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Red-hot Ingolstadt knocks off Frankfurt
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November 17, 2003; 18:11
Red-hot Ingolstadt knocks off Frankfurt
Mannheim loses again, Stewart on the hot seat
Frank Johne

 
Has Bill Stewart lost control over his team?

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Munich, Germany - With Frankfurt and Hamburg losing, the Berlin Eisbären seized the moment and climbed back to the top of the standings on gameday 20 in the Deutsche Eishockey Liga (DEL) Sunday. Coach Bill Stewart remains on the hot seat in Mannheim as his Adler continue their free fall.
 

Thriving: Former Boston/Providence Bruin Cameron Mann
Leading DEL Scorers
(as of Feb 19, 2005)

Mark Beaufait and Florian Keller each tallied a pair of points as the Berlin Eisbären cruised to a 4-2 (2-1, 2-0, 0-1) road win over the Hannover Scorpions, who have lost four straight. Hanover drew first blood when Fredrik Öberg But the Eisbären responded with four straight goals from David Roberts (power-play), Denis Pederson, Mark Beaufait and Frank Hördler for a commanding 4-1 lead at the game’s midway point. Patrik Augusta, who assisted on Hanover’s first goal, teamed up with Öberg again for a consolation goal 5:17 into the final frame.

With a record of 14-5 and 42 points, the Eisbären lead the DEL table one point ahead of the Frankfurt Lions and Hamburg Freezers (both 14-7). The Nürnberg Ice Tigers (14-7/40), Kölner Haie (11-9/35), Augsburger Panther (11-9/33) and DEG Metro Stars (11-9/31) round out the top-7. The slumping Mannheim Adler (9-10), Kassel Huskies (10-10) and thriving ERC Ingolstadt (9-10) are tied for the eight and final playoff spot with 28 points. Defending champion Krefeld Pinguine (8-12/23), the Hannover Scorpions (6-13/20), Iserlohn Roosters (6-15/20) are well ahead of expansion team Freiburg Wölfe, which is in last place (3-17/10).

Red-hot ERC Ingolstadt knocks off Frankfurt Lions

The Frankfurt Lions, who entered gameday 20 as the DEL’s top team, were knocked off by the hottest team in the league, ERC Ingolstadt, which has won four straight and six of their last seven games. With the contest knotted at three apiece, Cameron Mann knocked home a rebound on the power-play at 6:45 of the third period to lift Ingolstadt to a 4-3 (2-0, 1-2, 1-1) home win. Mann, who missed five straight games at the start of the season due to injury, is the team-leading scorer with 16 points (4G, 12A) in 14 games.

Ingolstadt jumped out to a 3-1 lead, but Frankfurt fought back hard and scored back-to-back goals late in the second and early in the third period to even the score. Craig Ferguson opened the scoring midway through the first, re-directing a point shot from Günter Oswald past Lions goalie Ian Gordon. The ERC doubled the lead when Doug Ast hammered home a feed from Cameron Mann from the slot. Pat Lebeau cut Ingolstadt’s lead in half with a breakaway goal on the power-play at the 6:11-mark of the second period. But ERC defenseman Jakub Ficenec tucked home a centering feed from Ferguson to make it 3-1 halfway through the middle frame. Ingolstadt then failed to put the game out of reach on a 60-second 5-on-3 power-play opportunity. Instead, Dwayne Norris scored on an odd-man rush to make it a one-goal game 30 seconds before the final intermission. David Gosselin came up with the equalizer 5:41 into the final stanza. However Lebeau got called for holding just 14 seconds later, a penalty that resulted in Mann’s game-winning score.

Morczinietz strikes twice as Haie prevail over Freezers

Andreas Morczinietz converted the game-winning attempt as the Kölner Haie downed the Hamburg Freezers at home, 3-2 (2-0, 0-1, 0-1, 1-0) after penalty shootout. A lucky bounce gave the Haie an early 1-0 lead. Freezers netminder Boris Rousson left his cage to play the puck around the boards. It slid past teammate Markus Schröder and landed right in front of Morczinietz who sent it past the diving Rousson into a wide-open Freezer net for the 1-0 lead just 2:26 into the contest. Dave McLlwain poked home the rebound on an odd-man rush with Jean-Yves Roy to double the lead at 11:36 of the opening frame. Dave Tomlinson put Hamburg on the scoreboard 4:00 into the middle frame, stunning Haie netminder Chris Rogles with a mighty blast from beyond the blueline. Bobby House went top-shelf with a wrist shot to tie the score at two apiece 4:26 into the final frame.

”Worst crisis ever”: Stewart on the hot seat

The Mannheim Adler suffered their third loss in four games since the suspension of alleged troublemakers Stefan Ustorf and Yves Racine. Martin Hohenberger scored the equalizer midway through the final frame and Daniel Kreutzer tallied the game-winner in the penalty shootout as the Düsseldorfer EG Metro Stars rallied for a 2-1 (0-0, 0-1, 1-0, 1-ß) home win. Kreutzer’s third game-winning score ties him for the league-lead with Frankfurt’s Pat Lebeau. Mannheim’s Rene Corbet had opened the scoring with a power-play goal midway through the middle frame.

It seems only a matter of time until Adler coach Stewart, who led the team to the DEL championship in 2001, will have to pack his bags. Adler sports director Marcus Kuhl, a big supporter of Stewart, defined the current situation as “the worst crisis ever”. The rift between Stewart and his team seems to have grown even bigger since the surprising departure of Ustorf and Racine.

“Nothing’s changed. The players should be working their butts off”, added Kuhl. His statement leaves a lot of room for speculation, though. While stressing that there was “no deadline for the coach”, Kuhl also pointed out that there would be no actions from the management “within the next two weeks.”

Nuremberg crushes Iserlohn

Down 2-0 after 20 minutes, the Nürnberg Ice Tigers lit up the scoreboard and scored seven unanswered goals en route to a 7-2 (0-2, 3-0, 4-0) thrashing of the Iserlohn Roosters. Thomas Greilinger led Nuremberg with two goals and an assist. Martin Jiranek, Steve Larouche, Robert Tomik and Liam Garvey each recorded two points for the home team.

New addition Kofler strikes again, Augsburg wins on the road

The Augsburger Panther rebounded from Friday’s loss in Ingolstadt with a 4-0 (0-0, 2-0, 2-0) blanking of the Kassel Huskies, only their second road win of the season. Panther goaltender Magnus Eriksson turned aside 31 shots for his second shutout of the season. Kassel dominated the first half of the game, but it was Augsburg that took a 1-0 lead when Bob Wren found wide-open defenseman John Miner near the goalpost midway through the second period. Augsburg doubled the lead late in the period when newly-signed forward Manuel Kofler notched his second goal in just his second appearance with the Panther. Kofler also tallied an assist when defender Eric Dandenault made it 3-0 early in the third. A power-play goal by Wren capped the scoring at 4-0 with just under six minutes left in regulation.

Krefeld wins duel of bottom clubs

After dropping five of their last six, the Krefeld Pinguine skated to a 5-3 (3-0, 1-2, 1-1) home win over the last-place Freiburg Wölfe. Chris Herperger tallied two goals and an assist for Krefeld.
Frank Johne

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