EHC Red Bull Munich were unfortunate not to take more than a point from their opening game of the 2012/13 DEL season after an overtime loss to Düsseldorf at the Olympia Eisstadion.
2,780 raucous fans witnessed an exciting fast paced match and were still mocking the garish Düsseldorf kit when Viktor Ekbom slipped to gift the visitors an early lead. It was an unfortunate error from the big Swede who produced some big hits in an otherwise strong game. There was no further scoring in the first period as EHC Red Bull's play was disrupted by having to kill off a couple of penalties meaning they went into the interval 0-1 down.
Munich came out strong in the 2nd period, but despite their efforts, could not find a way past the strong DEG defense. After comfortably killing off another penalty, the breakthrough finally came just after the midway point as good work from Christian Wichert gave Martin Buchwieser the opportunity to skate in on the DEG goal and slip the puck past the Düsseldorf keeper. EHC were now in the ascendancy and piling the pressure on the opposition. Less than 2 minutes after the equalizer, they took the lead as the puck fell to Toni Ritter who bagged his first goal for the club with a neat finish. The hunt was on for a killer 3rd goal as Munich dominated the rest of the period but had to go into the break with a slender 2-1 lead after outshooting DEG 17-4 during that session.
The 3rd period started with EHC on the powerplay but they were unable to take advantage of the extra man and were left to rue the missed chances when DEG levelled just 2 minutes after the restart when Carl Ridderwall blasted the puck past Jochen Reimer. The visitors started playing with a more aggressive edge and the first bout of fisticuffs came on the 7 minute mark as Sören Sturm had a disagreement with DEG's Ebner. Both players were sent to the sinbin to cool off for 14 minutes. EHC were struggling to get their flow back from the middle session and it wasn't long before the next altercation when young Düsseldorfer Woidtke took umbrage to a clean check from Uli Maurer who wanted no part in the subsequent fight despite the fists flying in his direction. The result of Woidtke's indiscipline was a 4 minute powerplay to EHC Red Bull, but they were starting to look tired and the advantage was soon over without much of a threat on the DEG goal.
With no further scoring and the game tied at 2 apiece, a 5 minute sudden death overtime session ensued, however it was DEG who won the extra point when Ridderwall netted his 2nd of the match to disappoint the home crowd. There are plenty of positives for EHC Red Bull to take from the game despite the loss, but one area that will need to be worked on during the week is the powerplay.
The next game is a big derby against the Augsburg Panthers on Friday 21st September. The match starts at 19:30 at the Olympia Eisstadion and both sides will want to put one over their local rivals early in the season. It promises to be a barn stormer and tickets are selling fast. All information can be found on the official site.
EHC will also be playing in Hamburg on Sunday 23rd with the match being shown live on ServusTV from 17:30.
In other news, EHC head coach Pat Cortina is being strongly linked with the vacant German national team coaching role. If he does accept the position, it is likely to be in a dual capacity though and he will continue coaching Munich for the rest of this season.