DEL Playoffs – Franzreb holds – Sport
EHC Red Bull Munich was the measure of all things in the main round of the German Ice Hockey League (DEL), 19 points ahead of second-placed ERC Ingolstadt. But in the playoffs things don’t want to go well for the EHC. Two days after the 3-1 home defeat against the Fischtown Pinguins, the Munich team also lost their second quarter-final playoff game on Friday, this time 3-2 in Bremerhaven. In the best-of-seven series it is 2-0 for the outsider from northern Germany.
In the initial phase, Bremerhaven’s coach Thomas Popiesch’s plan to minimize the big EHC chances compared to game one worked. Bayern got more out of the game but were unable to put sustained pressure on Maximilian Franzreb’s goal. The Fischtown goaltender was Wednesday’s man of the game with 50 saves. The EHC had one particular goal for game two: to make Franzreb’s job more difficult. “We have to go to the goal a lot more,” Kastner demanded, and fellow striker Andreas Eder issued the solution to place “more guys in front of the goal” to block Franzreb’s view.
There were ideal conditions for this towards the end of the starting third, when the Munich team stood on the ice with five men against three for 103 seconds. But the Bremerhaven defended their goal self-sacrificingly and Franzreb held strong – most strongly against Trevor Parkes, who had a lot of space for his shot in the 16th minute. When the Penguins were complete again, national goalkeeper Mathias Niederberger saved the EHC from going behind when he parried with his shoulder against Markus Vikingstad, who appeared free in front of him (18th).
Towards the end of the middle third, the number of blocked shots on the Bremerhaven side increased sharply, and they repeatedly found themselves in Munich’s trajectories. But in the 37th minute EHC had some space – and Parkes used it with a nice pass to Filip Varejcka, who scored the first playoff goal of his career. 15 seconds before the end of the middle period, the eyes on the Munich bench became even more relaxed, because Austin Ortega scored with a majority to make it 2-1. But Antti Tyrväinen (45th) and Phillip Bruggisser (49th) still turned the game in favor of the North Germans. Nothing bad had happened yet, Eder said after the defeat at the start, the pressure wasn’t that high yet. That should have changed with the second defeat.