Noebels Makes Eisbaeren Debut, Berlin Rally to Beat Koelner Haie


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Former Philadelphia Flyers farmhand Marcel Noebels made his season debut in a most memorable Deutsche Eishockey Liga match as visiting Eisbaeren Berlin, after being shutout for more than forty-four minutes of play, rallied in dramatic fashion to defeat host Koelner Haie 3-2 in overtime.

A late first period goal from 32-year-old Canadian legionnaire Chris Minard, the veteran left wing who once skated in 40 NHL games for the Pittsburgh Penguins and Edmonton Oilers but is now in his third D.E.L. season with Koelner Haie after leaving the American Hockey League’s Grand Rapids Griffins, was beginning to loom rather large, particularly after national team goaltender Danny aus den Birken, the 29-year-old who made his major international debut for Germany at the 2014 IIHF World Championships in Scandinavia last spring, had turned aside every one of the 37 Eisbaeren Berlin shots he faced in the first two periods.

But Eisbaeren Berlin goaltender Petri Vehanen had made what would prove to be a most pivotal save after Koelner Haie had been awarded a penalty shot roughly eight and a half minutes into the second period. One might expect such heroics from the 37-year-old veteran who has, in recent seasons, earned a gold medal while backstopping the Finland national team at the 2011 IIHF World Championships and celebrated two Kontinental Hockey League playoff titles, with Russian club Ak Bars Kazan in 2010 as well as Czech outfit HC Lev Praha in 2014. The highly experienced Vehanen was specifically signed by Eisbaeren Berlin during the summer to replace the departed Germany national team netminder Rob Zepp, now of the American Hockey League’s new Lehigh Valley Phantoms club.

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With nearly five minutes of the final frame already gone, imported Czech right wing Petr Pohl, the well-traveled 28-year-old who was chosen in the fifth round (# 133 overall) of the 2004 National Hockey League Draft by the Columbus Blue Jackets and appeared in 10 AHL games for the Syracuse Crunch over the course of three seasons, finally got visiting Eisbaeren Berlin on the scoreboard after picking up a rebound in the slot; the summer transfer from Czech Extraliga club HC Karlovy Vary was involved again when veteran Germany national team defenseman Frank Hoerdler leveled the score on a long slapshot from the center point position with a little less than three minutes remaining to be played.

Eisbaeren Berlin grabbed the victory in overtime when Germany national team defenseman Constantin Braun, the sixth round selection (# 164 overall) of the Los Angeles Kings at the 2006 NHL Draft, made a hustling play to chase down his own rebound behind the Koelner Haie net and alertly found Canadian legionnaire Julian Talbot, the 29-year-old veteran now in his fourth season with the German capital city club after spending four years skating in the AHL for the Peoria Rivermen and Lake Erie Monsters, all alone at the right side of the cage for what amounted to a relatively easy tap-in Siegtor.

Noebels had three shots on goal and finished with a + 1 defensive rating while skating on a productive Eisbaeren Berlin line with Pohl and Finland national team veteran Antti Miettinen, the Olympic bronze medal winner who skated in 539 NHL games for the Dallas Stars, Minnesota Wild and Winnipeg Jets.

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Eisbaeren Berlin center Antti Miettinen, the Finland national team veteran who totaled 97 goals and 230 points in his lengthy NHL career, leaps into the air while trying to deflect a shot as well as screen out Koelner Haie goaltender Danny aus den Birken during the exciting Deutsche Eishockey Liga contest at the Lanxess Arena.
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October 17, 2014
Lanxess Arena – Cologne, Germany
Attendance: 10,057

EISBAEREN BERLIN 3 – KOELNER HAIE 1

09:35 … KH – Iggulden (Johnson, Sulzer)- ppg
16:42 … KH – Minard (Johnson, Iggulden)
44:56 … EB – Pohl (Miettinen)
57:09 … EB – Hoerdler (C. Braun, Pohl)
62:57 … EB – Talbot (C. Braun, Hoerdler)

shots-on-goal : Berlin 53 ( 14 + 23 + 13 + 2 ) – Koeln 27 ( 9 + 9 + 8 + 1)

penalty minutes : Koeln 12 – Berlin 8

power play : Koeln 1/4 – Berlin 0/6

KOELNER HAIE : aus den Birken – Ankert, Krupp, Luedemann, Mueller, Sulzer, Tjarnqvist, Zerressen – Falk, Gogulla, Iggulden, Johnson, Latta, Minard, Ohmann, Rankin, Riefers, Stephens, Tripp, Weiss

EISBAEREN BERLIN : Vehanen – Hoerdler, C. Braun ; Baxmann, Sharrow ; Borer, Haase – Ziegler, Olver, Tallackson; Rankel, Talbot, Mulock ; Noebels, Miettinen, Pohl ; J.Schlenker

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Eisbaeren Berlin goaltender Petri Vehanen, the Finland national team veteran who has appeared at the annual IIHF World Championships on four occasions, stops the second period penalty shot from aging Koelner Haie defenseman Mirko Luedemann, the 40-year-old veteran who appeared on the German blue line at 12 major international tournaments (63 ga, 5 go, 17 pts) including three Winter Olympic Games during the course of his distinguished career.

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