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Berlin claims top seed, three berths still up for grabs
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März 3, 2003; 15:51
Berlin claims top seed, three berths still up for grabs
Iserlohn closing in on Krefeld, Kassel, Hamburg
Frank Johne

Back-to-back shutouts: Jimmy Waite’s hot goaltending has Iserlohn thinking playoffs

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Munich, Germany - For the first-time in franchise history, the Berlin Eisbären will enter the DEL playoffs as the top-seeded team. With two games remaining in the regular season, Pierre Page’s team secured the number one seed with a close home win over the Augsburger Panther. Elsewhere, underdog Iserlohn seems to be the hottest contender in the four-team battle for the final three playoff spots.

Here’s to you… Rob Leask and the Eisbären enter the DEL playoffs as the top-seeded team
Leading DEL Scorers
(as of Feb 19, 2005)

A mediocre performance was good enough for Berlin (106 points) to snap Ausgburg’s five-game win streak with a 2-1 (1-0, 1-0, 0-1) home win. Florian Keller opened the scoring just 3:15 into the game, but Berlin failed to build on the early lead. Despite being outshot 31-23, the Eisbären took a 2-0 lead late in the second when Rob Shearer went top-shelf against Panther netminder Magnus Eriksson. Duanne Moeser cut the lead in half midway through the final stanza, but Berlin held on for the win.

„It’s definitely nice to have the top seed,“ Eisbären head coach Pierre Page said, „but more importantly, we’ve got to improve our game. Despite the early lead, we did not play very well. Richard Shulmistra was very solid in net again and we played well defensively, too. I guess Shearer’s goal was the key to the game. The line with Keller, Boris Blank and John Emmons also did a very good job.”

16 and counting: Schwenningen’s losing streak continues

The Kölner Haie defended second place (96 points) with a 3-1 (1-0, 2-0, 0-1) road win over the hapless Schwenninger Wild Wings (33), who lost for the 16th straight time. Dave McLlwain put Cologne up 1-0 just 41 seconds in, but it took the Haie till the second period to put the game out of reach. Tim Leahy doubled Cologne’s lead to 2-0 on a 5-on-3 powerplay 7:41 into the second period. Still on the man advantage, Sebastian Furchner made it 3-0 a minute later. Lukas Zib denied Chris Rogles’s shutout bid with only four ticks left on the clock.

DEG stops thriving Scorpions

The Düsseldorfer EG Metro Stars (91) held on to third place with a 5-4 (1-4, 1-0, 2-0, 1-0) win after penalty shootout over the thriving Hannover Scorpions. Daniel Kreutzer and Xavier Majic each scored a goal and two assists as the DEG rallied from a 4-1 first-period deficit to snap Hannover’s four-game win streak. Belgian Mike Pellegrims scored with 3:24 left in regulation to send the contest into bonus action. Trond Magnussen, who also scored a goal during regulation time, converted the game-winning attempt for Düsseldorf.

Led by two goals from Russian Ilja Vorobjev, the Mannheim Adler (90) ended a four-game losing streak and three-game scoring drought with a 5-3 road win (2-0, 1-1, 2-2) over the struggling Frankfurt Lions. Mannheim jumped out to a 3-0 lead during a five-minute span late in the first and early in the second period on goals from Vorobjev, Mike Kennedy (powerplay) and Rene Corbet (powerplay). Tallies by defenseman Jonas Stöpfgeshoff and Victor Gervais brought the Lions back to within a goal, but mid-third period goals from Andy Roach and Vorobjev put the game out of reach. A powerplay goal from Frankfurt’s Robert Busch capped the scoring with 6:40 left in regulation.

Tigers stun lethargic Freezers

The Nürnberg Ice Tigers (86) kept alive their mathematical chance of moving into fourth place and securing home-ice advantage for the first round of the playoffs, stunning the lethargic Hamburg Freezers 4-1 (1-0, 3-0, 0-1) on the road. Dave Tomlinson opened the scoring midway through the first period, squeezing the puck just inside the right goal post. Thomas Greilinger doubled the lead 5:52 into the middle frame, rifling the puck past Freezers goalie Boris Rousson from the deep right slot. Terry Yake made it 3-0 just a minute later when defenseman Alexander Sulzer deflected his pass right through Rousson’s five-hole. Another two minutes later, Martin Jiranek put the game away, converting Yake’s feed on a 2-on-1 breakaway. With less than a minute to go, Bob Lachance scored the only goal for the hapless Freezers, spoilings Frederic Chabot’s shutout bid.

Iserlohn takes advantage of Freezers’ loss

While Berlin, Cologne, Düsseldorf, Mannheim and Nuremberg have already secured berths for the playoffs starting March 12, four teams are still battling for the final three spots with two games left in the regular season: the Krefeld Pinguine (75), Kassel Huskies (75), Iserlohn Roosters (72) and Hamburg Freezers (72). Hamburg has currently dropped out of the playoff ranks because of a worse goal differential (-5) than Iserlohn (+4).

The Iserlohn Roosters took advantage of Hamburg’s loss, blanking the Kassel Huskies 3-0 (1-0, 2-0, 0-0) on home ice. Netminder Jimmy Waite recorded his second straight shutout, increasing his season total to six, which ties him with Kassel’s Rich Parent for a league-best. Goals from Chris Bartolone (powerplay), Igor Alexandrov (two-man advantage) and Jason Cipolla lifted the Roosters into 8th place in the standings.

Krefeld failed to secure a berth, getting shut out on the road by thriving ERC Ingolstadt. Jason Young scored a pair of goals and Sean Tallaire added an empty-netter with 3:10 left in the game as Ingolstadt blanked the Krefeld Pinguine 3-0 (0-0, 1-0, 2-0). The win gives Ingolstadt a three-point edge over the 13th-place Frankfurt Lions, who now seem likely to play Schwenningen in the so-called “Play Downs”, a best-of seven series that will determine which team will be relegated to Division-2.
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