Tornado's losing streak reaches 4 games
Tornado hosted on Saturday the new team in the Division 3 of the French championship, the next-door neighbors from Metz.
With an 0-3 record before the game, Tornado was in a must-win situation to have any chance of making the playoffs.
Unfortunately, Metz had other plans and hands Tornado its 4th straight loss.
With a number of good Russian players on its roster, Metz was expectedly skilled and sharp shooting. However that did not really crystallize in the starting minutes of the game and the level of the game was surprisingly weak: slow skating, bad passing, very little physical action. Tornado seemed to adapt to the pace and let Metz dictate much of the play. With a Metz player serving a hooking penalty, Metz even opened the scoring on a shorthanded goal by Hamri at 12:38. The Tornado squad under coach Kuhnen was stunned and sensed the bad omen. At 16:40, Betrand scored the 2-0 on a powerplay from the slot after intercepting the break-out attempt of a Tornado defenseman. Two minutes later, Hamri deflected a shot from the point with his body to surprise Tornado goalie Mangen again on the powerplay and Tornado faced a 0-3 deficit going into the first intermission.
Shortly after the break, Hamri completed the hattrick at 22:30 on a rebound goal and the game was all over. When Benny Welter was sent to the box for a boarding call, Rumyantsev scored the third powerplay of the game at 24:18 and the same Rumyantsev found the back of the net for the crushing 6-0 lead at 27:09, not even halfway through the game. The spectators saw a poor performance by a resigned Tornado team that was so hopeful for a win. Fortunately, Tornado got their own chances on the powerplay and were able to convert when Thierry Magalhaes picked up Robert Beran's rebound in the slot to cut the lead down to 5 goals at 35:34. Essipov, another Russian, added to the Metz tally at 38:39 chasing Mangen from his net and replacing him with Nicolas Osseland who made a spectacular glove hand save on his first shot.
The last period started with a more disciplined Metz team who seemed to be wanting to cruise to an easy win, but Tornado could not benefit from Metz's complacency, going instead into a frenzy of penalties of their own, going twice shorthanded on a 3-5 man-advantage for Metz in the first 8 minutes of the period. Luckily Metz could not convert and even let a shorthanded goal of their own slip through when Steven Minden went on a break-away at 48:02. Essipov and Hamri scored the next two goals around the 50 minute mark and sealed the win. Kai Linster's goal on a two-man advantage at 59:38 on a pass from Benny Welter and Francois Schons came too late and 3 seconds before the end Hamri scored his fifth goal of the game for the 10-3 final score.
All in all a very disappointed game and start to the season for Tornado who is now more than likely facing the playdown round in January after having been so successful last season.