Munich, Germany - Trevor Kidd's goaltending and special teams made the difference Tuesday as the 7th-seeded Hannover Scorpions upset 2nd-seeded ERC Ingolstadt on the road to win Game 7 and move on to the DEL semifinals for the second time in franchise history.
Hanover will take on defending champion Berlin Eisbären, the top team of the regular season. The other series will be a battle of archrivals as the 3rd-seeded DEG Metro Stars
face the 5th-seeded Kölner Haie
in the "Rhine Derby". Both semifinal series will be best-of-five.
Kidd recorded 35 saves on the night and Marty Murray led the way with a pair of goals and an assist as the Hannover Scorpions
held on for a 5-3 road win at SaturnArena after squandering an early 2-0 lead. Mike Green also tallied two goals on the night, including the short-handed game-winner with 2:07 to go and an empty-netter in the waning seconds. Brad Tapper assisted on both these goals and recorded a third assist on Steve Guolla's early go-ahead goal.
Ingolstadt outshot Hanover 38-28, but bad discipline paired with poor special teams play cost the club its third straight trip to the semis. ERC only managed one power-play goal in nine attempts while the Scorpions went 3-for-9 on the night. Furthermore, ERC goaltender Jimmy Waite had a sub-par night. He allowed 4 goals on the 28 shots he faced and took two minor penalties early in the third period for delay of game and slashing respectively, one of which led to Hanover's 3-2 go-ahead goal by Murray.
Kevin Gaudet's Hannover Scorpions obviously took the momentum of Sunday's series-tying 5-1 home win into the Game 7 showdown at Ingolstadt. Just 20 seconds in, ERC forward Günter Oswald was called for tripping. Hanover cashed in on the ensuing power-play. Steve Guolla scored from the doorstep after a nifty behind-the-net feed from Murray at the 1:31-mark. On the other end of the ice, Ingolstadt's offense was sputtering, failing to cash in on two long two-man advantages.
Hanover doubled its lead to 2-0 at 6:05 of the middle frame on the powerplay. This time, Murray converted a feed from Guolla, re-directing his low shot past Waite's left pad. Ingolstadt was pressing hard for its first goal, putting a total of 20 shots on Kidd in the second period alone. They were rewarded when captain Glen Goodall played give-and-go with Yannick Seidenberg behind the Scorps net. Seidenberg took a bad-angle shot and Goodall knocked home the rebound to cut Hanover's lead to 2-1 at 11:21 of the second. Less than two minutes later, they scored the 2-2 equalizer. On a 2-on-2 rush, Florian Keller fanned on puck in Hanover's zone trying to cross paths with Martin Jiranek. Keller quickly regained possession, though, and sent the puck at the net where it hit the foot of Scorpions defenseman Dany Pyka and the trailing Günter Oswald whacked the rebound under the crossbar to tie the score with 6:48 to go in the second period.
The momentum changed early in the third when goalie Waite was called for delay of game. With Scorpions defenseman Patrick Köppchen providing a screen in front of the Ingolstadt net, Waite got beaten by a hard slap shot from Murray on the ensuing power-play that gave Hanover a 3-2 lead 3:17 into the final stanza. Ingolstadt appeared to be paralysed. Patrik Augusta could have doubled Hanover's lead midway through the period but missed the wide-open net on a rush alongside Andreas Morczinietz.
ERC Ingolstadt came close to tying the score with under five minutes to go when Chris Armstrong's shot hit the goal post. With just over two minutes left, Ingolstadt was given another power-play opportunity.when Murray got called for high-sticking. But hopes of a comeback were dashed when Brad Tapper intercepted a pass from ERC defender Ficenec inside the Hanover blueline and sent Mike Green skating in 1-on-1 on Waite. Green went top-shelf on the goalie's stickside. His shorthander made it 4-2 with only 2:07 remaining in regulation. But Ingolstadt refused to go down yet. Just seconds later and still up by a man, Florian Keller rumbled through the Hanover zone and wristed a high shot pas Kidd's glove side to get ERC back within a goal, 4-3 with 1:43 left. But Green struck again to put the game and the series away, capping the scoring at 5-3 with an empty-net goal 29 seconds before the final buzzer.