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Eisbaeren Clips EHC Red Bull In Seventh Round Of Shootout


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Eisbaeren Berlin’s Canadian legionnaire MARK KATIC (71), the 23-year-old former New York Islanders prospect who led all defenseman in scoring for the 2012 European Trophy tournament, looks to move the puck away from a dangerous position as EHC Red Bull Munich’s veteran Canadian legionnaire JASON ULMER, the 34-year-old former North Dakota University center who is appearing in the German top flight for an eight consecutive season, gives chase during the D.E.L. contest at the Olympia-Eisstadion in the beautiful Bavarian city of Munich.
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A goal from the visiting team’s captain in the seventh round of the shootout finally settled matters in favor of the defending champion as EISBAEREN BERLIN sneeked past sagging host EHC RED BULL MUNICH 3-2 and nosed into fourth place in the Deutsche Eishockey League standings on the strength of goal-differential.

Eisbaeren began poorly enough as both Germany national team defenseman FRANK HOERDLER as well as Denmark international MADS CHRISTENSEN were sent to the penalty box within the first two minutes of the contest in Bavaria. EHC Red Bull Munich, who have now lost seven of their last eight matches and are languishing in the bottom half of the D.E.L. table despite the major cash infusion from the well-known Austrian energy drink manufacturer this season, were more than happy to skate with the two-man advantage and seized the lead immediately. Canadian legionnaire RYAN KAVANAUGH, the second-year professional who transferred to Munich this past summer from the Austrian club EHC Red Bull Salzburg, one-timed a pass at the point to score his fourth goal in the German top flight this season with just 2:44 having expired in the game.

Eisbaeren Berlin, still struggling with injuries this term and now without youthful winger LAURIN BRAUN for a second consecutive contest, would strike back very quickly, though, against the club directed by Germany’s new national team trainer this season, PAT CORTINA.

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Assistant coach MAURIZIO MANSI (left), the Montreal native who was a right wing on the Renssaler Polytechnical Institute side that won the NCAA championship in 1985 and later skated with the national team of Italy at nine major international tournaments (51 ga, 9 go, 22 pts) including the 1994 Winter Olympic Games during his playing career, glances in the general direction of Canadian PAT CORTINA, the EHC Red Bull Munich bench boss who also now doubles as the trainer of Germany’s national team.
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Eisbaeren Berlin’s Canadian legionnaire MARK KATIC, the 23-year-old defenseman who skated 11 NHL games (0 go, 1 as) in three seasons with the New York Islanders organization before crossing the Atlantic Ocean this past summer, penetrated deep into the offensive zone before whipping a pass from the left wing all the way across the face of the goal. Arriving on the other end to meet such inviting service was American import BARRY TALLACKSON, the former New Jersey Devils farmhand who was the second leading goal-scorer for the capital city club last season. And so, EHC Red Bull Munich’s lead had been erased in a mere 40 seconds.

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EHC Red Bull Munich’s youthful goaltender LUKAS STEINHAUER (30), the Germany U-20 international who spent most of last season with third division side MEC Halle 04 while out on loan from D.E.L. club Hannover Scorpions, has absolutely no chance whatsoever as Eisbaeren Berlin’s imported American BARRY TALLACKSON (22), the 29-year-old former University of Minnesota right wing who was selected as the Most Valuable Player of the D.E.L. playoff final last season, sweeps a fantastic centering pass into the back of the net in the first period of the D.E.L. match at the Olympia-Eisstadion.
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A genuine goaltender’s duel developed over the following 40 minutes of play at the Olympia-Eisstadion in Bavaria as both teams, despite generating plenty of shots on target in that time frame, saw numerous chances turned away by both EHC Red Bull Munich’s inexperienced LUKAS STEINHAUER and Eisbaeren Berlin’s veteran ROB ZEPP. The 20-year-old Steinhauer was filling in for Germany national team hopeful JOCHEN REIMER (37 ga, 2.57 avg, .917 svpct), the 27-year-old who was out sick with a cold, and, once again, would acquit himself very well on only his third appearance of this season (1.57 avg, .951 svpct) in the Deutsche Eishockey Liga. Meanwhile, the 31-year-old Zepp, who has celebrated four D.E.L. titles since joining Eisbaeren Berlin from Finnish side Saipa Lappeenranta in the summer of 2007, would wind up making a very strong case for Man of the Match honors in Munich.

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EHC Red Bull Munich’s well-traveled Olympic veteran KLAUS KATHAN, the experienced winger who has made more than 900 appearances for seven different clubs in the Deutsche Eishockey Liga over the course of his lengthy career in the German top flight, celebrates his goal-ahead goal against defending champion Eisbaeren Berlin early into the third period of the D.E.L. contest at the Olympia-Eisstadion in Bavaria.
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EHC Red Bull Munich ended the scoring drought and went back out in front four minutes into the third period after LUBOR DIBELKA, the 29-year-old center from the Czech Republic who totaled 71 points (30 goals) for SC Riessersee in the 2.Bundesliga last term, swung around from behind the net and distributed a brilliant pass to the aging veteran KLAUS KATHAN, the 36-year-old right wing who represented Germany at eight major international tournaments (45 ga, 8 go, 17 pts) including both the 2002 and 2006 Winter Olympic Games, at the back door.

The hosts, fatefully, never did add an insurance marker despite outshooting their guests in the final frame (as well as 39-30 for the entire match).

EHC Red Bull Munich would regret leaving Eisbaeren Berlin to hang around. Tallackson, whose goal-scoring has dramatically increased since the return of Canadian legionnaire DARIN OLVER to the Eisbaeren line-up, pulled the visitors level via a wrist shot from between the circles with just under eight minutes to play. A second strike of the game and 11th goal of this D.E.L. campaign from the American import meant that extra time and, eventually, a shootout would be necessary at the Olympia-Eisstadion.

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Oddly enough, while Eisbaeren Berlin were participating in a shootout for only the fourth time in 39 contests for this 2012/13 D.E.L. season, EHC Red Bull Munich were, in fact, taking part in a shootout for the fourth time in as many league matches.

Steinhauer and Zepp continued to entertain with the veritable goaltenders’ showdown in the tie-breaker as the first ten shooters on both sides, include Eisbaeren Berlin’s new Canadian legionnaire COREY LOCKE, all failed to put even a single puck into the back of the two nets.

Ultimately, Eisbaeren Berlin captain ANDRE RANKEL was able to slip a shot past Steinhauer to begin the seventh round but Kavanaugh, the 21-year-old defenseman who had opened the scoring for EHC Red Bull Munich, could not negotiate Zepp again. And so, after losing three consecutive shootouts, trainer DON JACKSON’s club triumphed in the tie-breaker for only the second time this term. Fittingly, it had also been the national team veteran Rankel who had also netted the shootout-winner when the defending D.E.L. champions downed the Hamburg Freezers earlier this past October.

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By netting the winner against host EHC Red Bull Munich in the shootout compeition, Eisbaeren Berlin captain ANDRE RANKEL (24) was credited with his team-leading 15th goal of the season in the Deutsche Eishockey Liga; Rankel’s total of 43 points in the German top flight also left the 27-year-old left wing just one point off the pace at the top of the D.E.L. scoring chart this term.

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