A pair of experienced National Hockey League veterans played pivotal roles as solid netminding and a decisive goal in the shootout powered visiting upstart ISERLOHN ROOSTERS to a 3-2 triumph over two-time defending champion EISBAEREN BERLIN in the Deutsche Eishockey Liga.
The disappointing loss marked a fifth setback in the last six D.E.L. matches for American trainer DON JACKSON’s slumping troops. Iserlohn, to review, entered the afternoon contest with the capital city club ranked 12th in the fourteen-team German elite league this season. Furthermore, it had been the Roosters who were, in fact, routed 7-1 on their last trip to the O2 World Arena Berlin in late October.
The hosts finally welcomed back oft-injured Canadian legionnaire MATT FOY, the 29-year-old NHL veteran who had totaled 13 goals and 23 points in 32 games from all competitions for Eisbaeren Berlin this season before being sidelined with a ribs problem which would take quite some time to fully heal. The former Minnesota Wild right wing who signed for Eisbaeren this past summer ended up missing eleven straight games before his return against the Roosters on Sunday. The addition of Foy, however, was offset by the subtraction of Berlin scoring leader T.J. MULOCK, the 27-year-old Olympic veteran who paces the German capital club with 49 points in all competitions this term.
Iserlohn Roosters went to the lead eleven and a half minutes into the first period after MICHAEL WOLF skated in all alone on Eisbaeren Berlin netminder and Germany national team constituent ROB ZEPP to score his league-leading 20th goal in the D.E.L. this season. The hosts were able to haul themselves level after Berlin left wing FLORIAN BUSCH found Germany national team defenseman FRANK HOERDLER alone in the slot just 46 seconds into the second period. But Eisbaeren then were assessed three separate minor penalties, all within a span of one minute and thirty-nine seconds, not so long after Hoerdler had notched his sixth strike in the D.E.L. this term.
The visitors quickly re-established their lead with the benefit of the two-man advantage when 33-year-old American import JEFF GUILIANO, the former Boston College left wing who later skated 101 NHL games (3 go, 13 pts) for the Los Angeles Kings before signing with Belarussian club Dynamo Minsk of the Kontinental Hockey League in the summer of 2008, netted his seventh goal in the D.E.L. this season at close range; the prolific pair of Wolf (20+22) and American import MIKE YORK (12+30), both of whom are now tied with the Straubing Tigers’ Canadian legionnaire BLAINE DOWN for second place on the D.E.L. scoring chart this term with 42 points, were credited with assists on Iserlohn Roosters’ go-ahead tally at the 24:24 mark of the match against Eisbaeren Berlin.
Iserlohn Roosters’ imported American center MIKE YORK (78), the 35-year-old veteran of 579 NHL games (127 go, 322 pts) who also skated a season in the Finnish elite league for the Lahti Pelicans before signing with the Sauerland club in the summer of 2011, and Eisbaeren Berlin defenseman JENS BAXMANN compete for the loose puck during the Deutsche Eishockey Liga contest watched by 14,200 spectators at the sold-out O2 World Arena Berlin.
The two-time defending champions rallied with a power play strike of its own a little past the halfway point of the D.E.L contest in Berlin. Canadian legionnaire DARIN OLVER, the former Northern Michigan University center who was chosen by the New York Rangers in the second round of the 2004 National Hockey League Draft and later skated six games (1 go, 0 as) in the American Hockey League for the Hartford Wolf Pack after leaving college in the spring of 2007, deflected a shot from the point to bring Eisbaeren even. Olver’s ninth goal in only his 18th D.E.L. game this season would be the last time either side would find the back of the net for the remainder of both regulation play as well as the overtime period, though.
Jackson’s charges outshot the Iserlohn Roosters over the entire course of the sixty minutes 29-22 but Canadian legionnaire SEBASTIEN CARON, the very well-traveled NHL veteran who had conceded all seven goals in the third period during his last appearance at the O2 World Arena Berlin, stood his ground againt the Eisbaeren this time out; it was the guests who had all three of the chances created by both teams in overtime but Zepp proved himself equal to that task.
Caron, the 32-year-old who made three appearances in the National Hockey League for the Tampa Bay Lightning after the Iserlohn Roosters’ campaign ended a year ago, halted Olver to begin the third round of the shootout. Thus, the stage was set for Canadian legionnaire MARK BELL, the veteran left wing who skated only five NHL games (0 go, 0 as) for the Anaheim Ducks all of last term after transferring from Swiss Nationalliga A side EHC Kloten, to be a match-winning hero. And the 32-year-old who spent most of last season skating in the AHL for the Syracuse Crunch (39 ga, 7 go, 17 pts), would not miss.
Iserlohn Roosters’ Canadian legionnaire MARK BELL (22) was chosen in the first round (# 8 overall) of the 1998 National Hockey League Draft by the Chicago Black Hawks and later skated in 450 NHL contests (87 go, 182 pts) for the Black Hawks, San Jose Sharks and Toronto Maple Leafs before signing with the Sauerland club this past summer.