Julien, Minsk survive thriller in Munich

Minsk 3, Munich 2 (shootout)

Despite being outshot 40-24, the Minsk Hussars emerged from Munich with a win Tuesday. The game was a tense one throughout for Minsk coach Claude Julien. Goals by Colin Wilson and Patrik Berglund had the Hussars in the driver’s seat as the game clocked ticked down. Munich pulled goalie Jonathan Quick and were able to put pressure on Carey Price in the Minsk net, but Price turned away several shots in the furious last minute before Joe Thornton deflected a Roman Hamrlik point shot in to send the game to overtime. In the shootout, it looked as if Minsk just couldn’t put Munich away when Thornton and Patrick Elias scored to keep the Duns alive and force an extra round of shooters. Julien sent Jakub Voracek out and he beat Quick. Then Dan Boyle tried to tie it again, but shot it into Price’s right pad. Both teams will play Wednesday.

Paris 3, St. Petersburg 1

St. Petersburg outplayed Paris in every category except the score. Les Rouges Eiffels were outshot 44-27 and were shorthanded 7 times, but goalie Tuuka Rask held his ground enough to give his team the win. Evgeny Malkin scored two goals for Paris and now has 7 on the season. Only Bern’s Jason Spezza has more goals. For the Lynx, center Brad Richards was incredible, albeit fruitless. He fired an amazing 13 shots on goal and was 19-9 in the faceoff circle. And he blocked two Paris shots. Frustration is mounting in St. Petersburg because the Lynx have played well enough to win but have just 1 point in 5 games. The season still has 77 games to play, however.

Bern 6, Helsinki 1

Martin Havlat scored three goals as Bern rolled to another win Tuesday. The score was tied at 1-1 in the second period when Havlat went to work, getting two of his three on the powerplay and showing great chemistry with Andy McDonald, Ray Whitney and Kimo Timonen. Each of those 3 players picked up 2 assists on Havlat goals. Rich Peverly and Brent Seabrook also had multi-point nights for Bern. The Bears have so much momentum on their side they were able to give backup J-S Giguere a start and he nearly came up with a shutout.

Athens 5, Zurich 4

Three goals in the third period lifted the Greeks (2-2-1)  to a win in Zurich (3-2-0). Zurich and goalie Brian Elliott were a little lucky the third-period hill they climbed wasn’t steeper because they gave Athens 8 powerplay opportunities. But Zurich’s penalty killers were perfect on the night. Athens forwards T.J. Oshie and Todd Bertuzzi each had a goal and 3 assists, while teammates Ian White and David Backes each tallied a goal and an assist. Zurich defenseman Rostislav Klesla had one of his best games ever offensively, as he scored a goal and had two assists in the loss.

Copehagen 4, Bratislava 2

The Tridents were solid in all areas except faceoffs as they out hit and outscored the visiting Eagles. Copenhagen joins Bern and Milan as the only teams that have not lost a game yet. For Copenhagen, Andrew Ladd continues to be a leader. He added two goals to his season total and fired a team high 7 shots on goal. He now has 9 points and is tied for fifth in the league in scoring. Right behind him in scoring is his center, Derek Roy, with 8 points. Part of their success comes from the fact Copenhagen’s other top line (Stephen Weiss, Dany Heatley and Teddy Purcell) often draws the other team’s best checking unit. Brataslavian bright spots were Martin Erat and Jonathan Toews, who each had a goal and an assist.

Dublin 4, Madrid 1

Goals by Ryan Kesler and Tomas Plekanec were holding up and the Fighting Irish were on their way to a 2-0 shutout win when the game got a wee bit wacky. With 1:41 left, Erik Karlsson’s long shot spoiled Tim Thomas’ bid for a shutout and gave Madrid a chance to pull their goalie in hopes of tying the game and sending it into overtime. But Bobby Ryan dashed that dream with an empty net goal and then with Michal Neuvirth back in the Royals’ net, Plekanec added some icing on the cake with a nifty fake shot and wrister. Tim Gleason was an animal for Dublin, blocking three shots and hammering opponents with 7 hits. He also had an assist and was plus 1 through 24 minutes of ice time.

League notes:

  • It might be a little impressive to see two Bern Bears at the top of the scoring race – Jason Spezza and Ray Whitney have become the league’s most dynamic duo so far – but it’s even more eye-popping when you sort for plus/minus. Eleven of the top 29 in that category are Bern players.
  • Which team is the best at stealing the puck away from their opponents? According to the mathematicians at league headquarters in Vienna, it’s the Prague Sparta, followed closely by Moscow. For a look at those statistics, go to the Coach’s Office and “Plays Report.”
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