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Champion Frankfurt still alive
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April 8, 2005; 21:37
Champion Frankfurt still alive
Berlin and Mannheim both one win away from DEL Finals
Frank Johne

Back from Montreal: Stephane Robidas return clearly sparked the Lions

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Munich, Germany - updated Defenseman Shawn Heins scored a pair of goals as the 2nd-seeded Berlin Eisbären moved one step closer to their second-straight trip to the DEL Finals Thursday with a Game 3 home win over 5th-seeded ERC Ingolstadt. Defending DEL champion Frankfurt Lions avoided a sweep at the hands of the 6th-seeded Mannheim Adler. Doug Weight recorded three points as the Lions managed to stay alive in their best-of-five semifinal series and force a fourth game Sunday.

Berlin's Shawn Heins notched a pair of goals in Thursday's win over Ingolstadt
Berlin's Shawn Heins notched a pair of goals in Thursday's win over Ingolstadt
Leading DEL Scorers
(as of Feb 19, 2005)

Heins scores twice as Berlin goes up 2-1

The Berlin Eisbären carried the momentum of Sunday's Game 2 road win into Game 3. Shawn Heins' power-play goal with 26 seconds left in the second period went down as the game-winner as Berlin defeated ERC Ingolstadt at home, 4-2 (2-0, 1-2, 1-0) to take a 2-1 lead in the best-of-five series.

Berlin came out flying and jumped out to 2-0 lead halfway through the opening stanza. Just a second after a penalty to Ingolstadt's Alexander Polaczek expired, Denis Pederson buried the rebound of a wrister by Stefan Ustorf that bounced off the crossbar to give Berlin a 1-0 lead at the 6:47-mark. The "Polar Bears" doubled the score to 2-0 three minutes later when Heins scored on a 2-on-1 break with Ustorf after a neutral zone turnover by Ingolstadt's Glen Goodall.

Ingolstadt took over in the middle frame. Doug Ast redirected a pass from Ken Sutton to Marco Sturm who beat Eisbären goalie Oliver Jonas 1-on-0 with a low shot to the stick side to put Ingolstadt on the board 2:56 into the middle frame. Ingolstadt knotted the score at 2-2 on a power-play opportunity with 5:00 left in the second period. Berlin's Alex Barta and Frank Hördler both lost their sticks during the penalty kill and Ingolstadt blueliner Jakub Ficenec faked a point shot and then played a pass to the right slot where Doug Ast surprised Jonas with a nice turnaround move.

Thanks to Ingolstadt's lack of discipline, the Berlin Eisbären regained the lead before the second intermission, cashing in on the second of back-to-back power-play chances. ERC managed to kill off a cross-checking penalty to Ken Sutton. But with Phil von Stefenelli in the sin bin for roughing, Heins skated out of the right corner and ripped home a bad-angle wrister from the right face-off circle to put the Eisbären up –3-2 with 26 seconds to go in the period.

With Ingolstadt pressing for the equalizer, Eisbären youngster Florian Busch put the game out of reach, going top-shelf on Jimmy Waite on the breakaway to make it 4-2 with 4:35 left in the game.

Ingolstadt played without center Andy McDonald, who was serving a one-game suspension for spearing, and Cameron Mann, who was serving the first game of a four-game suspension for headbutting. Berlin's Eric Cole, who was serving the last game of a six-game ban for a check to the head, will return in Sunday's Game 4.

Champion Frankfurt still alive

The top-seeded Frankfurt Lions jumped out to a 4-0 lead and just managed to hold off a late comeback by the 6th-seeded Mannheim Adler to prevail 4-3 (2-0, 1-0, 1-3) at home, cutting Mannheim's series lead to 2-1.

With defenseman Stephane Robidas back in the line-up, Frankfurt was very sharp on the power-play, going 3-for-4 on the night. Robidas had a goal and an assist on the night, teammate Doug Weight assisted on three goals. Robidas had missed five straight games for personal reasons, visiting his highly pregnant wife in Montreal.

Joe Murphy opened the scoring, 1-0, with an even-strength tally 5:14 into the tilt. On a rush, Murphy tucked home the rebound after a slapper from Martin Reichel from the left face-off circle. The Lions added three consecutive power-play goals by Jason Young, Stephane Robidas and Dwayne Norris to go up 4-0.

Young batted home the puck out of mid-air to double Frankfurt's lead to 2-0 just 62 seconds after Murphy's tally. Stephane Robidas made it 3-0 on a two-man advantage midway through the middle frame, blasting a one-timer from the deep left slot over Cristobal Huet's glove-side shoulder. Frankfurt appeared to have the game wrapped up when Dwayne Norris scored on a power-play rush 2:42 into the final frame, squeezing the puck between Huet's left pad and the goal post after a centering feed from Doug Weight to make it 4-0.

The Mannheim Adler regrouped and managed to stage a rally, led by Jochen Hecht, who had two goals and an assist. Hecht put Mannheim on the board, 4-1, at the 6:21-mark. On the man advantage, he found the back of the net when the Lions failed to clear the puck after a point shot by Yannick Tremblay. Just two minutes later, René Corbet scored on a 2-1 rush with Hecht. The Adler kept going and cut the lead to 4-3 when Hecht's soft wrister from the left face-off circle slipped through Ian Gordon's pads with 8:06 remaining.

Mannheim's quick three-goal rally put the Lions on their heels. But Frankfurt managed to hold off the late charge. Ironically, it was Hecht who wasted Mannheim's biggest chance for the equalizer, missing wide right on a backhand shot from the left slot with under a minute to go.
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