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Tigers lose third straight
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Dezember 24, 2004; 11:22
Tigers lose third straight
Goring's Metro Stars back in the win column - Huskies make it three in a row
Frank Johne

Mirko Ludemann of the Cologne Sharks
Defender Mirko Lüdemann recorded 3 points in Cologne's big win over Hamburg

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Munich, Germany - Christmas – a time of giving. The first-place Nürnberg Ice Tigers continued to hand out presents Thursday when they were handed their third consecutive loss by red-hot expansion team Grizzly Adams Wolfsburg. The Tigers' lead on top of the DEL standings has shrunk to a single point as the Kölner Haie recorded a big win at home in a rout of the Hamburg Freezers. Berlin, Frankfurt and Mannheim kept closing in on the top spots with road wins. At the bottom of the table, the Kassel Huskies seem to have found their rhythm under new head coach Milan Moklos, recording three straight wins for the first time this season.

Marek Mastic of the Wolfsburg Grizzlies
Marek Mastic made a 37-save effort as Wolfsburg came from behind to upset Nuremberg
Leading DEL Scorers
(as of Feb 19, 2005)

The Nürnberg Ice Tigers wasted a 2-0 lead and a host of good scoring opportunities in a 4-2 (1-0, 1-2, 0-2) home loss to Grizzly Adams Wolfsburg. Goaltender Marek Mastic, who had 37 saves on the night, was the backbone of Wolfsburg's come-from-behind victory. Nuremberg clearly dominated the opening frame, outshooting Wolfsburg 24-7, but managed only one goal by Greg Leeb early on. The Tigers, who were missing top-scorers Tomas Martinec (one-game suspension) and Yan Stastny (out with the flu), obviously thought they had the game in the bag when Leeb doubled the lead on a two-man advantage early in the middle frame. But the momentum turned when the Tigers were assessed a bench minor for too many men on the ice and Petr Smrek's put Wolfsburg on the scoreboard, 2-1, at 3:53 of the second. A breakaway goal from Ivan Ciernik tied the game at two midway through the period. The Grizzlies could have taken the lead before the second intermission when Christoph Paepke's redirection of a Dale Clark shot rang off the goalpost. Nuremberg's letdown was epitomized by the game-winning goal. Mike Green deflected a centering feed from Wolfsburg's Rainer Suchan into his own net at 6:01 of the third. Wolfsburg put the game out of reach at 4-2 when Xavier Delisle found the back of the net less than two minutes later.

Defenseman Mirko Lüdemann led the way with a goal and two assists as the Kölner Haie skated to their highest win of the season, crushing the Hamburg Freezers 6-1 (4-0, 2-0, 0-1) at home. Power-play goals by Sebastian Furchner and Jean-Yves Roy gave Cologne an early 2-0 lead. The Haie added two more goals from Lüdemann and Tino Boos in the waning minutes of the opening frame to virtually put the game away, 4-0, before the first intermission. Tallies from Stephane Julien and Paul Traynor extended the lead to 6-0 after 40 minutes. Brandon Reid scored Hamburg's only goal to spoil Chris Rogles' shutout bid with just over six minutes remaining in the game.

Power-play efficiency was the key as the Berlin Eisbären blanked ERC Ingolstadt on the road, 3-0 (2-0, 0-0, 1-0). Berlin went 3-for-5 on the man advantage while Ingolstadt came up empty in seven attempts. Eisbären goaltender Oliver Jonas made 33 saves to earn his second shutout of the season. Defenseman Shawn Heins put Berlin on the scoreboard at 11:28 of the first, knocking home the rebound of a shot by Ricard Persson. On another power-play later in the period, Steve Walker's feed found Derrick Walser all alone near the left goal post. Walser buried the puck to double Berlin's lead to 2-0. Ingolstadt, which wasted two long 5-on-3 advantages, never found into the game. Stefan Ustorf sealed the Polar Bears' win with the third power-play tally of the night 16 seconds before the final horn.

Berlin's forward Sven Felski became the 21st player in the DEL history to reach the 500-game mark. Jürgen Rumrich of the Hamburg Freezers is the all-time leader with 584 games.

Vitalij Aab (2G, 2A) and Derek Plante (1G, 3A) led the way with four points each as the Mannheim Adler erased an early 2-0 deficit to come from behind and beat the Augsburger Panther on the road, 6-4 (1-2, 1-0, 4-2). Augsburg has lost six straight games. Power-play goals from Shawn Carter and defender John Miner gave Augsburg a 2-0 first-period lead. Thomas Greilinger tallied just 26 seconds after Miner's goal to put Mannheim on the scoreboard, 2-1, with 2:43 to go in the first. The Adler knotted the game at two apiece when Devin Edgerton skated down the right wing and centered the puck to Aab who ripped a one-timer through the legs of Panthers goalie Jean-Francois Labbé. Mannheim took control in the final period. Labbé was able to deny a wrap-around attempt from René Corbet, but John Tripp lifted a backhanded rebound over Augsburg's goalie to give Mannheim its first lead of the night, 3-2, 91 seconds into the final stanza. Plante made it 4-2 when tucked home his own rebound three minutes later. Francois Methot gave Augsburg some hope when he rifled a mighty slapper from the right point past Adler goalie Steve Passmore on the power-play midway through the final period. But back-to-back tallies from Corbet and Aab ended Augsburg's comeback hopes. The Panthers got one more goal when Carter scored his second of the night, cutting Mannheim's lead to 6-4 at 18:34 of the third.

Dwayne Norris led the way with two goals and Pat Lebeau had a goal and two assists as the Frankfurt Lions thrashed the last-place Hannover Scorpions 5-1 (3-0, 1-0, 1-1). Joe Murphy and Martin Reichel also scored for Frankfurt. Andreas Morczinietz tallied Hanover's only goal.

The Kassel Huskies won three straight games for the first time this season, extending the gap to last-place Hanover to seven points. The Huskies jumped out to a 6-2 lead and held on for a 6-4 (1-1, 4-1, 1-2) home win over the Iserlohn Roosters. Mark Greig, Sven Valenti, Martin Sychra, Nick Schultz, David Gosselin and Christian Laflamme tallied for Kassel. Mike York (2), Rhett Gordon and Sven Gerbig scored Iserlohn's goals.

Matt Herr had a goal and an assist as the DEG Metro Stars skated to only their second win in the last ten games, beating the Krefeld Pinguine 3-1 (1-0, 1-0, 1-1) at home.
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