After the road victory in Frankfurt, the Berlin Eisbären are in sole possession of first place (54 points), three points ahead of the Frankfurt Lions. The Augsburger Panther continued their home domination, routing the Nürnberg Ice Tigers and moving into a third place tie with Nuremberg (43 pts each). Mannheim, Düsseldorf and Cologne (40 pts each) round out the playoff spots, trailing the fourth-place Hamburg Freezers by just one point. Ingolstadt and Kassel (34 pts each) moved past defending champion Krefeld Pinguine (33 pts), who had their five-game win streak snapped. The Iserlohn Roosters are in no man’s land right now (28 pts). Expansion team Freiburg suffered its 12th straight loss and remains dead last (11 pts), already 9 points behind the Hannover Scorpions (20 pts), who are next to last having lost eight in a row.Poor power-play kills Frankfurt
Steve Walker had a pair of assists as the Berlin Eisbären jumped out to a 3-0 lead and held on for a 3-2 (1-0, 1-0, 1-2) road win over the Frankfurt Lions. With a capacity crowd of 7,000 on hand at Frankfurt’s Eissporthalle, Eisbären goalie Rich Parent made the difference in a tight game, turning aside 33 of 35 shots. Frankfurt’s power-play was awful. The Lions went 0-for 12 and blew a total of five(!) two-man advantages.
Berlin’s Mark Beaufait opened the scoring midway through the opening frame, beating a defenseman 1-on-1 and knocking a screened shot past Lions netminder Ian Gordon. The Eisbären doubled their lead to 2-0 8:48 into the middle stanza when Rob Shearer tucked home the rebound after a point shot from defender Brad Bergen bounced off the goal post. The game seemed out of reach when Denis Pederson extended Berlin’s lead to 3-0 just 37 seconds into the third with the only power-play tally of the night. But Frankfurt fought back hard. League-leading scorer Pat Lebeau got the Lions and the crowd back into the game two minutes later with his 11th goal of the season. Frankfurt kept pressing. After missing their fourth 5-on-3 advantage of the night, the Lions struck on even strength when David Gosselin sped along the right boards and fed the puck to Jesse Belanger who netted it past Parent with 8:21 left in the game. But that was as close as the Lions could get. They had another power-play opportunity in the waning minutes of the game, including 27 seconds of 5-on-3, but failed to capitalize.
“Unbelievable. This marked the first time in my career that I saw a team kill off five 5-on-3 power-plays in a single game”, said Eisbären coach Pierre Pagé. “My guys did a tremendous job on the penalty kill. Parent made the difference tonight.”
“We gotta take advantage of these power-play opportunities”, said Lions coach Rich Chernomaz. “But I’m very proud of my guys. They kept hanging in there after falling behind 3-0. That’s the reason why we are second in the standings.”Mannheim hands Hamburg 4th straight loss
Devin Edgerton scored with 3:23 left in regulation as the Mannheim Adler came back from two one-goal deficits to edge Hamburg 3-2 (1-1, 0-1, 2-0) at home, handing the Freezers their fourth straight loss. Hamburg took the lead on a short-handed goal just 4:37 into the contest. Jacek Plachta squeezed the puck between Marc Seliger’s pad and the goal post from the right slot. Mannheim tied the score at 1 with just over four minutes left in the first period when Andy Roach rifled a screened one-timer from the center point past Freezers goalie Boris Rousson. Hamburg reclaimed the lead late in the middle frame when Andy Schneider scored on a solo effort after a turnover from Adler forward Mike Kennedy. Mannheim bounced back, outshooting the Freezers 12-3 in the final stanza. Derek Plante ended his scoring drought 3:26 into the third, tying the score at 2-2. Edgerton’s game-winner came just seconds after Seliger stopped Hamburg’s Mark Greig on an odd-man rush.Augsburg’s derby win overshadowed by death of a fan
Francois Fortier tallied two goals and two assists as the Augsburger Panther rallied from an early 1-0 deficit to rout the Nürnberg Ice Tigers 7-3 (2-1, 2-1, 3-1), recording their 11th home win in 12 games. Colin Beardsmore and Duanne Moeser also had multiple-point games for Augsburg, scoring a goal and two assists each. Augsburg was outshot 44-28 by the Tigers, who could not find a solution for Panther goalie Magnus Eriksson. At the other end, “almost every Panther shot seemed to find the back of the net tonight”, as Nuremberg’s head coach Greg Poss remarked.
The game was overshadowed by a tragic incident. A 48-year-old fan suffered a heart attack and passed away during the game. “When things like that happen, the game itself becomes insignificant”, a visibly depressed Panther head coach Benoit Laporte stated.
Nuremberg drew first blood when Petr Fical struck on the power-play 6:58 into the contest. Augsburg evened the score less than two minutes later when Francois Fortier went coast-to-coast and his shot was mishandled by Tigers netminder Alfie Michaud. Goals from Moeser and Andrej Strakhov extended the Panther lead to 3-1 before newly-signed Tigers defenseman Marek Posmyk cut Augsburg’s lead to 3-2 with his first DEL goal. A power-play goal by Beardsmore put Augsburg up 4-2 at the second intermission. Marian Cisar brought Nuremberg back within a goal early in the third, but Augsburg put the game out of reach on back-to-back tallies within a 79-second span near the midway point of the final period. A power-play tally by ex-Tigers defender Shawn Anderson and Fortier’s second goal of the night made it 6-3. Xavier Delisle capped the scoring at 7-3 3:36 before the final horn.Wins for Ingolstadt, Kassel, Düsseldorf and Iserlohn
Cameron Mann led the way with a pair of goals and an assist as ERC Ingolstadt jumped out to an early 5-0 lead and held on for a 5-2 (4-0, 1-0, 0-2) home win over the Kölner Haie. Doug Ast also had a three-point night (1G, 2A).
The Kassel Huskies needed just a little more than a dozen shots to end Krefeld’s five-game win streak. Despite being outshot 29-14, the Huskies beat the Pinguine 3-1 (1-0, 0-1, 2-0) at home.
Michael Fountain turned aside 33 of 34 shots as the Iserlohn Roosters recorded their third straight win, beating the slumping Hannover Scorpions 4-1 (0-1, 2-0, 2-0) on the road. Hanover has lost nine straight games.
Only expansion team Freiburg Wölfe has posted a longer losing streak. Martin Hohenberger had a pair of goals as the DEG Metro Stars handed Freiburg its 12th consecutive loss, winning 4-2 (2-1, 1-1, 1-0) at home. Düsseldorf dominated the shot total 39-11.