With a capacity crowd of 12,759 in attendance at Hamburg’s Color Line Arena, the top-seeded Berlin Eisbären edged the eighth-seeded Hamburg Freezers 2-1 (1-1, 1-0, 0-0). Mark Beaufait, who led the league in scoring during the regular season, gave Berlin a 1-0 lead midway through the opening period when he converted a nice feed from Sven Felski from behind the net. The Freezers came up with the equalizer on the powerplay less than a minute later when Jesse Belanger knocked home the rebound of Ted Crowley’s blueline blast on the powerplay. A two man advantage late in the second period set the table for the Eisbären and Steve Walker cashed in. With Greg Andrusak and Andy Schneider in the sin bin, Walker backhanded the rebound of Rob Shearer’s shot past Freezers netminder Boris Rousson to make it 2-1 in favor of Berlin. The one-goal proved to be enough for the clever Eisbären. Hamburg looked willing, but failed to create enough quality scoring opportunities. Bob Lachance blew the biggest chance late in the game when he fanned on a shot with the Eisbären net wide-open.
„Berlin was the better team tonight”, Freezers head coach Sean Simpson said. “We played well in the early going, but we did not keep up the pressure thereafter. We're not going to give up, though. We have to win on Friday in Berlin to stay alive and that’s what we’re going to do.”Adler win game, lose Ustorf
Last year’s runner-up, the fourth-seeded Mannheim Adler are only a win away from wrapping up their quarterfinal series, too, after beating the fifth-seeded Nürnberg Ice Tigers 4-2 (1-1, 1-1, 2-0) on the road. The win came at a high price, though. Adler captain Stefan Ustorf will be out for the remainder of the season after fracturing his forearm early in the first period. With 6,049 on hand at Arena Nürnberg, Nuremberg started out well. Captain Jürgen Rumrich gave the Ice Tigers a 1-0 lead on the man advantage when he redirected Kevin Dahl’s shot past Adler goalie Mike Rosati. Adler defenseman Andy Roach evened the score with a point blast on the powerplay with 5:10 left in the first. Mannheim started pressing for the lead and got rewarded when Tomas Martinec picked up his own rebound and found Marcel Goc on the doorstep with a feed from behind the net to make it 2-1 7:22 into the middle frame. Rumrich scored his second of the night four minutes later when he once again deflected Dahl’s shot on the powerplay to tie the game at 2-2 at the second intermission. The key play came when Tigers defender Chris Luongo committed a turnover in center ice. Mannheim’s Wayne Hynes scored on the breakaway 7:54 into the final period to put the Adler up 3-2. Todd Hlushko sealed the win with an empty-netter. Red-hot Serikow strikes twice, Huskies even series
Red-hot Alexander Serikow scored a pair of powerplay goals as the seventh-seeded Kassel Huskies evened their quarterfinal series with defending champion Kölner Haie at 2-2 with a 5-4 (2-1, 2-2, 1-1) home win. With 4,515 in attendance at Kassel’s Eissportstadion, the two usually defensive-oriented teams opened it up after early goals and the game turned into a high-scoring affair. Robert Hock put the visiting Haie on the scoreboard just 1:58 into the campaign, beating goalie Rich Parent through the five-hole. Kassel responded exactly a minute later when Brent Peterson tied the score on a powerplay goal. The Huskies grabbed the lead when Pat Mikesch notched the rebound of Jeff MacLeods shot late in the period. Jan Lipiansky extended it to 3-1 on another powerplay tally seven minutes into the middle frame. Cologne put on a rally to even the score at 3-3 within a three-minute span on back-to-back scores by Eduard Lewandowski and defender Brent Schlegel (on the man advantage). The momentum shifted again with 6:32 left in the middle stanza when Serikow scored on the powerplay to put Kassel ahead again, 4-3. He added another powerplay score midway through the third to double the lead to 5-3. But the game was not over yet. Defenseman Mickey Elick brought the Haie to within one on a powerplay goal with 3:18 left in regulation. Cologne kept pressing for the equalizer and even had another powerplay opportunity, but Huskies netminder Parent protected the close lead.Krefeld closing in on upset
The sixth-seeded Krefeld Pinguine are only one win away from upsetting the Düsseldorfer EG Metro Stars. Christoph Brandner scored a pair of goals as the Pinguine took a commanding 3-1 lead in the quarterfinal series with a 5-2 (1-0, 3-1, 1-1) home victory. In front of 6,246 spectators at the Rheinlandhalle, Brad Purdie, who leads the league with five postseason goals, opened the scoring on the powerplay 14:15 into the first period when a feed from Patrik Augusta found him all-alone near the opposite post. Düsseldorf evened the score early in the middle frame when Neal Eisenhut notched a powerplay goal. But back-to-back powerplay tallies from Dan Lambert and Brandner within a 99-second span put Krefeld back in the driver’s seat midway through the period. Brander’s second goal of the night extended the lead to 4-1 late in the second. Krefeld’s fourth powerplay tally of the night by defender Christian Ehrhoff put the game out of reach 4:28 into the third. Metro Stars defender Gerhard Unterluggauer capped the scoring at 5-2 when he scored on the man advantage with 6:37 to go.Frankfurt evens “playdown series”
Rick Girard notched a pair of goals and Marc Fortier scored 6:23 into overtime as the Frankfurt Lions edged the Schwenninger Wild Wings 4-3 (2-1, 1-1, 0-1, 1-0). With the road victory, Frankfurt evened the best-of-seven “playdown series” at 2-2. The loser will be relegated to Division-2. Eric Houde tallied two powerplay goals for the Wings, including the late 3-3 equalizer that sent the game into overtime with 3:35 left in regulation. Frankfurt’s Corey Laylin and Schwenningen’s Alexander Kuzminski also scored.