Munich come back to win in Znojmo despite Sulak hat-trick
Orli Znojmo had a 2-1 lead on home ice in their first-ever CHL game, but Red Bull Munich came back with three straight goals in the third and won 4-3, despite a hat-trick from Znojmo defenceman Libor Sulak.
The teams traded goals in the first period, both on Znojmo power plays – first a mistake in the neutral zone let Keith Aucoin to win a race for the puck in the Znojmo zone and he blasted a shot past Marek Schwarz to open the scoring shorthanded. Then later in the period, Sulak flicked a shot from the blue line on the power play through traffic and through Danny Aus den Birken.
The second period was a tough one, with a boarding major to Radek Cip and a check to the head by Richard Regehr. The latter gave Znojmo a two-man advantage, and Sulak blasted a shot from the point and in to give Znojmo the lead. It all changed in the third, though, with three straight Munich goals. First captain Michael Wolff on a Munich power play, then Mads Christensen and Jerome Flakke scored 52 seconds apart in the 52nd minute to put the Red Bulls up by two.
Just when it looked like Znojmo were out of it, Sulak struck on the power play for the third time with 1:38 on the clock. Then right after the following centre-ice faceoff Jan Seda got a breakaway but Aus den Birken stopped him, and Znojmo never threatened again.
"I think that for the first two periods we played well, our play was organized. But against a team like Red Bull Munich you can’t play an open-style hockey. 2-1 after two periods was ok, unfortunately we then made a mistake and they scored," commented Znomjo head coach Jiri Reznar. "As I have already said, we are underdogs in the group. We are only a small team – Fribourg or Munich are on a much higher level, but we are satisfied with the two periods that played equally as good hockey as they did. We managed to survive a five-minute penalty without a goal, and we had the lead. But at the begining of the third period they tied it and then added two more goals. It’s a shame because it was a good game."
“We knew that a tough game awaited us, so I cannot say Znojmo surprised us,” said Munich coach Don Jackson. On his team’s third-period comeback he said, “We made some changes after the second period, started more skating and that’s why we are happy to be leaving with three points. We started the third on the PP so knew we needed to be tough in front of the net, and it was a great job to create the opening. We knew Znojmo would be highly motivated – they've been a great team in the EBEL and we have a lot of respect for them.”