German Elite League Hockey * English coverage of Germany's DEL Deutsche Eishockey Liga
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Goring's Düsseldorf on brink of elimination after late breakdown
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März 7, 2005; 22:00
Goring's Düsseldorf on brink of elimination after late breakdown
Krefeld, Hamburg and Augsburg battling for final two playoff spots - Iserlohn eliminated
Frank Johne

Disappointed: Dusseldorf's coach Butch Goring, a four time Stanley Cup winner with the NY Islanders
Disappointed: Dusseldorf's coach Butch Goring

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Munich, Germany - With two games remaining in the season, the battle for the final two playoff berths in the DEL (Deutsche Eishockey Liga) has become a three-way race. The Iserlohn Roosters (63 points) have been officially eliminated from playoff contention and the DEG Metro Stars (65) are on the brink of elimination after squandering a 3-1 lead in the waning minutes against ERC Ingolstadt. The Hamburg Freezers (71) couldn't stop their free fall and find themselves struggling to hang on to a playoff spot after their fifth straight loss. The streaking Krefeld Pinguine (71) moved into seventh place past Hamburg and the red-hot Augsburger Panther are lurking right behind in ninth place with 70 points.

Marco Sturm's late goal all but eliminated the DEG Metro Stars from playoff contention
Marco Sturm's late goal all but eliminated the DEG Metro Stars from playoff contention
Leading DEL Scorers
(as of Feb 19, 2005)

ERC Ingolstadt scored four unanswered third-period goals, including three within the final 2:36, to erase a 3-0 deficit and beat the DEG Metro Stars on the road, 4-3 (0-2, 0-1, 4-0). Marco Sturm scored on a rush with Andy McDonald and Aaron Ward to cap the amazing comeback with just two seconds left on the clock. Düsseldorf dominated the early going and had a 2-0 lead at the second intermission after tallies from Kevyn Adams and Daniel Kreutzer (2). Jamie Langenbrunner put Ingolstadt on the board early in the third- Düsseldorf appeared to be able to hang on for the win until Doug Ast's goal with 2:36 left brought Ingolstadt within a goal, 3-2. A minute later, McDonald, in his first game back from injury, scored the game-tying goal on a breakaway. With the Metro Stars on their heels, Ingolstadt kept pressing for the late game-winner and got rewarded.

"I have never been in a game like this", said Metro Stars head coach Butch Goring. "It was horrible. We had them right where we wanted 'em and they came back and stole the game from us."

Adryan Grygiel's goal at 3:10 of the middle frame went down as the GWG as the Krefeld Pinguine extended their win streak to five straight games with a 3-1 (1-1, 2-0, 0-0) home victory over the Mannheim Adler. Steve Brulé and Rob Guillet also scored for the Penguins.

Defenseman Mike Pudlick scored on the power-play at 1:52 of the third and Rick Girard added an empty-net goal in the waning seconds as the Augsburger Panther held on for a 4-2 (1-0, 1-1, 2-1) home win over the Kassel Huskies. The Panthers have won four in a row.

Martin Knold's goal early in the third proved to be enough as the Iserlohn Roosters edged the Hamburg Freezers 4-3 (1-0, 2-2, 1-1) on the road.

Derrick Walser tallied the game-winner and two assists as the Berlin Eisbären blanked visiting Grizzly Adams Wolfsburg 5-0 (1-0, 4-0, 0-0). Olaf Kölzig made 26 saves for his second-career DEL shutout. Alex Barta, Stefan Ustorf, Kelly Fairchild and Steve Walker also scored for the Polar Bears, who went 3-for-10 on the man advantage.

The Kölner Haie ended the five-game win streak of the first-place Frankfurt Lions with a 2-0 (2-0, 0-0, 0-0) home win. Paul Traynor and Jean-Yves Roy scored early first-period goals for Cologne. Haie goaltender Chris Rogles made 33 saves for his fifth shutout. In a heated match-up, Frankfurt’s head coach Rich Chernomaz was assessed a game misconduct penalty following a fierce verbal outburst at referee Aumüller. In addition, the Lions coach threw several objects onto the ice.

Adding injury to insult, the Lions lost forward Michael Hackert for the remainder of the season with a broken leg.

Brad Tapper led the way with a pair of goals and an assist as the Nürnberg Ice Tigers rallied from a 3-2 third-period deficit to down the Hannover Scorpions 6-3 (0-1, 2-1, 4-1) at home.

Frankfurt (100 pts) and Berlin (98) have wrapped up home ice for the first round of the playoffs. Nürnberg (94), Ingolstadt (91) and Cologne (89) are still battling for places three to five. Mannheim (80) has locked up the sixth seed.
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