American forward CHRIS COLLINS scored all three of his team’s goals, including the overtime game-winner, as the AUGSBURG PANTHERS the WOLFSBURG GRIZZLY ADAMS 3-2 in the opener of the Deutsche Eishockey Liga semifinal at the Volksbank BraWo EisArena in Wolfsburg.
German Olympic forward KAI HOSPELT had given Kraftwerk Orange a 1-0 lead at the 7:35 mark of the opening period, but the former Boston College Angriffer answered for Augsburg exactly one minute save one second later.
Collins, who transferred to the Panthers from Finnish elite league club Lukko Rauma early last season, put Augsburg into the lead with a power play goal fourteen minutes into the second stanza.
Wolfsburg were able to even the match in the sixth minute of the final period of play via veteran German DAVID SULKOVSKY’s strike, however.
Once again, German Olympic goaltender DENNIS ENDRAS proved himself essential to the success of the Augsburg in this 2010 playoff season; the Grizzly Adams outshot the Panthers by the wide margin of 44-28.
Collins completed his hat trick 5:11 into extra time to give the game to Augsburg, who ended up eighth overall in the Deutsche Eishockey Liga this year, against home-standing Wolfsburg, who finished as the third place German club .
Collins leads the German elite league playoffs with six goals from eight matches. During the regular season, the 25-year-old native of Fairport, New York, finished fourth on Augsburg with 23 goals from 47 games.
CHRIS COLLINS, who was never drafted by a National Hockey League team, led Boston College with both 31 goals and 60 points in 40 games his senior season. That year, the Eagles advanced to the NCAA championship game opposite the the University of Wisconsin Badgers, where they fell 2-1 in heart-breaking fashion.
BOSTON COLLEGE forward CHRIS COLLINS is confronted by University of Wisconsin defender TOM GILBERT (14) at the 2006 Frozen Four from the Bradley Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Darren Hacuk/AP)
Defenseman JEFF LIKENS, a current teammate of Collins on the Augsburg Panthers in Germany, was a member of the 2006 NCAA champion Wisconsin Badger team.