Two key wins have team sitting 3rd in the table
Munich, November 7 - During the course of a season, teams may have a few matches that help define them, give them a chance to demonstrate their willingness to rise to the occasion and fight for victory. A team can have those type of games maybe two or three times a season. EHC München experienced two season defining matches THIS weekend: a heart-stopping overtime win over Augsburg 4-3 on Friday and followed that up Sunday afternoon with an amazing comeback to win in a penalty shootout in Cologne.
The two victories take EHC to 3rd in the DEL standings and negate the two listless losses from the previous weekend. On Friday, Munich was able to take an early lead in the first ever derby matchup with the Augsburg Panthers, jumping out to a 3-1 lead after two periods. Martin Buchweiser scored his 7th and 8th goals to help build the lead. But Augsburg drew even with two goals in the 3rd period to take the game into sudden death overtime. Eric Schneider scored the game winner less than a minute in OT to send most of the 6,217 fans home happy.
"I am extremely happy with my team's effort," said a satisfied Pat Cortina after the match. "My players didn't stop playing." The EHC coach gave credit to the crowd as well. "The fans were unbelievable tonight. They helped us that we didn't collapse after the two (late) Augsburg goals. The fans were great and helped us a lot. Munich has the best fans."
Cortina probably wished the fans could all travel to Cologne on Sunday, as his team came out flat against the Sharks, giving up four goals in the 1st period. Unlike last week's 5-0 loss in Iserlohn, Munich woke up scoring 3 goals of their own in the 2nd period to close the gap 5-3. After Bryan Adams cut the deficit to 5-4, it was Buchweiser scoring his team leading 9th goal with :13 seconds left to send the game into overtime to complete the comeback. After a goalless overtime, Kyle Helms, who scored a short-handed goal earlier, devastated the 7,500 Shark fans by winning the match with a penalty shot.
"A match that started off the way it did tonight should be over in the 1st period," lamented Cologne coach Niklas Sundblad. "But we stopped playing hockey. And then to give up the tying goal with seconds left - it's something that can bring you down." The loss keeps the Sharks at the bottom of the table.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, EHC will enjoy a mini-break for the Deutschland Cup being held in Munich this coming weekend. The club return to action Sunday, November 21st against the Straubing Tigers. Face-off is at 19:05 at the Olympia Eissportzentrum.
Daniel Gebele contributed to this article.