Munich wins 6-4; Bern on the brink

The game and series were tied when the third period began in Bern on Thursday and then the Brooks Laich hero tour started.  Until then, Bern seemed to have had the better of play and were somehow not in the lead. Eventually, they outshot Munich 44-27 and had a 10-3 advantage in powerplays. But on the second shift of the third period, Laich bulled his way to the Bears net and slid the puck underneath goalie Mike Smith to make it 4-3 in favor of the visiting Fox. Less than a minute after the Laich goal, Torey Mitchell was called for hooking and Bern had a powerplay, and 30 seconds after that, Roman Hamrlik was called for hooking to put his team down two men.  Glen Gulutzan, Munich’s coach, seemed to think Laich had enough of a rest and he sent him out to be the forward killing the 5-on-3.  Munich got possession and Dan Boyle passed to Toni Lydman who everyone was expecting to ice the puck. But Lydman saw Laich racing up the middle and hit him with a perfect pass between Bern point men Adrian Aucoin and Tobias Enstrom. On the breakaway, Laich fired a wrist to beat Smith over the right shoulder, stunning the Bears and their fans.  Lydman made a nice pass to Chris Higgins a few minutes later and Higgins scored his second of the game to all but clinch the game. Laich now has 6 goals and 8 points in 10 playoff games. During the regular season, averaging 15 minutes a game, he had 18 goals, 55 points and was a plus 23 with a turnover ratio of plus 20. While Laich and Lydman were the game’s top two stars, Jonathan Quick was no slouch int he Fix net. He made 40 saves to give him a save percentage of .921 in the playoffs, good enough for fifth best among goalies. For Bern, Radim Vrbata and Jason Spezza played well. Each had 2 points and they combined for 10 shots on goal. The two teams will travel  to Bavaria for Game 6 on Saturday. meanwhile, int he Northern Conference, Dublin will host Game 6 of the Fighting Irish-Lynx series. If Dublin wins, they will advance to the conference finals to play Copenhagen.

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