Butch Goring’s Pinguine wrapped up 6th place, skating to a 3-1 (2-1, 1-0, 0-0) home win over Kassel, which is still battling for a playoff spot, too. Krefeld’s defenseman Paul Dyck opened the scoring 59 seconds into the contest. Pat Mikesch tied the game midway through the first, but defender Christian Ehrhoff re-installed Krefeld’s lead with a powerplay tally late in the first period. Patrik Augusta sealed the victory with another powerplay goal. Adding injury to insult, Kassel lost captain Tobias Abstreiter with a rib fracture.
„Tonight, we showed how badly we wanted to get into the playoffs,” Pinguine head coach Butch Goring said. “A loss would have put us in a terrible situation, having to go to Iserlohn and win there on the road. Our determination made the difference tonight.”Despite loss: Expansion team Ingolstadt secures 12th place
Elsewhere, a late goal from Berlin’s David Roberts sent the Frankfurt Lions to the so-called “Playdown Series” against the Schwenninger Wild Wings. The loser of this best-of-seven series will be relegated to Division-2. Pointwise, the Lions could still move into a tie with expansion team ERC Ingolstadt. But Ingolstadt owns the tie breaker with a far better goal differential (-15 vs. -37).
After falling behind 3-0, a late rally gave the Lions some hope. Pat LeBeau scored a pair of goals, including the 3-3 equalizer on the powerplay with 4:05 left in the game as the Lions came back from three-goal deficit against the Berlin Eisbären. However Roberts scored with 1:15 to go in regulation to lift Berlin to a 4-3 (1-0, 2-2, 1-1) win. Kelly Fairchild scored two goals for the Eisbären.
So expansion team Ingolstadt had reason to celebrate despite a 3-0 (1-0, 0-0, 2-0) road loss against the Hannover Scorpions, finishing its first season in the DEL in 12th place and thus automatically extending its tenure in the league while either Frankfurt or Schwenningen will be relegated.Hamburg and Kassel one point away from playoff berth
In the race for the final two playoffs spots, the Hamburg Freezers (75 points) gained ground on Kassel (75) and Iserlohn (72) with a 6-0 thrashing of the Schwenninger Wild Wings, who suffered a league-record 17th straight loss. Bobby House scored a hat trick and Ted Drury had a goal and three assists as the Freezers routed the hapless Wings 6-0 (2-0, 3-0, 1-0). His 27 goals rank House second in the league in goal-scoring, only one tally behind Krefeld’s Christoph Brandner who has 28.
The Iserlohn Roosters slipped out of the playoff ranks with a 4-3 (1-1, 2-1, 1-1) road loss at Düsseldorf. Defenseman Justin Harney gave the Roosters a 1-0 lead on a 5-on-3 powerplay midway through the first, but the DEG Metro Stars responded with three unanswered goals from Daniel Kreutzer, Jakub Ficenec and Leo Stefan. Jason Cipolla got the Roosters to within a goal late in the second period, but they failed to come up with the equalizer. Jeff Christian put the game out of reach when he made it 4-2 with less than four minutes to go in regulation. A late powerplay tally from Iserlohn’s Jeff Dessner capped the scoring at 4-3.
Hamburg (on the road vs. Frankfurt) and Kassel (at home vs. Augsburg) only need a point in their final games to wrap up a berth while Iserlohn needs a home win (vs. Krefeld) and a loss by either Hamburg or Kassel. Mannheim skates to back-to-back wins over Cologne
As on Tuesday, the Mannheim Adler downed the Kölner Haie 2-1 (1-1, 0-0, 0-0, 1-0) after penalty shootout in the second of back-to-back meetings. The point for the regulation tie was enough for the Haie to secure the second seed in the playoffs. The fourth-place Adler still have a chance to pass third-place Düsseldorf with a win in Nuremberg on Sunday. Captain Stefan Ustorf gave Mannheim the lead with a powerplay tally 5:52 into the game, but Dave McLlwain tied the score midway through the period on the two-man advantage. After two scoreless periods, Ustorf converted the game-winning penalty attempt. Mannheim’s team-leading scorer Devin Edgerton played his first game after suffering an arm fracture in late December.
Elsewhere, Andrej Strakhov recorded a pair of assists as the Augsburger Panther downed the Nürnberg Ice Tigers 4-2 (1-0, 3-1, 0-1). Augsburg jumped out to a 4-0 lead behind goals from Thorsten Fendt, Shawn Carter, P.C. Drouin and Ronny Arendt. Martin Jiranek and Jürgen Rumrich scored late goals for Nuremberg.