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Augsburg rallies for late win
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März 5, 2005; 12:44
Augsburg rallies for late win
1st place Frankfurt cracks 100-point mark - Iserlohn on brink of elimination
Frank Johne

Former Nashville Predator Denis Pederson notched a hat trick for Berlin
 
Denis Pederson notched a hat trick for Berlin

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Munich, Germany - With Hamburg and Düsseldorf stumbling, the Augsburger Panther pulled off a big win in the race for a playoff spot Friday. Augsburg scored three late goals within a 65-second span to beat the Wolfsburg Grizzlies, who find themselves in the midst of the relegation battle with only three games left in the regular season. Elsewhere in the Deutsche Eishockey Liga (DEL) Friday, the Frankfurt Lions extended their win streak to five straight games and became the first team to crack the 100-point mark. The Kölner Haie revived their hopes of home ice advantage with their first win in four games.
 

Rich Brennan's late GWG has moved Augsburg within one point of a playoff spot
Rich Brennan's late GWG has moved Augsburg within one point of a playoff spot
Leading DEL Scorers
(as of Feb 19, 2005)

Defenseman Rich Brennan scored on a two-man advantage with 4:35 left and Mike Pudlick and Francois Methot added goals as the Augsburger Panther came from behind to beat Grizzly Adams Wolfsburg 4-1 (0-0, 1-1, 3-0) on the road.

The loss not only eliminated expansion team Wolfsburg from playoff contention. At 54 points, Wolfsburg is in the thick of the relegation battle with the Hannover Scorpions (54) and Kassel Huskies (50), who both recorded big wins. At the end of the regular season, the two last place teams in the standings will face each other in a best-of-seven series - the so-called "DEL Playdowns" - with the loser being relegated to Division-2.

The firing of head coach Dave King appeared to have little effect on the slumping Hamburg Freezers. With Mike Schmidt making his debut behind the bench, the Freezers failed to capitalize on an early 1-0 lead and fell to the Hannover Scorpions, 5-2 (3-1, 0-0, 2-1). Andreas Morczinietz's goal at 19:12 of the opening period went down as the game-winner for the hosts.

With three games to go, four teams are still alive in the battle for the two remaining playoff spots: Hamburg (71), Krefeld (68), Augsburg (67) and Düsseldorf (65).

The Iserlohn Roosters' (60) playoff hopes are only mathematical after a 6-3 (4-1, 1-1, 1-1) home loss to the Berlin Eisbären. Denis Pederson recorded a hat trick and Kelly Fairchild had a pair of goals for Berlin.

Brian Swanson led the way with three goals and two assists as the Kassel Huskies snapped their franchise-long nine-game losing streak with a 6-3 (1-1, 2-1, 3-1) home win over the DEG Metro Stars.

The fifth-place Kölner Haie revived their hopes for home-ice advantage in the first round of the DEL playoffs. The Haie trail fourth-place ERC Ingolstadt, which was idle Friday, by only two points after a 4-2 (2-1, 0-0, 2-1) home victory over the Mannheim Adler. Jean-Yves Roy tallied a pair of goals for the Haie.

Doug Weight notched his second game-winner in four games. He scored on the power-play with 4:29 remaining and Jason Young added an empty-netter to lift the first-place Frankfurt Lions to their fifth-straight win, 5-3 (1-1, 1-1, 3-1) over the visiting Nürnberg Ice Tigers.
Frank Johne

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