The EHC Munich decides the duel against Cologne in extra time for themselves. The swirling from Munich to Cologne Steve Pinizzotto provides.
Actually, many things were as usual. The door to the penalty bench of the Munich Olympic ice rink opened and Steve Pinizzotto entered. Unlike most ice hockey players, the striker did not just sit down for the two minutes but struck his bat against the Plexiglas in between and even opened the door during a game interruption to give the referee some energetic words. And yet it was different this time. Pinizzotto wore not the blue jersey of the EHC Red Bull Munich, but the white of the Kölner Haie. The sixth game day of the German Ice Hockey League (DEL) was on Sunday afternoon in the sign Pinizzottos, who came after three years and three titles with the EHC for the first time as an opponent to Munich. He could not prevent the Munich 2-1 victory after extra time against the sharks.
EHC-coach Don Jackson had declared on Friday after the 1: 2 home defeat against Krefeld, the game against the big ex was just like any other. On Pinizzotto this classification did not apply. In an interview with the Evening News The attacker explained that in Munich he would meet "some of my favorite enemies", which he is looking forward to, "but in a different way." Pinizzotto said that in Munich there were times when he almost lost the fun of ice hockey. That was apparently also due to Jackson: "Coach Don Jackson and I certainly did not get along outstandingly," he said. "There were always situations in which you could notice that during the three years." Jackson's response on Sunday: "It would be the first time I hear a player say that." Then the record champion laughed. Previously, he had pinpointed Pinizzotto's "fitness issues" at EHC times.
Pinizzotto did not like the way his time at the EHC ended. That his contract was not renewed, belong to the professional business. "But please, no one should tell me that they had said the decision in my face, to none of the courage." Although he also talked about meeting some of his best friends in Munich, Pinizzotto posted a picture with the destination Munich and the sentence: "Off to the rat nest before leaving Cologne on Instagram."
Clear words had been given after two defeats in series also from Munich side. Maximilian Kastner called before the Cologne game a "180-degree turn" because "we are currently playing disaster." Patrick Hager lamented a lack of move to the goal: "You can not win much if you only play outside." His demand was: "We have to work much harder in the offensive zone and shoot dirty goals." He succeeded in extra time: Hager met after a strong action by Frank Mauer in the margin to 2: 1 (62), it was the first goal of the season for the former Cologne. "That was a big fight for 60 minutes today," said Hager. "For us it was important to win such a close game after two defeats in a row."
Pinizzotto moved in Munich in the first storm of the Cologne – and was thus already on the first try on the ice. The Munich had a good start, Mark Voakes (1st) and Justin Shugg (3rd) made good early opportunities. It got really loud in minute six, when the Münchener Kurve played an excited "Hey", because EHC defender Andrew Bodnarchuk was vehemently promoted by Pinizzotto. "I'm me," the 34-year-old said before the match, "I'm playing my game, trying to score and checking some opponents." This action was the starting signal for an emotional and physical phase in which both teams marked their territory. There was a lot of physique involved – especially when Pinizzotto was in the game: first he got on with Ryan Button, then Trevor Parkes and John Mitchell. It was not a game like any other. The Munich had more from the game, but in the final phase of the first third they also survived with a bit of luck a 38-second double outage, in which also Pinizzotto had his chance (18th).
In the middle third of the champions took over the game control again and went thanks Mads Christensen 1: 0 in the lead (25). Shortly thereafter Parkes could have increased twice to 2: 0 (26). The Munich also determined this phase, because the Cologne took place again and again on the penalty bench. But even a penalty was not enough to refill – Konrad Abeltshauser failed to Gustaf Wesslau (31). In the final third Cologne was over thanks to Colby Genoway outnumbered to 1: 1 (50th) and made towards the end of a lot of pressure, as the EHC now had to serve several penalties. Danny from the birches in the Munich gate held strong, the rest did Hager. Pinizzottos first game as a guest in Munich ended with many hugs of his former teammates.