EISBAREN BERLIN 6 – 3 ADLER MANNHEIM
Eisbaren Berlin returned to winning ways as they recorded a huge two points against bitter rivals Adler Mannheim on Sunday at the Mercedes-Benz Arena, as the Berlin side won 6-3 thanks to a brace from both Sean Backman and Nick Petersen to help bring an end to their dismal run of results against their opponent in recent games.
Mannheim opened the score through in the game at 5.32, as Chad Kolarik snapped his shot past Petri Vehanen in the Eisbaren goals to up the visitors 1-0 up. Less than a minute later, it saw the home side given a chance of tying things up very quickly with a penalty shot being awarded to the Polar Bears, but sadly for second straight time, the home side failed to convert as Dennis Endras made the save to preserve the Eagles lead.
Berlin fans didn’t have to wait too much longer to see their side getting on the board, as James Sheppard tucked away a pass towards the back post from Sean Backman to make it 1-1 and have the home side celebrating at 8.50.
Backman then went turned from provider to goalscorer minutes later, as the American netted for 2-1 on the power play at 11.49, as Nick Petersen played a pass back through his legs that set up the go-ahead goal for Berlin and saw them head into the break with a slender one-goal lead.
Midway through the second period, it saw Garrett Festerling somehow missing an empty net for Mannheim, as he put his shot between the goal post and the netminder. A bizarre scenario then took place during a Mannheim powerplay, as Luke Adam slipped the puck by the helpless netminder who was down on the ice and saw only the padding on the inside of the goal preventing the puck from going in.
The incident required both match referees to watch the reply and determine an outcome. An outcome that took in total twelve minutes to reach a conclusion that the puck hadn’t fully crossed the line with no sufficient evidence to give the goal.
To say Berlin breathed a sigh of relief, would be the biggest understatement of the game. Depending on your outlook on the game, it could be argued that both sides had luck going for and against them. For the visitors, in normal circumstances, the puck goes in and it is a 2-2 game, while for the home side they missed a glut of chances and could have been a high-scoring second period on another day.
The game itself was evenly contested between the two rivals, and despite the home side having a slender one-goal lead, the visitors were knocking on the Berlin goal and was denied by bodies and good goaltending. Meanwhile, at the opposite end, it saw the Eisbaren forwards getting into decent positions and not taking their chances.
With the game on a knife-edge entering the third period of play, it saw the hosts extending their lead to 3-1 through Sean Backman’s second of the game at 41.43. Once again it saw Nick Petersen at the heart of the play, as the Canadian forward sucked in three Eagles players to one side of the ice and left Backman unmarked on the far side, to see the former Ontario Reign forward firing high over Endras to give Berlin a two-goal cushion.
The visitors quickly responded with a goal by Phil Hungerecker at 42.41, as his redirection bounced in and out of the goal and was awarded after a quick goal review. Over a minute later, it saw Jonas Muller blocking a shot for the home side and then sent Nick Petersen clean through on goal before Thomas Larkin wiped him out and saw the Polar Bears hosts awarded a second penalty shot in the game.
This time though, the penalty shot counted on the scoreboard, as Petersen took upon himself to take it and fired it in stick side on Endras in the Mannheim goal to see the hosts 4-2 up early in third. That goal all but took the wind out of the Eagles sails in the game and five minutes later it was game over.
Nick Petersen then showed his skilful hands to make it 5-2 for the Polar Bears, as he toe-dragged the puck around a defenceman and then finished it off with backhanded effort into the roof of the goal for a beautiful goal.
Mannheim was now in deep trouble and had the home side rampant in the game, as the Eagles were falling apart quickly and saw Berlin creating a hatful of chances. The only plus for the visitors was that the hosts weren’t clinical in front of goal, as the scoreline could easily have been approaching double figures.
Two players in the third period really stood out for their respective sides, but for very different reasons. Firstly, Berlin’s Nick Petersen scored twice and grabbed an assist with a brilliant performance that earned him the player of the game – meanwhile, Mannheim Thomas Larkin gave away a penalty shot that led to the home sides’ fourth and then got bamboozled by Petersen on the fifth goal.
If that wasn’t bad enough, he was then guilty of a poor pass in his own zone that resulted in the sixth goal for the home side, after a tic-tac-toe play saw Mark Olver playing a pass to Martin Buchwieser and then finally feeding Jamie MacQueen at the front of the net for 6-2.
The away side had the final word on the scoreboard at least, as Matthias Plachta made the score a bit more respectable at 6-3, as the Eagles forward turned and shot to beat Petri Vehanen and saw Mannheim having their wings well and truly clipped by the Polar Bears when all was said and done.