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Hungry Lions win 5-2, even series
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April 10, 2004; 19:43
Hungry Lions win 5-2, even series
Berlin's unbeaten streak ends in Game 2 of DEL Finals
Frank Johne

Frankfurt Lions forward David Sulkovsky
High price: DuPont's hit cost David Sulkovsky a couple of teeth

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Munich, Germany - The underdog Frankfurt Lions chose a much more aggressive and energetic approach to Game 2 of the 2004 DEL Finals. And it paid off. Frankfurt jumped out to a quick 3-1 lead and held on for a 5-2 (3-1, 0-1, 2-0) home win over the Berlin Eisbären Saturday.

Dynamo Weisswasser alumnus Michael Bresagk
Michael Bresagk's (middle) celebrates with Jason Young and Mike Harder
Leading DEL Scorers
(as of Feb 19, 2005)
Berlin had won eight straight games in the 2004 DEL Playoffs coming into tonight's game. Frankfurt is still unbeaten at home. Berlin's Game 1 hero Micki DuPont was in the spotlight again. It was a one-goal game midway through the third when a high sticking major plus game misconduct to DuPont spoiled any hopes of a comeback. The penalty also results in a suspension for Game 3.

Lions firing on all cylinders

With a capacity crowd of 7,000 on hand at Frankfurt's Eissporthalle, the game got off to a furious start. The Lions came out flying and got on the scoreboard when Mike Harder scored off a rebound just 72 seconds into the contest. Even Berlin's immediate equalizer by Florian Keller couldn't slow down the Lions. David Gosselin and Michael Bresagk added a pair of goals to extend the lead to 3-1 at the 4:14-mark of the opening frame. The Berlin Eisbären wasted 6:26 of power-play time in the first period alone, including a 68-second two man advantage. Berlin's league-leading power-play was 0-for-9 on the night while Frankfurt went 2-for-7.

The momentum shifted in the second period. Nils Antons brought the Eisbären within a goal and the Lions were lucky to take a one-goal lead into the second intermission. Berlin kept pressing until DuPont's major turned the momentum again. Dwayne Norris scored on the ensuing power-play to put the Lions up 4-2. With Keller in the sin bin for boarding, Pat Lebeau put the game out of reach at 5-2 with under six minutes to go.

Fourth line does all of Berlin's scoring

"We got off to a very bad start tonight", said Eisbären forward Sven Felski. "We didn’t play as well as on Thursday and deserved to lose. We couldn’t find our sync. Individual mistakes cost us the game."

Winning goaltender Ian Gordon turned aside 30 of the 32 shots he saw. Berlin's Rich Parent, who made his first start in the 2004 DEL Finals, stopped 25 shots. Mike Harder and DEL league MVP Pat Lebeau led the Lions in scoring with a goal and an assist each. Both of Berlin's tallies were scored by the fourth line of German youngsters Nils Antons (1G, 1A), Florian Keller (1G, 1A) and Florian Busch (2A).

Lions jump out to 3-1 lead

The Lions drew first blood when Mike Harder tucked home the rebound of Jason Young's shot from the top of the right face-off circle just 1:12 into the contest. The "Polar Bears" responded right away. Florian Keller took the puck in the neutral zone, skated across the blueline and unleashed a low wrist shot. The puck was slightly deflected by defenseman Paul Stanton's stick and fluttered past Gordon. Keller's goal tied the contest at 1-1 at 2:04. Just 23 seconds later, the Lions regained a 2-1 lead when David Gosselin took advantage of a neutral zone turnover from David Roberts. Gosselin sped past Eisbären defenseman Darryl Shannon, who turned the wrong way, and beat Rich Parent 1-on-0. Another two minutes later, Lions defenseman Michael Bresagk rushed down the right wing, cut in on the net and knocked a bad-angle shot through Parent's legs to extend Frankfurt's lead to 3-1 at the 4:14-mark.

A couple of Lions penalties gave Berlin the chance to get back into the game, but the "Polar Bears'" league-leading power-play couldn’t cash in. Blueliner Micki DuPont came closest to scoring, hitting the goal post.

Antons' goal gets Berlin back into it

The momentum shifted in the middle frame. Keller rushed along the left boards and passed the puck to Nils Antons who fired a quick wrister over Gordon's shoulder to bring Berlin within a goal, 3-2, 5:55 into the second period. The Eisbären kept pressing and Frankfurt was lucky to take a one-goal lead into the second intermission.

"It couldn't get much worse than in the opening period", Antons said. "We managed to regroup and fought our way back into the game. On the positive side, our line tallied two goals tonight. I think our depth makes our team pretty unpredictable."

Frankfurt caught a break early in the third when a one-timer from David Roberts slipped through Gordon's pads and trickled wide. On the other end of the ice, Parent robbed Jesse Belanger on a 2-on-1 rush with Jason Young. The key moment occurred midway through the third: DuPont, Berlin's leading scorer in Game 1, cross-checked David Sulkovsky in the face. Sulkovsky lost a couple of teeth and had to leave the game. DuPont had to leave, too. He was assessed a five-minute high-sticking major plus game misconduct and will also miss Game 3.

The Lions cashed in on the ensuing power-play. Dwayne Norris one-timed home a feed by Jesse Belanger from behind the net to put the Lions up 4-2 at the 10:41-mark of the final stanza. Things got even worse for the "Polar Bears". A boarding minor to Florian Keller put the Lions on the two man advantage. Pat Lebeau went top-shelf from the right slot to put the game out of reach at 5-2 with 5:49 to go.

Box score

Berlin           1 1 0 --2
Frankfurt     3 0 2 --5


Scoring Summary
1st Period
Frankfurt 1:12, Mike Harder 1 (Jason Young, Francois Bouchard)
Berlin 2:04, Florian Keller 1 (Florian Busch, Nils Antons)
Frankfurt 2:27, David Gosselin 1 (Mike Harder)
Frankfurt 4:14, Michael Bresagk 1 (David Sulkovsky)
2nd Period
Berlin 5:55, Nils Antons 1 (Florian Busch, Florian Keller)
3rd Period
Frankfurt 10:41, Dwayne Norris 1 (power-play) (Jesse Belanger, Pat Lebeau)
Frankfurt 14:11, Pat Lebeau (power-play 5-on-3) (Peter Ratchuk, Paul Stanton)

Shots on goal:
Berlin 7 15 10 --32
Frankfurt 12 9 9 --30

Power-play Conversions: Berlin - 0 of 7. Frankfurt - 2 of 7.
Goalies:. Berlin, Rich Parent (30 shots, 25 saves). Frankfurt, Ian Gordon (32 shots, 30 saves).
Attendance: 7,000 (Eissporthalle, Frankfurt).
Referees: Gerhard Lichtnecker (Lenggries). Linesmen: Andreas Sprenger, Christian Walter

Penalty Summary
1st Period
Berlin cross-checking – 2 min, DuPont 2:10
Frankfurt cross-checking – 2 min, Young 2:10
Berlin obstruction – 2 min, Beaufait 5:00
Frankfurt tripping – 2 min, Klenner 7:33
Frankfurt cross-checking – 2 min, Young 8:25
Frankfurt holding – 2 min, Etz 12:15
Berlin roughing – 2 min, Corriveau 12:15
Frankfurt roughing – 2 min, Jocher 12:15
Frankfurt cross-checking – 2 min, Harder 14:58
Berlin cross-checking – 2 min, Antons 14:58
Frankfurt holding – 2 min, Young 17:05
Berlin slashing – 2 min, Beaufait 18:39
2nd Period
Berlin bench minor – too many men – 2 min 3:23
Frankfurt holding – 2 min, Klenner 12:26
3rd Period
Frankfurt hooking – 2 min, Bresagk 5:51
Berlin cross-checking – 2 min, Keller 5:51
Berlin holding – 2 min, Fairchild 7:52
Frankfurt obstruction – 2 min, Reichel 8:02
Berlin high-sticking – 5 min plus game misconduct, DuPont 9:43
Berlin boarding – 2 min, Keller 13:06
Frankfurt cross-checking – 2 min, Etz 15:32
Frankfurt holding – 2 min, Stanton 17:46
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