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Augsburg back in playoff picture
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Dezember 30, 2004; 14:14
Augsburg back in playoff picture
Day of underdog victories in the German Elite League
Frank Johne

Goaltender Jean Francois Labbe of the Augsburg Panthers
 
Augsburg's J.F. Labbé registered his 3rd shutout

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Munich, Germany - The Augsburger Panther snapped a seven-game losing streak and moved back into the playoff picture with a shutout win over rival Krefeld Pinguine. Augsburg's win was not the only upset Tuesday in the Deutsche Eishockey Liga (DEL). Cologne, Frankfurt and Wolfsburg suffered surprising home losses. A wild comeback took place in Ingolstadt, where the Mannheim Adler scored three goals within the final two minutes to erase a 5-2 deficit.
 

Jochen Hecht of the Buffalo Sabres plays in his native Mannheim
Jochen Hecht scored twice in Mannheim's wild rally in Ingolstadt
Leading DEL Scorers
(as of Feb 19, 2005)

Jean-Francois Labbé stopped 28 shots for his third shutout of the season as the Augsburger Panther blanked the Krefeld Pinguine 4-0 (1-0, 2-0, 1-0) at home. Augsburg had dropped seven straight games since December 3. Krefeld has currently lost three in a row. Francois Fortier blasted a shot past Robert Müller to put Augsburg on the scoreboard with 1:01 to go in the first period. While Krefeld failed to cash in on several power-play opportunities, going 0-for-6 on the night, the Panthers continued to score. Back-to-back tallies by Manuel Kofler and Shawn Carter (short-handed) extended the lead to 3-0 midway through the second. Rick Girard put the game out of reach, 4-0, with the only power-play goal of the night 4:03 into the final frame.

With the teams skating four aside, Jason Cipolla knocked the puck through Chris Rogles' five-hole for the game-tying score with 49 seconds left in regulation and Patrik Augusta tallied the game-winning penalty shot as the last-place Hannover Scorpions upset the Kölner Haie 5-4 (1-2, 2-2, 1-0, 1-0) at KölnArena.

Brandon Reid led the way with a pair of goals and defenseman Darren Van Impe recorded four assists on the night as the Hamburg Freezers jumped out to a 5-2 lead and held off a late rally by the Frankfurt Lions to prevail 5-4 (1-1, 3-0, 1-3) on the road.

Mike York had a goal and two assists as the Iserlohn Roosters erased an early 1-0 deficit to down Grizzly Adams Wolfsburg on the road, 3-1 (0-1, 2-0, 1-0).

Jochen Hecht scored back-to-back goals in the final two minutes as the Mannheim Adler staged a late three-goal rally against ERC Ingolstadt. With an extra attacker on, Devin Edgerton scored from the doorstep to knot the score at 5-5 one second before the final horn. Ingolstadt won the ensuing penalty shootout to claim a 6-5 (2-2, 0-0, 3-3, 1-0) home victory. Cameron Mann was credited with the game-winning score. ERC Ingolstadt apparently thought they had the game in the bag after jumping out to a 5-2 third-period lead on goals by Nicki Mondt (PP), Günter Oswald and Mann.

"Ingolstadt dominated the final period for 15 minutes", said Adler coach Stephane Richer. "I'm very proud of my team. They battled back and found a way to salvage a point (for the regulation tie)."

Goalies Alex Jung and Adam Svoboda both recorded shutouts as the game between the DEG Metro Stars and the Nürnberg Ice Tigers ended in a regulation tie. Herbert Vasiljevs then recorded his second straight game-winning goal when he lifted the Tigers to a 1-0 (0-0, 0-0, 0-0, 1-0) road win after penalty shootout. Winning netminder Svoboda made 28 saves for his third shutout of the season. Düsseldorf's Jung, who stopped 25 shots, recorded his first shutout.

Brian Swanson converted the game-winning penalty shot as the Kassel Huskies defeated the Berlin Eisbären 3-2 (1-0, 0-1, 1-1, 1-0) at home.
Frank Johne

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