Good start into the playoffs for the Puckers with a 14-5 win against Colmar
After beating Colmar 18-1 in their only regular season meeting, and being the number 1 seed in the playoffs, the Puckers were the heavy favourite in this matchup. And even though they had some difficulties in the first period, the home team opened the series with a crushing 14-5 victory.
It was Mike Mekhaeel
who opened the scoring for the Puckers just two minutes into the game when he buried the puck on a feed from linemate Nick Aubin
. It seemed the Puckers were going to make this an easy victory. But Colmar thought otherwise and Manu Ernst tied the game at 6:44 by banging in his own second rebound. Just 9 seconds later, Charles Vallée
restored the lead of the Puckers by scoring on an assist from Momo Lutov. Mekhaeel took another pass from Aubin to put the Puckers up 3-1 at the 13:06 mark, but Julien Fuchs and Frederic Herpin managed to keep Colmar in the game by tying the game, scoring each a goal at 13:26 and 17:00 after a couple of scrambles in front of Puckers netminder Federico Ferrari
. Aubin scored his first from Mekhaeel and Peter Hult
just before the buzzer and the Puckers headed to the locker room with the lead, but not without wondering why this game was so tight.
Determined to put this game away, the Puckers scored two quick goals at the beginning of the second – Aubin from Lutov and Vallée on a bang-bang play and a one-timer from David Donzel
. Herpin scored his second of the night at 26:02 to get Colmar to within two, but on a Colmar power play, Lutov stole the puck in the neutral zone and scored a shorthander on a snapshot in the slot. Colmar’s Sturm did manage to bang home his rebound on the same powerplay just 50 seconds later, but it ended up being Colmar’s final goal of the game. It was all Puckers from here on. The Puckers would score another 4 goals in the middle stanza. First Miikka Heinonen
on a feed from Vlad Lutovs, then defenseman Niklas Lundberg who scored two goals, one on an expiring powerplay at 33:44 and one 4 minutes later. Mekhaeel capped the second period scoring with just a minute left and the Puckers took a comfortable 11-5 lead into the second intermission.
The last period was rather uneventful until Lutov scored his second at the 48:22 mark and Mekhaeel his 4th just 38 seconds later. On another Puckers powerplay, Mekhaeel took a feed from captain Yves Barthels
from behind the net to score his unbelievable fifth goal of the game and final score of the game of 14-5.
The Puckers will travel to Colmar in two weeks to try and seal the first round win and play the winner of the Epinal-Mulhouse series in the Division Est Final. With this imposing 14-5 victory, they put themselves in a good position to do that. Man of the match was Mike Mekhaeel
who scored 5 goals and had an assist in front of his parents who flew in from Boston a week ago and attended the game.