Jan Kopecky tears down the Giants

Jan Kopecky tears down the Giants

Davide Tuniz19 Oct 2014Davide Tuniz»

With an hattrick of Czech forward, Fischtown Penguins triumph in front of their fans. Also Belfast advances to semifinals as the higher ranked 2nd placed team from the 2nd round


Fischtown Penguins Bremerhaven and Belfast Giants battle for the spot in semifinal in a great atmosphere in Eishalle Bremerhaven, with fans of both team chanting and cheering all the time. Belfast has Kevin Saurette scratched due to injury, while “iron” Mike Stewart choose Jonas Langman in the net. First shot by Fischtown and first friction between players. After two minutes, the first real chance, with Jeffrey Mason, well assisted, but his shot is deflected by Langmann and then with a long-range shot by Robby Sandrock with Langmann reactive. Giants aggressive start intimidates the German team that tries Murphy reflexes with Marc Kohl and then has a good chance with captain Marian Dejdar but Giants goalie deflectes. Murphy is great (and lucky) during first power play when rebounds with the  grip of the stick a one-timer by Martinelli. But the good star of Murphy can’t do anything at 06:57 when Jan Kopecky finds the right path in the traffic in front of Giants cage for 1-0 Bremerhaven. Belfast immediately reacts and Keefe misses the last deflection in front of Langmann, very reactive seconds after, deflecting with the shoulder a shot by Kevin Phillips and with the pad a missile by Sandrock. Giants gains also a power play – out Verelst for slashing – and immediately ties game with Mike Kompon. Fischtown has a good chance at 15 with Brock Hooton : his shot is rebounded with the chest by Murphy, on the other side Keefe shots on Langmann a good assist by Lloyd. The last chance of the period is for Penguins captain Dejdar but Murphy deflected with the shoulder his powerful shot.

A penalty for Sandrock and Hafenrichter opens second period: on 4vs4 Giants score a controversial goal with Mike Kompon solved a big mess in front of Langmann. Penguins react furiously but Giants use the experience of key players not to get carried away and Murphy is a wall when slam the door on Jan Kopecky sure hit. Giants put the head out of their defense with Colin Shields and Craig Peacock. At 36 a key moment: Giants have 2 players – Kevin Philips and Adam Keefe – punished and play 5vs3 for almost 2 minutes but defense and Murphy are perfect against the rage of Penguins allowing British team to survive against all odds. But the joke is on the prowl for Giants: Cody Brokwell lost the puck during a Giant attack, rousing the Penguins fast counter-attack, finalizing by Ryan Martinelli, on Tim Hooton assist.

A one-timer by Kompon whispering at Langmann and a good defense by Murphy on Ralf Rinke post warn about a last period fought to the death, with a real show by the fans of both teams on the stands. Penguins survive a complicate power play and, when earn two minutes with a man more, bites at 57: Brock Hooton finds the right angle to beat Murphy by blowing the arena.  Coach Thornton pull the goalie, Kompon has a great chance to tie but his shot flies over Langmann cage and with one second Kopecky closes the clash scoring on empty net, sending the Penguins to semifinals. It was a great game, both teams played openly and some episodes decided the final score

MVP: Jan Kopecky – Mike Kopon

Penguins waiting to celebrate dancing on the ice with the fans

Giants fans can be proud of their team

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