Eisbaeren Berlin Shut Down Schwenninger Wild Wings


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A second period power play goal from an in-form national team rearguard and stifling work in the third period from the entire defensive corps of the home team proved to be the difference as rebounding Eisbaeren Berlin saw off stubborn Schwenninger Wild Wings 2-1 and moved into fourth place in the Deutsche Eishockey Liga standings on goal-differential.

Eisbaeren Berlin, who have now won two games in a row after losing three matches – including the Champions Hockey League tie with Czech Extraliga side PSG Zlin – on the trot were dominant in the first period of the contest with the visiting Wild Wings but were repeatedly foiled by Schwenninger netminder Dimitri Paetzold, the 31-year-old Olympic veteran who has played in three National Hockey League games for the San Jose Sharks and has appeared at six major international tournaments (14 ga, 3.37 avg) for the national team of Germany in his career thus far.

A first period goal from Eisbaeren captain and Germany national team veteran Andre Rankel was canceled out towards the end of the opening session after Canadian legionnaire Sean O’Connor, the third round pick(# 82 overall) of the Florida Panthers at the 2000 NHL Draft who is now in his fifth full season of German elite league hockey, was simply allowed to park in the Berlin slot with the Schwenninger Wild Wings operating on the power play. It was a creative pass from behind the net by former Eisbaeren defenseman Ryan Caldwell, the 33-year-old Canadian legionnaire from Denver University who transferred to Berlin from Finnish club Lukko Rauma at the tail end of the 2012/13 DEL schedule, that made the equalizer possible. Berlin regained the advantage in the second period, though, with Germany national team defenseman Constantin Braun, the 26-year-old who was tabbed by the Los Angeles Kings in the sixth round (# 164 overall) of the 2006 NHL Draft, scoring a power play goal on a one-timer from the right point.

Braun, whose younger brother Laurin remains one of five Eisbaeren Berlin forwards still out injured, is off to a fantastic start offensively this term and already has registered two goals and ten points in only eleven DEL games.

Schwenninger could no better than generate all of one shot on target in the last twenty minutes at the O2 World Arena. Caldwell, the veteran who once made four appearances in the crack NHL games for the New York Islanders and Phoenix Coyotes before spending the entire 2013/14 DEL campaign with the Nuernberg Ice Tigers, conceded a penalty shot late after denying Sven Ziegler, the 20-year-old left wing who appeared in all seven games for Germany at the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship in Scandinavia last winter, a clear scoring opportunity. Paetzold capped off his fine performance, however, by using goaltender’s stick well to thwart the youngster’s attempt.

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October 19, 2014
O2 World Arena – Berlin, Germany
Attendance : 11,560

EISBAEREN BERLIN 2 – SCHWENNINGER WILD WINGS 1

12:17 … EB – Rankel (unassisted)
18:02 … SWW – O’Connor (Caldwell, Greentree) – ppg
27:12 … EB – C. Braun (Pohl) – ppg

shots-on-goal : EB 30 ( 15 + 7 + 8 ) – SWW 14 ( 7 + 6 + 1 )

penalty minutes : EB 8 – SWW 6 + penalty shot

power plays: EB 1/3 – SWW 1/4

penalty shot save : Paetzold (SWW) on Ziegler (EB)

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

SCHWENNINGER WILD WINGS : Paetzold – Goc, Caldwell ; Brown, Granath ; Dinger, Dueck ; Sacher – Schlager, Matsumoto, Greentree ; O’Connor, Green, Danner ; Rome, Sharp, Hacker ; Kiel, Pielmeier, Schmidt

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Eisbaeren Berlin goaltender Mathias Niederberger, the 21-year-old native of Duesseldorf who split his rookie professional campaign in North America last season between the Manchester Monarchs (6 ga, 2.92 avg, .887 svpct) of the American Hockey League and Ontario Reign (9 ga, 2.71 avg, .884 svpct) of the East Coast Hockey League, posted his third victory of this year on just his third career appearance in the Deutsche Eishockey Liga by halting a baker’s dozen shots against the visiting Schwenninger Wild Wings.

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