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Düsseldorf back in business
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März 17, 2003; 21:40
Düsseldorf back in business
Berlin, Cologne, Mannheim grab leads
Frank Johne

Emotional coach: Mannheim’s Bill Stewart was fined by his own club

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Munich, Germany - Already down 2-0 in the series, the third-seeded Düsseldorfer EG Metro Stars finally got their first playoff victory. Elsewhere, John Gruden ignited a third-period rally that lifted the top-seeded Berlin Eisbären to a win over the hungry Hamburg Freezers.

Game-winner: John Gruden scored back-to-back 3rd-period goals for Berlin
Leading DEL Scorers
(as of Feb 19, 2005)

Behind great goaltending from Russian Andrej Trefilov, the Düsseldorfer EG Metro Stars blanked the Krefeld Pinguine 1-0 (1-0, 0-0, 0-0). Neil Eisenhut scored the only goal of the afternoon midway through the opening period. Trefilov, who had five shutouts during the regular season, recorded his first shutout of the postseason.

“Tonight’s game was a do-or-die game for us. The third loss would have virtually eliminated us,” DEG head coach Mike Komma said. With the Pinguine leading 2-1, the series is heading back to Krefeld for game four Tuesday night.

Gruden strikes twice in Eisbären rally

In front of a franchise-record attendance of 8,622 at Berlin’s Deutschlandhalle, the Eisbären downed the Freezers 3-2 (1-1, 0-1, 2-0). Berlin now leads the best-of-seven series 2-1. Markus Schröder put Hamburg on the scoreboard with his first-ever DEL goal late in the first period. Eisbären goalie Richard Shulmistra could not control Thomas Dolak’s shot and Schröder batted the puck across the goalline out of mid-air. Rob Shearer tied the game at 1-1 before the intermission, knocking the puck past well-screened Freezers netminder Boris Rousson.

David Sulkovsky put Hamburg back in the lead when he deflected defenseman Mike Smazal's shot between Shulmistra's legs. The momentum shifted when Eisbären captain John Gruden scored back-to-back powerplay goals early in the third. With a 5 on 3 powerplay just about to expire, Gruden blasted the puck past Rousson for the 2-2 equalizer. Only 145 seconds later Gruden struck again, tallying the game-winner when Steve Walker found him all alone in front of the net on the man advantage.

Mannheim bounces back, coach Stewart fined

The fourth-seeded Mannheim Adler bounced back well from Friday’s 6-1 rout and handed the fifth-seeded Nürnberg Ice Tigers a 5:1 (1-0, 1-0, 3-1) loss to take a 2-1 lead in the quarterfinal series. Good special teams play made the difference. Mannheim got powerplay goals from captain Stefan Ustorf, Todd Hlushko and defenseman Sascha Goc and, behind Mike Rosati’s excellent goaltending, killed off several crucial penalties. Nuremberg’s only goal of the afternoon came on a powerplay six minutes into the final period. Marc Savard temporarily cut Mannheim’s lead to 3-1. Four minutes later, Hlusko’s tally put the game out of reach. Wayne Hynes and Steve Junker also scored for the Adler.

“I still have great respect for Nuremberg. This series will probably go the full distance,” Adler coach Bill Stewart said. The Canadian received a $9000 fine from his club after smashing a window on the team bus following the painful loss in Nuremberg.

Rogles backstops Haie to win

Defenseman Mirko Lüdemann and Sebastian Furchner scored as the second-seeded Kölner Haie edged the seventh-seeded Kassel Huskies 2-1 (0-0, 1-0, 1-1). Cologne had a tough time against the defensive-minded Huskies. Lüdemann broke the deadlock 13:48 into the second period when he hammered a slapshot past Kassel’s goalie Rich Parent. Furchner doubled the lead midway through the final stanza. With an extra skater on, Brent Peterson came up with Kassel only goal, spoiling Chris Rogles’s shutout bid only 44 seconds from the final horn.

„I’m very content with my team“, Haie head coach Hans Zach stated. “We got very solid goaltending from Chris Rogles tonight. He bailed us out a couple of times.”

”Playdown”: Francz scores hat trick in Lions win

Robert Francz scored a hat trick as the struggling Frankfurt Lions got their first win in the “playdown series”. Frankfurt jumped out to a 3-0 first-period lead and held on for a 6-4 (3-0, 1-2, 2-2) win over the Schwenninger Wild Wings, cutting Schwenningen’s lead in the best-of-seven series to 2-1. Markus Busch, Corey Laylin and Marc Fortier also scored for Lance Nethery’s team while Eric Houde and Dave Chyzowski (2) notched goals for the Wings. The loser of the series will be relegated to Division-2.
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