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Ingolstadt headed to Berlin again
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März 30, 2005; 20:36
Ingolstadt headed to Berlin again
Relegation battle over: Wolfsburg sends Kassel to Division-2
Frank Johne

Cameron Mann's goal early in the 3rd went down as the game-winner in Cologne
 
Cameron Mann's goal early in the 3rd went down as the game-winner in Cologne

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Munich, Germany - ERC Ingolstadt became the last team to advance to the final four with a Game 7 road win over the higher seeded Kölner Haie Wednesday. Ron Kennedy's team is headed to Berlin again where they will face the Berlin Eisbären in a rematch of last year's DEL semifinal series starting Friday. In another dramatic showdown, DEL expansion team Grizzly Adams Wolfsburg edged the Kassel Huskies to win the relegation series. While Wolfsburg has earned the right to play another season in the German Elite League, Kassel will be relegated to Division-2 after eleven years in the top division.
 

Ingolstadt's Martin Jiranek ended an 18-game scoring drought with two tallies at KölnArena
Ingolstadt's Martin Jiranek ended his 18-game scoring drought with a pair of goals
Leading DEL Scorers
(as of Feb 19, 2005)

The DEL semifinals will kick off Friday with defending champion and top-seed Frankfurt Lions hosting the 6th-seeded Mannheim Adler and the 2nd-seeded Berlin Eisbären hosting 5th-seeded ERC Ingolstadt. Both series will be best of five.

Martin Jiranek led the way with a pair of goals as fifth-seeded ERC Ingolstadt completed its upset of the fourth-seeded Kölner Haie with a 5-2 (2-2, 0-0, 3-0) road win in Game 7. After two even periods, Ingolstadt took over in the third. Cameron Mann took a neutral zone pass from Craig Ferguson and ripped a heavy slapshot from just inside the blueline over Rogles' stickside shoulder to give Ingolstadt a 3-2 lead just 38 seconds into the third. Ingolstadt thereafter executed its neutral zone trap to perfection. Craig Ferguson put the game out of reach at 4-2 with under a minute to go, beating Rogles high to the stickside with a wrister on a 2-on-2 rush. An empty-netter from Doug Ast capped the scoring at 5-2 with 28 seconds to go.

Holding a 3-2 lead, Ingolstadt failed to put the game out of reach on a 3:39-minute powerplay midway through the final stanza, including a 21-second two-man advantage. They even caught a lucky break when goalie Jimmy Waite robbed Haie forward Marquis Mathieu 1-on-0. However Cologne could not find a way to overcome Ingolstadt's neutral zone trap and get back into the game.

Jean-Yves Roy put the Haie on the board seven minutes into the tilt. Dave McLlwain dumped the puck into the Ingolstadt zone. ERC goalie Waite got knocked over by Alex Hicks while attempting to play the puck just outside his crease and Roy scored into the wide-open net to give Cologne a 1-0 lead. Martin Jiranek evened the score at 1-1 at the 14-minute mark with his first goal in 19 games. He took the puck in the left corner of the offensive zone, shook off McLlwain while cutting toward the net and beat Rogles with a screened backhander from the slot. The Haie regained the lead, 2-1, when McLlwain re-directed Mirko Lüdemann's blast from center point past ERC goalie Chris Rogles with under four minutes to go in the opening frame. Ingolstadt responded in the final minute of the period. Andy McDonald's forechecking forced a turnover behind the Haie net. Jiranek received the puck near the right boards and took a couple of steps toward center ice before firing a mighty slapshot over Rogles' glovehand for the 2-2 equalizer.

Wolfsburg wins relegation series

Ivan Ciernik scored two goals and an assist as 13th-seeded expansion team Grizzly Adams Wolfsburg held on for a 3-2 (1-1, 2-0, 0-1) Game 7 home win over the 14th-seeded Kassel Huskies to win the best-of-seven DEL relegation series 4-3.

While the comeback from a 3-2 series deficit gives Wolfsburg the right to stay in the German Elite League DEL for another year, Kassel will be relegated to Division-2 after 11 years in the top division.

The game was tied at 1-1 after the first twenty minutes as Wolfsburg's Ciernik and Kassel's Brian Swanson traded goals. The Grizzlies then jumped out to a 3-1 lead on second-period tallies from Ladislav Karabin and Ciernik. Peter Abstreiter brought Kassel back within a goal, 3-2, early in the third, but Wolfsburg managed to protect its lead behind the goaltending of Ty Conklin.
Frank Johne

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