable to put the puck in the net. It will definitely be a hot finish to the playoff race."
Returning to home ice at Oberwiesenfeld on Sunday, München hosted the Grizzly Adams of Wolfsburg, another team right in the midst of the playoff race. And it was the Red Bulls that had the better start, coming out desperate to win the game and stay alive in the battle for a top-ten finish. Uli Maurer opened the scoring in the third minute following a nice one-two-pass with Lubor Dibelka in front of goal. Wolfsburg though, did not give in and returned the favour, scoring only five minutes later through a Sebastian Furchner rebound.
München are suffering from a real lack of fortunate at present, especially when it comes to close calls and Sunday night proved no different as they had another goal denied by the referee after checking the video review. Wolfsburg's top scorer Matt Dzieduszycki took matters into his capable hands and scored his 27th goal of the season on a power play to give his side a 2-1 lead going into the final period.
München's Bryan Adams equalised twelve minutes before the final siren and gave the 3,094 hopeful fans in attendance some confidence that the home side may be able to close the deal in regulation time. However, both keepers showed fantastic form and kept out multiple scoring opportunities at both ends to take the game into overtime. It was then Furchner again with his second goal of the night (17th overall) giving his side the extra point. München were left with only one point from their two weekend encounters.
München (11th, 61 points) are back at Oberwiesenfeld tomorrow night (Tuesday 19th) from 19:30 CET when they host Iserlohn Roosters (13th, 58 points) in yet another playoff race decider.