Meister Besiegen Tabellenspitze in Koeln


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Koelner Haie defenseman DANIEL TJARNQVIST, the 36-year-old, National Hockey League veteran who won the Olympic gold medal with Sweden at the 2006 Winter Games in the Italian Alpine city of Turin, and Eisbaeren Berlin’s Canadian legionnaire DARIN OLVER (40), the one-time 2nd round NHL draft pick of the New York Rangers who led the entire German elite league in scoring for the Augsburg Panthers during the 2010/11 season, compete for the puck during the Deutsche Eishockey Liga contest at the impressive Lanxess Arena in the North-Westphalian city of Cologne.
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A battle between the current leaders in the Deutsche Eishockey Liga and the defending circuit champions was decided by three goals in the second period from the visitors from the German capital city and shutout netminding from the national team veteran as EISBAEREN BERLIN blanked KOELNER HAIE 3-0 in an important D.E.L. fixture on the heels of the recently-completed international break.

Two-time defending titlist Eisbaeren Berlin, who had lost in overtime to Krefeld Pinguine two days earlier, were in danger of dropping a third D.E.L. contest in a row while Koelner Haie, who are trained by former Stanley Cup-winning defenseman and Germany national team trainer UWE KRUPP, were looking to further extending their lead in the domestic top flight.

Koelner Haie, of course, had won the first meeting of the season at the O2 World Arena in Berlin, a high-scoring 6-5 affair which had witnessed the pair of National Hockey League, Canadian legionnaires DANNY BRIERE and CLAUDE GIROUX, dramatically make their D.E.L. debuts for Eisbaeren.

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Koelner Haie winger PHILIP GOGULLA (87), the former Buffalo Sabres farmhand who fashioned two critical assists in the match against Canada as well as a vital empty-net goal late versus Switzerland for host nation Germany at the 2012 Deutschland Cup tournament in Bavaria, unleashes a shot against Eisbaeren Berlin during the Deutsche Eishockey Liga contest at the Lanxess Arena in Cologne.
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Koelner Haie had the better of play, too, in the first period of play at the Lanxess Arena in the second match, as well. But Eisbaeren Berlin goaltender ROB ZEPP, the national team veteran who had performed well in between the pipes for Germany against his native Canada in the first round of the 2012 Deutschland Cup, had sat out the Friday night loss to Krefeld Pinguine and was rested and ready. The hosts, indeed, would send a bakers’ dozen shots in the net guarded by Zepp but, nevertheless, find nothing of any substance to celebrate about.

This despite having even been awarded a penalty shot twelve minutes into the opening period, as well, courtesy of Eisbaeren Berlin’s Germany national team defenseman CONSTANTIN BRAUN. But Koelner Haie center FELIX SCHUETZ, the former Buffalo Sabres farmhand who scored a famous goal for Germany 21 seconds into overtime to defeat the United States in front of 77,803 spectators at the Veltins Arena in Gelsenkirchen during the 2010 IIHF World Championships, made a good case for the old adage that ‘he who hesitates is lost’. And, thus, Zepp was able to easily halt his 2012 Deutschland Cup constituent at the Lanxess Arena.

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Eisbaeren Berlin defenseman JENS BAXMANN (29) watches as brave Torhueter ROB ZEPP, the native Canadian who spent the majority of his first four seasons as a professional tending the nets for the Florida Everblades in the East Coast Hockey League, takes a shot off the face during the Deutsche Eishockey Liga contest with table-toppers Koelner Haie at the Lanxess Arena in the western German state of North Rhine-Westphalia.
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The hosts also had an outstanding opportunity to score at the beginning of the second period, as well, but Koelner Haie winger PHILIP GOGULLA, the experienced national team peformer who led Germany with nine points at the 2012 IIHF World Championships in Scandinavia last spring, could only hit the side of a wide-open net.

And so it was the visitors from the German capital city who gratefully grabbed the lead almost three minutes into the middle frame. Eisbaeren Berlin’s Canadian legionnaire JULIAN TALBOT, the forward-turned-defenseman who represented his homeland at the recently-completed Deutschland Cup in Bavaria, gained the zone and then dropped the puck for team captain ANDRE RANKEL, the Germany national team veteran who was not selected for the 2012 Deutschland Cup by incoming trainer Pat Cortina, at the blue line. A point shot from Rankel not only eluded Koelner Haie reserve netminder YOURI ZIFFZER for the 1-0 Eisbaeren lead but also provided the 27-year-old winger with an eighth goal in the D.E.L. this term.

Roughly three and half minutes later, Eisbaeren Berlin doubled its lead against the league leaders. Germany’s 2010 Olympic veteran T.J. MULOCK, the native Canadian who leads American trainer DON JACKSON’s club in scoring this season, initiated a fancy-enough passing play which would involve all three forwards. Mulock, himself, then simply squared the puck for on-rushing defenseman JENS BAXMANN, the 27-year-old veteran who made his 500th career appearance for Eisbaeren Berlin earlier this fall, to bag his second goal of this German elite league season.

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Eisbaeren Berlin captain ANDRE RANKEL (24)
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Eisbaeren Berlin were without star Canadian legionnaire CLAUDE GIROUX, the locked-out Philadelphia Flyers center who had sustained a blow to the head in the preceding match against Krefeld Pinguine, for the clash with Koelner Haie at the Lanxess Arena. Giroux, of course, had registered a goal and three points on his Deutsche Eishockey Liga debut in the loss to Koelner Haie earlier this season in Berlin. By this point, however, the two-time defending champions seemed to be getting along just fine without the NHL-Superstar who had totaled 19 points (four goals) from his first nine D.E.L. games in Germany.

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Koelner Haie captain JOHN TRIPP (21), the 35-year-old former National Hockey League right wing and Germany 2010 Olympic squad veteran who scored two goals against Eisbaeren at the O2 World Arena Berlin earlier this season, watches visiting netminder ROB ZEPP (72) make yet another save during the D.E.L. contest at the Lanxess Arena in Cologne.
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Eisbaeren Berlin looked to be in great shape with a third unanswered goal scored with a little over a minute to play before the final intermission at the Lanxess Arena in Cologne. The other half of Eisbaeren Berlin’s “Lock-Out” duo from the Philadelphia Flyers of the National Hockey League, DANNY BRIERE, put on a tremendous display of patience and skill to set up 21-year-old right wing LAURIN BRAUN in a prime shooting position. An eight goal of this D.E.L. term tied the younger of the two Braun brothers for the team lead with both Mulock and Rankel among the trainer Jackson’s charges.

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Eisbaeren Berlin star Canadian legionnaire DANNY BRIERE (84), who did miss the critical European Trophy contest in Sweden with HF Lulea on account of the flu, hiked his totals to 20 points (four goals) in ten D.E.L. contests after recording a pair of assists for the capital city club in the 3-0 triumph over Koelner Haie at the Lanxess Arena in North Rhine-Westphalia.
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Eisbaeren Berlin right wing LAURIN BRAUN, who appeared twice for Deutschland at the annual IIHF World Junior Championships earlier in his career, nabbed 10 goals from 68 games in all competitions for the D.E.L. champion last season but has already notched eight goals on his first 16 appearances in the German top flight to start this 2012/13 campaign.
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Koelner Haie launched an all-out offensive against the Eisbaeren net in the third period but discovered that Zepp, the well-seasoned veteran who has, up to this point statistically-speaking, NOT been having one of his best D.E.L. seasons, appeared determined to keep his sheet clean on this occasion.

Krupp’s charges badly outshot Eisbaeren Berlin by the count of 13-5 over the final twenty minutes, but the visitors, in reality, had little reason to do more than defend; neither veteran Canadian legionnaire CHARLIE STEPHENS, who had four points for Koelner Haie in the first meeting of the season with Eisbaeren at the O2 World Arena Berlin, nor fellow Canuck CHRIS MINARD, the one-time Pittsburgh Penguins and Edmonton Oilers center who was signed this summer from the Grand Rapid Griffins of the American Hockey League and has quickly established himself as one of the D.E.L.’s top goal-scorers, could successfully break down the Berlin defensive wall.

The in-from Zepp more than did his part, then, by turning aside all 35 Koelner Haie shots in the contest.

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Koelner Haie’s Swedish import ANDREAS FALK (71), the summer acquisition from Elitserien outfit HV 71 Jonkoeping who has managed just one goal in the D.E.L. this season so far despite dishing out a pile of assists already, is knocked off balance by Eisbaeren Berlin’s Canadian legionnaire MARK KATIC just in the knick of time and, thus, has his shot forced wide during the high-profile Deutsche Eishockey Liga contest at the Lanxess Arena in Cologne.
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An important triumph for Eisbaeren Berlin on so many different levels, as well. There is little question that the visitors from the defending champions capital city inflicted at least a bit of a blow to the psyche of the current Deutsche Eishockey Liga leaders. There is also no doubt that Jackson’s troops certainly can be very happy with all three points in the German elite league standings.

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Eisbaeren Berlin goaltender ROB ZEPP, the experienced veteran who has appeared for Deutschland in the international matches against both Austria and Canada already this 2012/13 season, also turned in a clean sheet for American trainer Don Jackson’s club in the pivotal European Trophy contest on the road in Scandinavia with Swedish Elitserien club HF Lulea and notched his second shutout of this D.E.L. term by white-washing Koelner Haie at the Lanxess Arena in the North-Rhine Westphalian city of Cologne.
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UPDATE — it was later determined that the shot from LAURIN BRAUN was actually tipped by Eisbaeren Berlin’s leading scorer this season, T.J. MULOCK; thus, the younger of the two Mulock brothers on the German capital city club was credited with his ninth goal of this Deutsche Eishockey Liga season.

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