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Ingolstadt looks strong in DEL debut, new Hamburg Freezers get defrosted
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September 7, 2002; 15:04
Ingolstadt looks strong in DEL debut, new Hamburg Freezers get defrosted
Favorites Cologne, Mannheim and Düsseldorf win as DEL opens new season
Frank Johne

Ingolstadt (Brad Burym, right) battled hard, but was wrestled down by Cologne (Alex Hicks, left)

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Munich, Germany - No big surprises as the new DEL campaign got under way Friday. The highly-touted Düsseldorf Metro Stars stormed to the top of the table, blanking the hapless Augsburg Panthers on the road, 5-0. Defending champion Kölner Haie and runner-up Mannheim Adler had to fight hard but also won while the former Munich Barons got thrashed by Krefeld.

Successful debut: New Haie Head Coach Hans Zach
Leading DEL Scorers
(as of Feb 19, 2005)

Ironically, three former Panther players paved the way for Düsseldorf’s 5-0 (0-0, 3-0, 2-0) rout at Augsburg. Obviously still feeling right at home at Augsburg’s Curt-Frenzel-Stadion, Tommy Jakobsen, Marc Beaucage and Jakub Ficenec put the Metro Stars ahead 3-0 in the middle frame. Martin Ulrich and Tore Vikingstad added last-period tallies to secure the win.

Poor scoring efficiency spoils Ingolstadt’s strong debut

Despite being outshot 27-23, defending champion Cologne managed to hold DEL newcomer ERC Ingolstadt in check 2-1 (1-0, 1-1, 0-0). Led by Shayne Toporowski and Jean-Francois Jomphe, the expansion team seemed to be barely impressed by the 14,098 in attendance at the KölnArena, but failed to capitalize on its good scoring opportunities. Ingolstadt’s Rainer Suchan and Kent Fearns both were denied by the woodwork.

Defenseman Francois Bouchard scored Ingolstadt’s only goal. He tied the game at one apiece early in the second, converting a rebound from the slot just seconds after being denied on a wrap-around attempt. Andreas Morczienietz’s goal with 4:54 left in the second turned out to be the game winner. The former Augsburg Panther, who also set up Dwayne Norris’ go-ahead goal on an odd-man rush, tucked Frederick Nilsson’s feed from behind the net past ERC netminder Ilpo Kauhanen to give head coach Hans Zach a win in his first game.

Title contenders Mannheim and Berlin open season with ten-goal shootout

The Nuremberg Ice Tigers gave former assistant Mike Schmidt a hard-fought 2-1 (1-1, 0-0, 1-0) victory over the Frankfurt Lions in his head coaching debut. Vitalij Aab scored the game-winner at 16:21 of the second to spoil new Lions head coach Lance Nethery’s return to the DEL.

The capacity crowd at Mannheim’s Friedrichspark got to see the highest scoring game of the evening as the Adler came out on top of a ten-goal shootout with fellow title contender Berlin Eisbären. Nick Naumenko, Tomas Martinec and Stefan Ustorf scored within the final 3:36 as Mannheim rallied from its second one-goal deficit of the night to down the Eisbären 6-4 (1-1, 2-2, 3-1).

Gunnar Leidborg, Hans Zach’s successor in Kassel, also had a successful coaching debut as his Huskies skated past the Schwenningen Wild Wings, 5-2 (2-0, 2-1, 1-1)

Icy welcome for Hamburg

The former Munich Barons got thrashed in their first game after relocating to Hamburg. Jacek Plachta scored Hamburg’s only goal as the Freezers were defrosted by the Krefeld Pinguine, 5-1 (1-0, 1-1, 3-0). Dan Lambert’s goal at 6:44 of the second turned out to be the game-winner.
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