German Elite League Hockey * English coverage of Germany's DEL Deutsche Eishockey Liga
Get inside the DEL! Hamburg Freezers goalie Boris Rousson - nicknamed "The Spider" - opens his web journal. Check out the latest issues of "Spider's Web":
New start (September 5, 2005)
The last stretch (February 21, 2005)
New year, new hope (January 13, 2005)
It's not the size of the dog (December 4, 2004)
Good time for a little break! (November 16, 2004)
Can't buy any goals (November 1, 2004)
2nd shutout (October 21, 2004)
Power Play festival (October 14, 2004)
Exciting (October 9, 2004)
Here we go! (September 20, 2004)
Disappointing (April 14, 2004)
Four teams left (March 25, 2004)
Bring on the Adler! (March 8, 2004)

W-OTW-RT-L

Pts

Strk

1

Berlin

29-5-3-15

100

-
2 Ingolstadt 30-3-2-17 98 -
3 Düsseldorf 26-4-7-15 93 -
4 Nürnberg 26-2-9-15 91 -
5 Köln 24-6-5-17 89 -
6 Hamburg 21-8-6-17 85 -
7 Hannover 21-7-7-17 84 -
8 Krefeld 19-9-4-20 79 -
9 Frankfurt 18-5-6-23 70 -
10 Mannheim 19-4-3-26 68 -
11 Iserlohn 18-3-5-26 65 -
12 Augsburg 15-5-6-26 61 -
13 Kassel 15-5-3-29 58 -
14 Wolfsburg 12-5-5-30 51 -
Playoff spots: 1-8
Relegation series: 13-14

W = Win (3 points)
OTW = Overtime Win (2 points)
RT = Regulation Tie (1 point)
L = Loss (0 points)

Spider's Web   |   March 8, 2004  home
Bring on the Adler!
Goaltender Boris Rousson of the Hamburg Freezers opens his www.prohockey.de web journal
By Boris Rousson
bo@prohockey.de

 
Old Munich Barons buddy Mike Kennedy and the Mannheim Adler are coming to town
Hamburg, Germany - So, it will be Mannheim. We had to wait until the very last game of the season to find out our first playoff opponents, and we even had to work extra time to figure it all out. In one of the most exciting season finale that I have witnessed since I came to Germany, we edged out Köln and finished third. We will be facing the 6th place Adler Mannheim. In other match-ups, Berlin and Düsseldorf will square up, a very interesting derby will take place in Bayern where Nürnberg and Ingolstadt will battle. Köln and Frankfurt will also face each other in an interesting management duel in which Chernomaz and Nethery who combined to lead Köln to a surprise championship two seasons ago will face them now after leading an incredible turnaround from last to fifth place (actually they were first or second most of the season). Yes, the playoffs are here and it is very easy to get excited!!!

Passing the Lions

We had to battle hard and get 5 of the 6 possible points this weekend to finish in third position. First of all, in our last home game on Friday, we beat Frankfurt 6-4 in a very exciting game. For most of the game, it looked like we had it all wrapped up, taking an early lead and never trailing. But Frankfurt always came back and helped by a controversial 5-minute power-play in the third period, they cut our lead to 5-4, and we needed a late goal by Hynesie to secure the win. We jumped out of the gate hungry and scored in the first minute already. Great end-to-end rush from Fearnsie, who worked a little give and go with Washie at the blue line before finishing himself with a nice flip over Gordon’s right shoulder. Fearnsie went back to work a few minutes later, this time setting up Jacko on top of the crease to give us a two goal lead early in the game. Frankfurt scored in the last minute of the first period on a power-play, when my old teammate Jesse Bélanger took his own rebound and beat me over the glove. We got back our two goal lead in the opening minutes of the second period, when Greiger got a little lucky. On a power-play, he one-timed a pass from Lambo, broke his stick in half, but the puck found a little room under Gordon’s pad. We even made it 4-1 during a 4 on 4 situation, when Paul Manning joined the rush and completed a nice pass from Purds with a nice backhand shot. Jesse scored his second of the game for the Lions with 2 minutes left in the second. Again, we scored early in the third, when Schneids scored on a 5 on 3 power-play, taking a backboard rebound and putting it behind Frankfurt’s goalie. I stumbled on their third goal, when Peters wrapped it around, while I got caught on the far post. Then, the linesman saw something that got away from the referee Hellwig, but he called Tomlinson for a 5 minute major penalty for spearing, although he was not even on the ice... Norris brought the Lions back within one goal during that power-play, but they couldn’t tie it. On a nice rush with 2 minutes left in the game, Hynesie blasted a high shot in the top left corner, completing a nice pass from Purds again. Lots of goals, lots of intensity, lots of noise, Color Line Arena was already in playoff mood!!
 

Boris Rousson posted a 2.18 GAA, a .920 save percentage and 7 shutouts in 42 games


Tight one in Kassel

We had to travel to Kassel for our last game of the regular season, but we had our destiny in our own hands. A win would assure us of the third place, but a loss could have taken us all the way to fifth place. Starting the first round of the playoff at home is huge, and it was all the motivation we needed. But Kassel made it hard on us, playing with no pressure and nothing to lose, in front of their own fans who might be second only to ours as far as support goes. We had to go in a shootout, but we found a way to beat Gage then and escaped with a 3-2 win. They scored first on a 5 on 3 power-play, after referee Schütz called us for two penalties on the same shift, including one bench minor for delaying the game. If my memory is good, it was already the third time this season that this same referee called us for that. Strange, isn’t it? In any case, he equalized things a little later in the first period, allowing us to go 5 on 3 for over a minute, and we also scored, Purds jumping on a loose puck and shooting it over Gage. We scored the go-ahead goal in the next minute, when Lambo blasted the puck from the blue line through a big crowd in front of the goal. Kassel had another 5 on 3 power-play in the second period, but this time our PK unit held on. They did tie the game though a little later, when Valenti found himself alone on me after a line change, and he shot it between my blocker and chest. The third period was very high-tempo and we had lots of chances to score the winning goal, but Gage would not let us. Finally, in the shootout, Houser and Purds beat him on the glove side, while only Teddy Drury beat Küni, who had replaced me for the penalty shots.

Playoff preview: Mannheim

We had 4 tight games against Mannheim this season, each team winning twice, including once in the opponents’ building. It should be very good, fast-paced hockey, pretty physical. We will have to take special care of their top players, Corbet, Edgerton, Kennedy, Roach, and not let their hard-hitters Podollan and Martinec take too much liberties on our top players. They have good goaltending with either Shulmistra or Seliger. On our side, we have to keep playing our tight defensive system, our special teams will have to outplay theirs, and score the timely goals. We have good balance on offense, and everybody should be back healthy for Wednesday’s tilt.

Around the DEL

Every year, I amuse myself with predictions for the other series, and although my success rate over the years has not been very good, I risk it again this year. Berlin should beat Düsseldorf with relative ease, maybe in 5 games, Trefilov could make it a little harder though. Nürnberg will have its hands full with Ingolstadt, but I think they will make it through, mostly because of the home-ice advantage. This tight defensive battle might go seven games though, with the Ice Tigers advancing in the semi-finals. Köln and Frankfurt have gone in opposing directions in the last month, Haie climbing up while the Lions fell down pretty hard, and I think that it will continue in the playoffs. It should be the most offensive series of the four quarter-finals, but I think that Köln will win, maybe in 6 games. But Frankfurt never gives up...

It’s Showtime!!! 

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