Munich, Germany - Defending DEL champion Berlin Eisbären became the second team to reach the semifinals in the German Elite League Playoffs Thursday. Berlin skated to a home win over the Krefeld Pinguine. Ingolstadt and Düsseldorf also won at home to get within a win of the final four, respectively. In the relegation series, first-year team Duisburg Füchse is only one win away from sending DEL charter member Kassel Huskies to Division-2.
Deron Quint scored a pair of goals as the top-seeded Berlin Eisbären
beat the 8th-seeded Krefeld Pinguine
4-1 at home to move on to the semi-finals, winning the first-round series 4-1. Berlin dominated the game from the outset, but had nothing to show for it halfway through the game as Penguins netminder Robert Mülller shut the door. Müller posted 33 saves on the night, but was eventually beaten by Eisbären defenseman Micki DuPont, who broke the deadlock with a blueline blast on the power-play with 4:20 left in the second. Just 80 seconds later, Berlin doubled its lead to 2-0 when a shot from Deron Quint was deflected in by Penguins defender Daniel Kunce. At 8:32 of the final period, Eisbären captain Steve Walker made it 3-0 on Berlin's second power-play tally of the night. Walker beat Müller on the breakaway, extending his goal-scoring streak to four games. Dave Tomlinson scored the only goal of the night for the exhausted Penguins, also on the power-play. Quint capped the 4-1 win with an empty-net goal at 18:22 of the third as the Eisbären reached the semis for the 7th time in the league's 12-year history.
A 38-save effort from goalie Roman Cechmanek was not enough as the 6th-seeded Hamburg Freezers
lost to the 3rd-seeded DEG Metro Stars
4-3 on the road. Daniel Kreutzer scored 5:15 into overtime to give Düsseldorf a 3-2 series lead.
Jimmy Waite made 21 saves for his first postseason shutout as 2nd-seeded ERC Ingolstadt
blanked the 7th-seeded Hannover Scorpions
5-0 at home to go up 3-2 in the series. Youngster Christoph Höhenleitner opened the scoring with his first-career playoff goal 8:18 into the contest, tucking home his own rebound against Scorpions goalie Trevor Kidd. Doug Ast failed to double the score on the breakaway just seconds later. Yannick Seidenberg did better, finding the back of the net just 37 ticks after Höhenleitner's goal to make it 2-0. Ingolstadt had a lot of quality opportunities, but they could not beat Kidd again until late in the second period. Sean Tallaire tallied on the power-play to extend the lead to 3-0 13 seconds before the final intermission. Goals by Florian Keller and Jason Holland (5-on-3 PP) rounded out the scoring.
Goalie Christian Rohde made 45 saves and veteran Trond Magnusson led the way with a goal and two assists as expansion team Duisburg Füchse
beat the Kassel Huskies
5-2 to take a 3-1 lead in the relegation series.