After being sidelined by injuries for months, veterans Dave Tomlinson and Christian Schönmoser finally returned to the Ice Tigers line-up. However the team looked rusty and was edged 2-1 (0-0, 0-1, 1-0, 1-0) at home by the Kassel Huskies after penalty shootout – the same team that had handed Nuremberg their last loss before the nine-game run. Set up by Tomlinson, Thomas Schinko got the Ice Tigers on the board midway through the second period. But the Huskies hung in and Alex Serikow scored the deserved equalizer with 6:11 remaining in the third – a highly disputed goal, though, as referee Axel Sander made no calls on two obvious fouls just prior to the equalizing score. Stephane Robitaille converted the game-winning attempt in the shootout.Iserlohn keeps playoff hopes alive
In a game with huge playoff implications, the 8th-place Hamburg Freezers squandered a two-goal lead and got beaten by the 9th-place Iserlohn Roosters 5-4 (1-2, 2-2, 1-0) after penalty shootout at home. Petr Fical converted the game-winning attempt as Iserlohn closed the gap between the two teams to only two points. Hamburg still has two games in hand, though. Behind goals from Jesse Belanger, Phil von Stefenelli and two powerplay strikes from Mike Stevens, the Freezers were up 4-2 with three minutes to go in the middle frame. Andrej Podkonicky gave the Roosters some hope, though, cutting the lead to 4-3 on a powerplay tally just half a minute after Stevens’s second goal. Iserlohn cashed in on another man advantage. when Jason Cipolla tied the score at 4-4 1:51 into the final period.
Daniel Kreutzer scored the game-winning penalty shot as the 4th-place Düsseldorfer EG Metro Stars upset the 1st-place Berlin Eisbären on the road. Jean-Francois Quintin had a goal and an assist as the DEG rallied for a 4-3 (2-1, 0-2, 1-0) win. The Eisbären wasted no time early on. Hot forward Sven Felski put Berlin up 1-0 just 19 seconds into the contest. Düsseldorf shifted the momentum with back-to-back powerplay goals from Quintin and Jeff Christian. Berlin seemed to be back in control when late second-period goals from Rob Shearer (5-on-3 powerplay) and Dave Roberts gave the Eisbären a 3-2 lead at the second intermission. Just 1:56 into the final frame, Neil Eisenhut tied the contest at three apiece.Krefeld sweeps season series against Cologne
The 2nd-place Kölner Haie missed the chance to climb to the top of the table and continue to trail the Eisbären by a point after a home loss to the Krefeld Pinguine. Andrej Grygiel converted the winning penalty-shot as Krefeld swept the four-game season series against the Haie with a 2-1 (1-0, 0-1, 0-0, 1-0) win after penalty shootout. Defensive-oriented game plans on both ends of the ice resulted in a low-scoring game. Christoph Brandner gave Krefeld the lead with just under seven minutes to go in the first. Fellow All-Star Dave McLlwain evened the score at 1-1 33 seconds into the middle frame.
Mannheim defended third place in the standings. A commanding opening period with goals from Michael Bakos, Tomas Martinec and All-Star defender Andy Roach turned out to be enough as the Adler held on for a rather easy 3-1 (3-0, 0-1, 0-0) home win over the Hannover Scorpions. Gilbert Dionne tallied Hannover’s only goal midway through the middle frame. Ingolstadt gaining ground in battle against relegation
The Frankfurt Lions gave themselves some breathing room in the battle against relegation. Pat LeBeau scored a season-high four goals as the Frankfurt Lions downed the Augsburger Panther in a high-scoring tilt 6-5 (3-1, 0-3, 3-1). With the playoffs virtually out of reach, both teams got into a wide-open true shootout. A first-period hat trick from LeBeau, all even-strength goals, put Frankfurt up 3-1 at the first intermission. Augsburg fired back in the middle frame, though. The Panther turned the momentum with three unanswered tallies from Sergej Vostrikov, fellow-Russian Maxim Galanov (powerplay) and Björn Barta and led the game 4-3 before LeBeau’s fourth goal of the night started a third-period rally for the Lions. Robert Francz put Frankfurt ahead 5-4. Even Andrej Strakhov’s temporary equalizer could not stop the Lions: Marc Fortier’s tally with 10:18 gave them the winning edge.
Hannover, Frankfurt and Augsburg are still in danger of dropping to 13th place which would make them play a so-called play-down series against the last-place Schwenninger Wild Wings to determine the team that will be relegated to Division-2.
Streaking expansion team ERC Ingolstadt, currently 13th, closed the gap to Augsburg to just four points. Sam Groleau scored a pair of goals, leading the team to a 3-2 (2-0, 0-1, 1-1) home win over Schwenningen. Ingolstadt dominated the game from the opening faceoff and jumped out to a 2-0 lead behind tallies from Groleau and Michael Hackert just past the midway point of the first period. 3:57 into the middle frame, 41-year-old Wild Wings forward Mike Bullard cut the lead in half. The goal could not keep Ingolstadt from pressing, but it will be remembered as a DEL milestone. It marked the 500th DEL career point for “Bully” Bullard, who played just his second game since returning to the DEL from Division-2 in early February. The Ottawa-native became the first-player ever to reach that plateau, tallying 208 goals and 292 assists in 446 DEL career games (including playoffs). Groleau’s second tally of the night, a shorthander 2:41 into the final frame gave Ingolstadt a well-deserved and rather comfortable 3-1 lead. In a late rally, Schwenningen’s Francois Fortier cut the lead to 3-2 with less than a minute left, but that was as close as the Wings could get.