John Emmons and Steve Walker both had a goal and an assist as the Berlin Eisbären downed the Düsseldorfer EG Metro Stars in a fast-paced game, 4-2 (1-1, 1-0, 2-1) on the road. DEG forward Tore Vikingstad seized an early two-man powerplay opportunity to put Düsseldorf up 1-0. Walker tied the contest on his 18th goal of the season four minutes later. Emmons gave the Eisbären their first lead of the afternoon late in the middle frame, but it looked like Düsseldorf could pick up some momentum when Jean-Francois Quintin came up with the 2-2 equalizer 1:26 into the final frame. But Berlin’s Yvon Corriveau reclaimed the lead three minutes later before Rob Leask’s powerplay tally with just under five minutes left put the game out of reach.
„This is my third year in Berlin“, forward Steve Walker said. “Now we finally have the team that could take us all the way.” Coach Pierre Page also started talking championship: “2002 was a good year for us, but I think 2003 is going to get even better.” Mannheim steals win behind hot goaltending
Behind hot goaltending from Mike Rosati, the Mannheim Adler downed the Hannover Scorpions on the road, 3-2 (1-0, 2-1, 0-1). With top scorer Devin Edgerton sidelined with a forearm fracture, Mannheim showed great efficiency. Despite being outshot by the hosts, Steve Junker, Thomas Martinec and Klaus Kathan put three goals on the scoreboard for the Adler. Gilbert Dionne and Lorenz Funk scored for Hannover, with Fredrik Öberg assisting on both tallies.
The Eisbären are four points ahead of second-place Mannheim, the Kölner Haie are third with 67 points, Düsseldorf is currently locked in fourth place.Freezers eyeing playoffs
Meanwhile, the streaking Hamburg Freezers have moved into the playoff ranks for the first time. Bobby House scored the winning conversion in the penalty shootout to lift the Freezers to a 2-1 (0-0, 1-0, 0-1, 1-0) home victory over fellow playoff-contender Iserlohn Roosters. House had set up Jesse Belanger on the powerplay for the 1-0 lead late in the middle frame. Doug Ast’s tally at 12:02 of the final period sent the game into the extra session.
Former Munich Barons fourth-line winger Alexander Serikow continues to enjoy the spotlight in Kassel. On pace to a career year, Kassel's top scorer tallied goals number 12 and 13 of the season to give the seventh-place Huskies a 3-1 (1-0, 1-1, 1-0) home win over the sixth-place Nuremberg Ice Tigers. Adding injury to insult, the Tigers learned that aspiring rookie Franz Fritzmeier will miss at least two months after fracturing his hand Friday night.Comeback win for Augsburg
Defenseman Ronny Arendt scored at 3:26 of the final period as the Augsburger Panther had three unanswered goals to rally from a 2-0 second-period deficit to edge the Frankfurt Lions 3-2 (0-0, 2-2, 1-0), recording their first regulation win at home in almost three months. Goals from Jackson Penney and Paul Stanton (powerplay) had Frankfurt up by two at 11:28 of the middle frame. But Duane Moeser’s powerplay goal started Augsburg’s comeback three minutes later. With less than two minutes to go in the period, Xavier Delisle got the equalizer. Riding on momentum, Arendt tallied his ninth goal of the season early in the third, the eventual game-winner.
Vadim Slivchenko was the man of the night in Schwenningen, scoring two regulation goals and the winning shootout conversion as the last-place Wild Wings downed ERC Ingolstadt 4-3 (1-1, 2-1, 0-1) after penalty shootout, closing the gap to the 13-th place team to only three points. Down 3-1 at the game’s midway point, goals from defenders Erich Goldmann and Chad Allan at least gave Ingolstadt a regulation tie. After scoring a late game-winner in Iserlohn earlier this month, Allan’s score was his second game-tying goal in December.