The battle between the first- and the last-place team ended as expected. Richard Shulmistra got his second shutout of the season as the Berlin Eisbären blanked the Hamburg Freezers 3-0 (1-0, 0-0, 2-0). Defenseman Ricard Persson made it 1-0 on his fourth goal of the season 14 minutes into the game. The defensive-minded Freezers tried to open up the game thereafter, but the Eisbären put the game away in the final period with a goal from Steve Walker and an empty-netter by Keith Aldridge.
Mannheim is tied with Berlin at 18 points but remains in second place because of a worse goal differential. Wayne Hynes had three assists as the Adler bounced back from Friday’s loss to Hannover, downing the Krefeld Pinguine 4-1 (1-1, 2-0, 1-0). With the score tied 1-1 after one, Mannheim took control in the second period behind scores from Steve Junker and Todd Hlushko. Marcel Goc, who just returned from camp with the San Jose Sharks, capped the scoring at 4-1 5:08 into the final stanza. First regulation loss: Kassel overtaken by Augsburg
Dominic Roussel turned aside 39 shots as the Frankfurt Lions downed the Kassel Huskies 3-1 (0-0, 2-1, 1-0). Blowing nine powerplay opportunities, the Huskies suffered their first regulation loss of the season and are now three points behind Berlin and Mannheim. They still have a game in hand, though. Christoph Sandner, Greg Adams (powerplay) and Victor Gervais scored for the Lions. Kassel’s Alex Serikow remains among the league’s top scorers after a short-handed goal late in the second period, his sixth tally of the season.
Augsburg seized the opportunity and moved into third place in the standings. The Panthers trail the top duo by two points after their 3-2 (1-1, 0-0, 1-1, 1-0) win after penalty shootout at Cologne. Despite outshooting the Panthers 43-27, the Kölner Haie suffered their fifth straight loss. The team was lucky enough to take the game into a penalty shootout. Defender Ronny Arendt gave Augsburg a 2-1 lead midway through the final period, but Haie defenseman Shane Peacock came up with the equalizer with less than three minutes left in regulation, hammering a slapshot past Panthers goalie Magnus Eriksson on the powerplay. Greg Leeb, PC Drouin and Eric Dandenault then secured Augsburg’s win with successful penalty conversions. Niclas Sundblad and Dwayne Norris scored for Cologne.DEG too much for Ingolstadt
Youngster Matthias Hart scored two goals as the Düsseldorfer EG Metro Stars snapped Ingolstadt’s three game win streak with a dominating 5-2 (2-0, 2-0, 1-2) road win. Ingolstadt came out firing, but it was the Metro Stars who took the early lead on their first shot on goal. On an odd-man rush, Trond Magnussen dumped the puck back to fellow Norwegian Trond Magnussen who rifled a slapshot past screened ERC netminder Mike Bales from the right faceoff circle for the 1-0 lead four minutes into the contest. With the momentum going its way, Düsseldorf kept coming. Matthias Hart caught a lucky break when his wrister from the left slot trickled through Bales’s five-hole to double the lead to 2-0 halfway through the opening period.
Ingolstadt finally seemed to get things going on a powerplay opportunity early in the middle frame. But forward Shayne Toporowski killed the momentum and the numerical advantage with an interference penalty. Skating four aside, Jean-Francois Quintin capped a nicely executed counterattack by lifting the puck into Ingolstadt’s net to make it 3-0. With 3:32 to go in the middle frame, DEG defenseman Martin Ullrich put the nail into the coffin, one-timing the puck past Bales from the left point, playing 4-on-4 again.
With less than nine minutes to go in the third, Sam Groleau got Ingolstadt on the scoreboard with a wrap-around score. Two minutes later, Sean-Tallaire cut the lead in half, 4-2, converting Jean-Francois Jomphe’s feed from the left slot on the powerplay. But the little rally came too late. Matthias Hart sealed Düsseldorf’s 5-2 win on the man advantage with his second goal of the night 3:44 from the final horn.Iserlohn, Nuremberg get wins
The Iserlohn Roosters prevailed in a battle of potential play-down candidates, downing the Schwenningen Wild Wings 4-3 (2-1, 0-1, 1-1, 1-0) after penalty shootout.
In a disappointing contest, the Nuremberg Ice Tigers skated to a 2-1 (0-1, 0-0, 2-0) home win over the Hannover Scorpions. Lorenz Funk got Hannover ahead in the first, but Nuremberg turned the game around with third period scores from Steve Larouche and Dave Tomlinson.