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Tigers, Haie, Eisbaren clinch
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Februar 19, 2005; 12:56
Tigers, Haie, Eisbaren clinch
Big win for Dusseldorf as five teams battle for the 8th and final playoff spot
Frank Johne

Norwegian center Tore Vikingstad scored a hat trick for Dusseldorf
 
Norwegian center Tore Vikingstad scored a hat trick for Düsseldorf

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Munich, Germany - The Nürnberg Ice Tigers find themselves back on top of the DEL standings after the Frankfurt Lions got routed by the DEG Metro Stars Friday. In addition to Frankfurt and Ingolstadt, who had clinched playoff berths Tuesday, Nuremberg, Cologne and Berlin also qualified for the post season, leaving three spots up for grabs with seven games left in the season. While Mannheim and Hamburg appear to be playoff-bound too - barring late season breakdowns - five teams are battling for the eighth and final berth: Düsseldorf (60pts), Krefeld (59), Augsburg (58), Iserlohn (55) and Wolfsburg (54).
 

San Jose Sharks draftee Kai Hospelt sealed Cologne's second shootout win
Kai Hospelt sealed Cologne's second shootout win
Leading DEL Scorers
(as of Feb 19, 2005)

Düsseldorf's DEG Metro Stars moved into 8th place Friday. Tore Vikingstad led the way with a hat trick as they routed the Frankfurt Lions 6-2 (3-1, 3-0, 0-1). on home ice. The Stars were sharp on the power-play, going 4-for-10 on the night. Vikingstad put Düsseldorf on the scoreboard on a 5-on-3 powerplay 2:38 into the tilt. Frankfurt tied the game on a power-play tally by Peter Ratchuk, who deflected in a shot from Stephane Robidas midway through the first. But the Stars added a pair of late power-play goals from Matt Davidson and Daniel Kreutzer to go up 3-1 at the first intermission. Düsseldorf continued to press and extended the lead to 4-1 just 56 seconds into the middle frame on Vikingstad's second goal of the night. The game slowed down before the Metro Stars put the nail in the coffin with a pair of late-second period goals by Vikingstad (PP) and Christian Brittig. The Lions got one more consolation goal, 6-2, when DEL scoring leader Pat Lebeau scored on a two-man advantage 4:49 into the third.

The Kölner Haie squandered an early 2-0 lead but managed to pull off their second OT win of the season, downing the last-place Kassel Huskies 3-2 (2-0, 0-1, 0-1, 1-0) after penalty shootout. Early tallies by Tino Boos and John Coleman put the visiting Haie up 2-0 midway through the opening frame. The Huskies battled back and knotted the score at 2-2 on tallies from David Gosselin and Ted Drury, who cashed in on a two-man advantage with 3:16 left in regulation. Kai Hospelt tallied the game-winner for the Haie in the bonus session.

Defenseman Dale Clarke scored back-to-back third period goals and Xavier Delisle added an empty netter as Grizzly Adams Wolfsburg rallied from a 3-2 deficit to beat ERC Ingolstadt 6-4 (2-1, 1-2, 3-1). Todd Simon (2G, 1A) and Delisle (1G, 2A) each had three-point nights for Wolfsburg. Grizzlies goalie Ty Conklin recorded 42 saves. Ingolstadt's starter Steffen Karg left the game early on after suffering a concession, making way for the DEL debut of 22-year-old Dennis Hipke, who made a solid 29-save effort.

The Berlin Eisbären scored four unanswered goals within the final 8:30 to record a 7-4 (2-2, 1-2, 4-0) come from behin win on the road over the Augsburger Panther. All eleven goals were scored on even-strength. All of Berlin's seven goals were scored by different players. With the game tied 2-2 after twenty minutes, Björn Barta beat Eisbären netminder Oliver Jonas, who started in place of Olaf Kolzig, through the five-hole to give Augsburg a 3-2-at 8:49 of the second. Just 26 seconds later, Francois Method found the back of the net to double the lead to 4-2. Berlin was able to bounce back. Steve Walker brought the Eisbären within a goal, 4-3, before the second intermission. It was all Berlin from there. The Eisbären outshot the Panthers 12-6 in the final stanza. Sven Felski evened the score at 4-4 at the 11:30-mark. Augsburg failed to take advantage of a power-play opportunity and gave the game away when they let Eric Cole drive to the Panther net in vintage fashion and poke the puck past Panthers goalie Jean-Francois Labbé to put Berlin up 5-4 with 4:02 left in the game. Just 24 seconds later, Rob Shearer scored on the rebound off a Nathan Dempsey shot to put the game away. Stefan Ustorf sealed the win with an empty-netter.

After falling behind 2-0 early, Ingolstadt battled back and took a 3-2 lead on a 5-on-3 power-play with a little more than four minutes left in the middle frame. Wolfsburg managed to respond with a power-play tally of its own. Simon's second goal of the night knotted the score at 3-3 just 13 seconds before the second intermission. The Grizzlies came out buzzing and jumped ahead 5-3 on back-to-back goals by Dale Clarke within a span of only 44 seconds in the first two minutes of the final frame. A goal from Craig Ferguson got Ingolstadt within one at 5:57 of the third, 5-4, but Wolfsburg managed to protect the lead behind Conklin's great goaltending. Delisle sealed the win with an empty-net tally 13 seconds before the buzzer.

Martin Knold and Brett Lysak scored late third-period power-play goals and Ralph Intranuovo added an empty-netter as the Iserlohn Roosters erased a 1-0 deficit to beat the Mannheim Adler 3-1 (0-1, 0-0, 3-0) at home. Defenseman Michael Bakos scored on the man advantage to put Mannheim on the scoreboard seven minutes into the game. Iserlohn dominated the game, outshooting Mannheim 39-23 over three periods, but could not solve Adler goalie Cristobal Huet until the second half of the third period. Mannheim came close to doubling its lead to 2-0 late in the second when a shot from Yannick Tremblay rang off the framework. With Mannheim's Bakos in the sin bin, Martin Knold levelled the score with a blueline blast halfway through the third. The Adler continued to hurt themselves with penalties. Minors to Steve Kelly (elbowing) and John Tripp (delay of game) gave the Roosters a two man advantage. Lysak deflected in a hammer from Igor Alexandrov for the eventual game-winner with 3:25 to go. Intranouvo capped the scoring with an empty-net goal at 19:50.
Frank Johne

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