Eisbaeren Berlin’s new Canadian legionnaire COREY LOCKE (23), the American Hockey League’s Most Valuable Player for the Binghamton Senators in 2011 who just signed with the German capital city club from Finnish elite league outfit TPS Turku last week, positions himself next to EG Duesseldorf’s imported American goaltender BOBBY GOEPFERT (41) during the Deutsche Eishockey Liga contest at the ISS Dome in North Rhine-Westphalia.
After having their attack stymied by the cellar-dwellers of the German top flight for more than two-thirds of the contest and finding themselves down by two goals with less than sixteen minutes to play, the two-time defending champions finally erupted to score five times unanswered as visiting EISBAEREN BERLIN skated away from host EG DUESSELDORF 6-3 to remain the fifth place team in the Deutsche Eishockey Liga.
EG Duesseldorf, who celebrated four consecutive German Bundesliga titles from 1990 thru 1993 with current Eisbaeren Berlin general manager PETER JOHN LEE skating and scoring lots of goals on the right wing for the North Rhine Westphalian club, have fallen on hard times. The club now trained by CHRISTIAN BRITTIG, the retired right who represented EV Landshut and West Germany at the 1988 Winter Olympic Games hosted by the Canadian city of Calgary, finished second in the Deutsche Eishockey Liga and reached the semifinals of the D.E.L. playoffs before falling to the eventual champions from Berlin two years ago. Now, in stark contrast, the legendary club that was originally founded in 1935 are languishing dead-last in the 14-team D.E.L. standings.
Nevertheless, it was the hosts who got on the scoreboard first when Canadian legionnaire ASHTON ROME, the 27-year-old right wing who skated five games (0 go, 0 as) for the Greenville Road Warriors in the East Coast Hockey League this season before signing with EG Duesseldorf in late October, used the backhand to score his 10th goal on his 22nd appearance in the Deutsche Eishockey Liga this term after a lovely little pass into the slot by American import COLIN LONG, the 23-year-old native of Santa Ana, Caifornia, who was chosen in the fourth round (# 99 overall) by the Phoenix Coyotes at the 2008 NHL Draft and is only just returning from a very long spell on the injury shelf, set the table.
Eisbaeren Berlin’s Canadian legionnaire MATT FOY (83) shoots the puck over EG Dusseldorf’s imported American netminder BOBBY GOEPFERT (41), the native New Yorker and NHL draft pick of the Pittsburgh Penquins (2002, 6th round, # 171 overall) who played college hockey at both Providence College in Rhode Island as well as St. Cloud State University in Minnesota, to score his 14th goal of the season in all competitions on the power play in the first period of the D.E.L. contest at the ISS Dome in North Rhine-Westphalia.
Eisbaeren Berlin pulled themselves even rather quickly, though, after capitalizing on a two-man advantage with the power play. New signing COREY LOCKE, the Canadian legionnaire who just transferred to the two-time defending German champions from Finnish side TPS Turku, zipped a precise pass across ice and found his former junior teammate with the Ottawa 67′s standing at the other side of the net. Canadian legionnaire MATT FOY, the NHL veteran who only just returned to the Eisbaeren line-up after missing eleven games on the trot with a crippling rib injury, lifted the puck over EG Duesseldorf’s imported American netminder BOBBY GOEPFERT to count his 10th goal in the Deutsche Eishockey Liga this term.
Brittig’s troops went back out in front roughly five and a half minutes into the second period after EG Duesseldorf had an opportunity up two skaters on the power play, itself. Swedish import CARL RIDDERWALL, the former Notre Dame University left wing who leads EG Duesseldorf with both 13 goals and 35 points in 37 D.E.L matches this season after recording eight goals and 28 points for the Providence Bruins in 68 American Hockey League games last term, launched a long shot from the point that Eisbaeren Berlin goaltender ROB ZEPP failed to control. Veteran center NIKI MONDT, the off-season signing from the Hannover Scorpions who was also stationed at the side of the net, jumped on the rebound for the North Rhine-Westphalian club.
Rome, the native of Nesbitt, Manitoba, who was selected at the annual National Hockey League Draft by both the Boston Bruins (2004, 4th round, # 108 overall) and San Jose Sharks (2006, 5th round, # 143 overall) was directly involved in the third goal for EG Duesseldorf after a rush down the right flank. Norway international ANDREAS MARTINSEN, the youthful off-season signing from IK Lillehammer, needed a second whack at the puck but was, ultimately, able to net his fourth goal in the German top flight this season at the 33:07 mark of the match with Eisbaeren Berlin. And so the productive Rome, who celebrated the AHL’s Calder Cup title with the Hershey Bears in the spring of 2010, was rewarded with a third point of the night.
EG Duesseldorf center ANDREAS MARTINSEN (24), the 22-year-old center who has appeared with the national team of Norway at the last three IIHF World Championships (18 ga, 1 go, 3 pts), shouts with glee after scoring a goal against visiting Eisbaeren Berlin in the second period of the tops-tury Deutsche Eishockey Liga contest at the ISS Dome in North Rhine-Westphalia.
Eisbaeren Berlin were staring at the very real prospect of a sixth loss in its last seven contests heading for the locker room at the ISS Dome and the second intermission of the match with EG Duesseldorf. American trainer DON JACKSON, the former Stanley Cup champion defenseman for the mighty Edmonton Oilers who was in charge at EG Duesseldorf for two years before taking over the reigns of die Eisbaeren in the summer of 2007, could not have been happy. What was said between periods has not been reported but must have been inspirational, to say the least.
Indeed, the capital city club who have claimed the Deutsche Eishockey Liga title four of the past five years proceeded to strike for three Blitztore within a span of 120 seconds shortly after its return to the ice for the third and final period. Canadian legionnaire JULIAN TALBOT, the left wing-turned-defenseman who was also a teammate of both Foy and Locke with the Ottawa 67′s in the Ontario Hockey League back during his junior days, started the Berlin rally by crashing the net to have at a rebound of his own, then. The resulting tally for the visitors, at the 44:44 mark of the match in North Rhine-Westphalia, denoted a first goal for Talbot in Eisbaeren’s last 15 contests.
In what was a successful bid by the trainer Jackson to bolster an attack which has been seriously slumping as of late, the versatile Talbot was shifted back to offense for the final period in Duesseldorf.
Eisbaeren Berlin’s Canadian legionnaire JULIAN TALBOT (48)
In-form Denmark international MADS CHRISTENSEN soon brought Eisbaeren Berlin level after bursting into the zone down the left wing side. A sharp-angle shot up and over the shoulder of the EG Duesseldorf netminder Goepfert was enough for the 25-year-old forward to celebrate his 11th goal in all competitions this term and haul Berlin level yet again. Christensen, the diminutive Dane who scored just three goals in Eisbaeren’s first 33 games of this season, has picked up the pace considerably by registering eight goals on his last 13 outings for the German capital city club.
The opportunistic Talbot then completed Eisbaren Berlin’s lightning-fast comeback by knocking home his second rebound in as many minutes. A big but wide-angled slapshot from American import BARRY TALLACKSON, the former University of Minnesota right wing and New Jersey Devils farmhand, was not properly controlled by the netminder nor did the EG Duesseldorf defense do much to follow up on the play, either. Thus, a 10th goal in the D.E.L. this term by Talbot gave the visitors its very first lead of the match at the ISS Dome.
The battered Goepfert, meanwhile, would later be forced to leave the ice with just five minutes remaining.
Eisbaeren Berlin’s Canadian legionnaire TYSON MULOCK (60), the native of North Delta, British Columbia, who will celebrate his 30th birthday on Sunday, fires the puck past EG Duesseldorf’s replacement goaltender BJORN LINDA (30) to give himself an early present during the D.E.L. contest at the ISS Dome in North Rhine-Westphalia.
Eisbaeren Berlin greeted the backup netminder BJORN LINDA, a 23-year-old who is on loan to EG Duesseldorf from third division club EV Duisburg, by grabbing an important insurance goal with less than two and a half minutes left to skate. A slick pass from Canadian legionnaire DARIN OLVER, the former Northern Michigan University center who led the Deutsche Eishockey Liga champion in scoring last year, set his countryman TYSON MULOCK up in the slot. The elder Mulock brother, who amassed an even 50 goals and 100 points in 52 games for the Essen Moskitos during the 2006/07 2.Bundesliga campaign prior to signing with Eisbaeren Berlin at the conclusion of that prolific season, finished with aplomb to net his sixth goal in the D.E.L. this term.
EG Duesseldorf went for broke after Eisbaeren Berlin captain ANDRE RANKEL was sent to the penalty box for slashing with a little over a minute remaining. The goaltender was recalled to the bench and replaced with an extra skater to give the hosts a six-on-four manpower advantage in the offensive zone. But a shorthanded, empty-net goal from Olver with half a minute to play put an end to any potential rally.
An emotional triumph, then, for an Eisbaeren club still struggling enough to win Eishockey games as of late …
Eisbaeren Berlin defenseman JIMMY SHARROW (3), the imported American rearguard who collected two assists in the match with host EG Duesseldorf, and Canadian legionnaire DARIN OLVER (40) bump fists after an empty-net goal from the 2nd round NHL draft pick of the New York Rangers wrapped up the Deutsche Eishockey Liga contest watched by 5,034 spectators at the ISS Dome in North Rhine-Westphalia.