Skating in the Right Direction
Olympic Ice Stadium, Munich, October 14 – Two years ago, the Iserlohn Roosters were the first team that EHC Red Bull München played as newcomers to the DEL. The Roosters warmly welcomed EHC back then, but two years later, it’s no longer about formalities.
Ulrich Maurer scored a power play goal early in the final period and Jochen Reimer saved 24 shots as Munich held on for the 2-1 win.
After a bad start into the season with only 7 point out of 8 games, EHC seems to have recovered, winning four of their last five. Iserlohn have also struggled starting this season, with ten 10 points out of 10 games, and sit near the bottom of the standings.
In the first period there weren’t too many thrilling situations on both sides. EHC had the first real attempt to score in the 13th minute, Iserlohn until this point was hardly aggressive enough to be considered playing offensive. Munich on the other hand seemed to have overcome the issues they had before, playing well organized focusing on an early lead.
With ten minutes on the clock in the first period, Iserlohn was busy defending, EHC on the other hand with scoring. In the 8th minute, Rooster’s goaltender Sébastien Caron almost scored an own goal. A little later Iserlohn’s winger Brendan Brooks got a two minute penalty giving EHC a power play opportunity, Munich unable to use the advantage. With four minutes left in the first, the Roosters finally had a first serious attempt to score, but Reimer, who was not very busy until then, had no trouble defending.
Munich came back from the break aggressive and strong, forcing Iserlohn to keep playing defense. Mike Kompon tried a direct shot on Iserlohn’s goal, but Caron caught it, for sure one of the best Roosters players so far. After displaying more aggressiveness in the first period, the guests allowed Red Bull Munich to now control the game, managing to disturb most of Iserlohn’s attacks very early. The only thing missing was a goal.
With only 3 minutes to go in the second period, Iserlohn was lucky. Center Robert Hock broke free and attacked Reimer’s goal and hit it. The Roosters were all of a sudden in the lead, but EHC was fighting to get on the board.
It felt that the goal was necessary to wake up the players and the fans. And it did. Only a couple minutes later, Martin Hinterstocker drew EHC even, thanks to assists from Maurer and Sören Sturm. With the scored tied 1-1 the last period promised to be more exciting than the first two.
EHC kept pressing forward from the start but without any real chances after the first five minutes. The game became a back-and-forth, almost as if both teams were lurking waiting for the right opportunity to score.
A little struggle between Munich’s Blake Sloan and Iserlohn’s Lasse Kopitz made the game a little bit more heated. Munich was the better team but still was lacking something that would help them to take the lead. Kopitz was punished after his attack, two minutes into the penalty box for boarding and offered Munich another power play. And this time, they converted. Maurer scored to make it 2-1, assisted by Blake Sloan and Lubor Dibelka. the 2:1 lead. A lead that EHC Red Bull Munich totally needed.
The team had been criticized after the lack of performance and success at the beginning of the season and coach Pat Cortina now with the double pressure of being German national coach as well. This all after the off-season dilemma of the club almost losing the license to play if Red Bull had not stepped in.
With only six minutes left, Reimer was busy in a couple of situations, as the Roosters were trying to get back even. In the final minutes, Iserlohn seemed to be more focused with less mistakes. But Reimer and the Munich defense held on for the win.