While it is clear that the top-seeded Berlin Eisbären (103 points) will face the 8th-seeded DEG Metro Stars (82pts) in the opening round of the playoffs, the rest of the order will be decided on the final day of the regular season Sunday.
The Nürnberg Ice Tigers (96pts) have virtually clinched the second overall seed after a comeback win over ERC Ingolstadt. Nuremberg (+52) has a much better goal differential than the Hamburg Freezers (+35; 93pts), who moved into third place with a win over the slumping Frankfurt Lions, who plummeted to fifth (91pts). The Kölner Haie (92pts) improved to fourth place, which would give them home-ice advantage in the first round. But Frankfurt, the sixth-place Mannheim Adler (90pts) and seventh-place ERC Ingolstadt (89pts) could still end up among the top-4.Freezers down Lions in high-scoring tilt
The Frankfurt Lions continue to struggle down the stretch. Rich Chernomaz’s team has lost 5 of 7 since the DEL All-Star Break. Brad Purdie recorded three assists as the Hamburg Freezers defeated the Frankfurt Lions in a 10-goal shootout at Color Line Arena, 6-4 (2-1, 2-1, 2-2). Trailing 5-2 early in the third, the game seemed to be out of reach for Frankfurt. But the Lions put on a rally and came within a goal. The game was on the line until Wayne Hynes sealed Hamburg’s victory with 2:04 left on the clock.
Hamburg wasted little time and took a 1-0 lead when Kent Fearns took a feed from Steve Washburn in stride and went top shelf on Ian Gordon just 55 seconds into the tilt. Fearns also assisted on Hamburg’s second tally. His feed from behind the net found Jacek Plachta on the doorstep to make it 2-0 midway through the first. Jesse Belanger, who had two goals and an assist on the night, put Frankfurt on the scoreboard with a power-play tally from the goalmouth late in the first.
The Freezers reclaimed a two-goal lead when a rather soft slap shot by Mark Greig found its way through Gordon’s legs on the power-play at 7:35 of the second. Skating four aside, defenseman Paul Manning extended Hamburg’s lead to 4-1 with his second goal of the season, lifting a backhanded shot past Ian Gordon on an odd-man rush. Once again, the Lions managed to strike late in the period. Belanger fired a one-timer from the right slot past Boris Rousson to cut the deficit to 4-2 with 2:01 left in the middle stanza.
The game seemed to be out of reach for the Lions when a point shot by Darren Van Impe ricocheted off the backboards and Andy Schneider jammed it home to make it 5-2 on a two-man advantage early in the third. But Frankfurt wasn’t done yet. Still down a man, Martin Reichel scored on a wrap-around. A power-play tally by Dwayne Norris got the Lions within a goal with 11:48 to go. The game remained tight until Wayne Hynes rifled a slapshot over Gordon’s glove hand on a 3-on-2 odd-man rush with just over two minutes before the final buzzer.Felski scores two shorthanders, sets new Eisbären record
Sven Felski notched two short-handed goals as the Berlin Eisbären dumped the Kassel Huskies 5-1 (2-1, 2-0, 1-0). The German-born Felski passed Chris Govedaris as the all-time leading goal scorer in Eisbären history with 122 career tallies. Mark Beaufait had a goal and two assists. Tigers come from behind to beat Ingolstadt
Yan Stastny led the way with a goal and an assist as the Nürnberg Ice Tigers erased a two-goal deficit to down ERC Ingolstadt 3-2 (0-1, 0-1, 2-0, 1-0) after penalty shootout. Martin Jiranek was credited with the game-winning goal. Ingolstadt drew first blood when Christoph Melischko capped a 2-on-1 rush with Doug Ast, backhanding the puck past Tigers goalie Frederic Chabot for the 1-0 lead midway through the opening stanza. They doubled the lead to 2-0 halfway through the middle frame when Günter Oswald connected on a high wrister from the top of the right circle on the man advantage. Nuremberg battled back hard and tied the game on a pair of third-period power-play goals from the slot by Robert Tomik and Stastny. The game-tying goal came with 5:09 left in regulation.Haie complete season sweep of Metro Stars
Tino Boos and Sebastian Furchner both notched a pair of goals as the Kölner Haie skated past the DEG Metro Stars in a heated derby at Düsseldorf’s Brehmstrasse Arena, 5-2 (1-0, 1-1, 3-1). The Haie broke open a fairly even game when Tino Boos scored on a short-handed breakaway to make it 2-1 midway through the second. Furchner and Eduard Lewandowski, who had a goal and two assists on the night, tallied just 80 seconds apart to put the game out of reach at 4-1 early in the third. Lewandowski’s goal was Cologne’s second short-handed score.Other scores: Iserlohn’s King records hat trick
Robert Hock and Tomas Martinec each had a goal and two assists as the Mannheim Adler cruised to a 5-2 (2-0, 0-1, 3-1) home win over the Krefeld Pinguine.
Scott King tallied a hat trick and added the game-winning shot in the penalty shootout as the Iserlohn Roosters rallied from a 5-3 deficit to down the Freiburg Wölfe 6-5 (3-1, 0-4, 2-0). James Black (4 assists) and Jason Cipolla (3 assists) also had multiple-point games. Dany Bousquet was Freiburg’s leading scorer with a goal and two helpers.
Björn Barta scored the winning penalty shot as the Augsburger Panther downed the Hannover Scorpions 3-2 (1-0, 1-1, 0-1) on the road.