Alexander Serikow, a rarely used fourth line winger for the Munich Barons in last year’s playoffs, scored a pair of goals as defending champion Kölner Haie was upset at home by the Kassel Huskies 3-1 (0-0, 2-1, 1-0). With only 7,104 in attendance at the KölnArena, Cologne dominated the game, but failed to capitalize on its opportunities. Seventh-seeded Kassel showed patience, good scoring efficiency and also got great goaltending from Rich Parent. An early powerplay by Cologne’s Brad Schlegel was disallowed because of a goal crease violation from Dwayne Norris. The Haie continued to press but failed to get the puck past Parent. The Huskies did better at the other end of the ice. Six minutes into the middle frame, Christian Retzer made it 1-0. Serikow, who led the Huskies in scoring with 20 regular season goals, doubled Kassel’s lead with less than seven minutes remaining in the second. Dwayne Norris got the Haie on the scoreboard late in the period when he deflected Mirko Lüdemann’s powerplay blast past Parent. But just when the Haie seemed to pick up momentum, Serikow notched his second goal of the night.Krefeld rebounds well
After a five-year absence, Düsseldorf had a rough return to postseason action. Team-leading scorer Brad Purdie and defender Darryl Shannon each tallied a powerplay goal and an assist as the sixth-seeded Krefeld Pinguine upset the Metro Stars 2-1 (1-0, 1-0, 0-1). Krefeld bounced back well from its lacklustre performance in the final regular season game at Iserlohn, which had ended in an 8-1 rout. Purdie snapped a 10-game goal scoring drought when he put Krefeld ahead on the man advantage with five minutes left in the opening period. With 6,181 on hand at the Brehmstraße Arena, Düsseldorf had enough chances to come up with the equalizer, including an almost seven-minute powerplay early in the middle frame. While the Metro Stars got denied again and again by dazzling Pinguine goalie Robert Müller, Shannon made it 2-0 on another powerplay tally when he knocked the puck past Andrej Trefilov after a nice feed from Christoph Brandner. Tore Vikingstad’s goal 8:46 into the final frame gave Düsseldorf some hope, but Müller protected Krefeld’s one-goal lead.”Homeless” Eisbären open with win
The top-seeded Berlin Eisbären rallied from a 2-1 first-period deficit and scored four unanswered goals to down the eighth-seeded Hamburg Freezers 5-2 (2-2, 1-0, 2-0) in the opener of their best-of-seven quarterfinal series. With their regular home venue “Wellblechpalast” hosting the World Speed Skating Championships, the game was played at the Deutschlandhalle, the home of former DEL cross-town rival Berlin Capitals. Hamburg’s Bob Lachance shocked the 6,880 in attendance when he scored just 40 seconds into the contest. Eisbären defenseman Brad Bergen tied the score midway through the period, but Ted Crowley reclaimed the lead for the Freezers when he fired the puck past Eisbären goalie Richard Shulmistra on a 5-on-3 powerplay opportunity. However David Roberts got the 2-2 equalizer late in the opening period. With just over two minutes left in the middle frame, Kelly Fairchild gave Berlin its first lead of the night. Hamburg kept the game close until late goals from John Emmons and Steve Walker put the game away.Strong powerplay helps Mannheim
Tomas Martinec and defender Andy Roach each scored a pair of goals as the fourth-seeded Mannheim Adler edged the fifth-seeded Nürnberg Ice Tigers 5-4 (3-1, 1-2, 1-1). In front of 4,800 spectators at Mannheim’s Friedrichpark, Nuremberg got off to a great start. Only three minutes in, captain Jürgen Rumrich gave the Tigers the lead. However Mannheim needed less than three minutes to turn the momentum. Back-to-back goals from Tomas Martinec and Devin Edgerton made it 2-1, Roach’s first powerplay goal extended the lead to 3-1 at the intermission. Vitalij Aab brought Nuremberg back to within a goal midway through the game, but Mannheim struck back almost immediately again when Martinec scored on the powerplay two minutes later, making it 4-2. Martin Sychra cut the lead in half again late in the period but another penalty and Mannheim’s third powerplay goal of the night slowed Nuremberg down again. Roach made it 5-3 five minutes into the final stanza. Rumrich came up with his second tally of the night less than two minutes later, but that was as close as the Tigers would get.Schwenningen opens „Playdowns“ with win
Dave Chyzowski tallied two goals and an assist as the Schwenninger Wild Wings skated to a surprising 6-3 (1-2, 4-1, 1-0) road win over the Frankfurt Lions in the opener of the best-of-seven “playdown series”, the loser of which will be relegated to Division-2. Christian Kohmann, Lukas Zib, Markus Busch and Mark Etz also scored for Schwenningen, which had been winless in its final 18 regular season games. Jonas Stöpfgeshoff (2) and Rick Girard scored for the disappointing Lions.