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04.12.2013: Horgen Dolphins on a Streak

It may be a worn-out sports cliché thrown around the media or used at the water cooler with co-coworkers but the Horgen Dolphins seem to be on a streak. This weekend they won both road games, have won 5 of their eight ZEP Group B games and have collected 6 points in their last three games.
Saturday morning the Dolphin pulled past SC Kloten Flames for a 2-1 victory. In the first period Horgen broke-out clean, attacked the neutral zone and cycled the puck offensively. They shot frequently and tried to control the rebounds. Just past the halfway mark, Horgen came down on a two-on-one break and ‘Adi’ Vollenweider got clear of the Kloten defense snapped a shot to the back of the net putting the visiting Dolphins on the scoreboard. Later in the period, Marco Burkhardt finished off his left side rush with a goal and Horgen was up by two at the end of the period.

The middle frame was a draw due mostly to the Horgen’s stellar goal keeper, Max Schneble. He faced fourteen shots in the second and turned them all away. One was an outstanding glove grab from a close range shot at the end of a Flame break-away. The Dolphins fore-checked hard but remained two ahead at the second break.

In the third, Horgen’s eight man squad killed penalties, rushed the puck and dug in the corners in an effort to protect their lead and possibly get the important third goal. But their shots clanked off the post or were smothered by the Kloten keeper. In the thirteenth minute the Flames flipped a lopsided fluttering shot to the Horgen net. Its awkward flight got past Schneble to bring Kloten within one. With composure, Horgen attacked when they could and changed players quickly. In their own end they slowed the pace, controlled the puck and the clock to preserve the win.
(FINAL SC Kloten Flames: 1 – Horgen Dolphins: 2)

Sunday morning was the annual ’Winter Classic’. Horgen faced off against their foes to the north, Die Toten Hosen. The game was a lopsided affair with the Dolphins on the superior end of an 8-1 victory. All eight skaters for Horgen were in line for goals, but instead the tallies were divided between two. Marc Weber had three for his first hat-trick of the season; Marco Burkhardt buried the other five. Burkhardt has four or more goals in the past consecutive four games. The team has scored 36 allowing just 19 ‘against’ and is currently at the top of the table with 11 points, three clear of HC Winti Lions.

When asked about the team’s recent success, the Dolphin’s captain replied,
“I think we had a rough start to the season, we lost 2 out of the first 3. Early on each player had to find his role on the team. While doing that we were also learning that there is more time and space in this league and we can create more chances. Our challenge is to get better at taking advantage of those chances. Also, our defense is playing stronger game after game and Max (Schneble) could be the best (goaltender) in the league, if not the best conditioned. There is still a lot of work to do before we are able to play for the ZEP B title but the opportunity is there.” Burkhardt mentioned a few key aspects to their game plan but wisely asked to keep those out of print…

The Dolphins will hope to improve their 5-2-1 record before the holiday break. On Sunday, December 8th they meet HC Dragons. The last game of this year will be December 15th versus Gipfelstürmer Schaffhausen. Both games will be held in Zug at the Bossard Arena (2:30 and 2:00 respectively). Horgen returns to the ice on January 5th to finish off their series against the Dragons in Urdorf.


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