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Cologne one win away from semis
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März 21, 2006; 23:43
Cologne one win away from semis
Berlin, Ingolstadt rally - Duisburg up 2-0 over Kassel
Frank Johne

Canadian defenseman Micki DuPont of the Berlin Polar Bears Eisbaren
 
Micki DuPont's goal capped Berlin's rally

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Munich, Germany - The Kölner Haie are only one win away from the DEL semi-finals after rallying for an overtime win at Nuremberg Sunday. In Berlin, the top-seeded Eisbären even managed to erase a two-goal deficit to take a 2-1 lead in their best-of-seven series. ERC Ingolstadt and the DEG Metro Stars also recorded home victories to go up 2-1 in their respective first-round series. In the relegation battle, the Duisburg Füchse squandered an early three-goal lead but bounced back with an overtime win.
 

Czech defender Jakub Ficenec of the Ingolstadt Panthers
Ingolstadt's Jakub Ficenec tallied back-to-back, just 38 seconds apart
Leading DEL Scorers
(as of Feb 19, 2005)

The 4th-seeded Nürnberg Ice Tigers were just a little over three minutes away from their first postseason win when Jason Pollock was sent to the sin bin for tripping. Defenseman Mirko Lüdemann cashed in on the opportunity, knotting the contest at 3-3 and Bill Lindsay scored 3:21 into the ensuing overtime period to lift the 5th-seeded Kölner Haie to a 4.3 road win at ArenaNürnberg, giving Cologne a commanding 3-0 series lead.

The Haie shocked Nuremberg early on when Dave McLlwain scored on a shorthanded breakaway with the Tigers up by two men. Greg Leeb evened the score at 1-1 early in the middle frame, but it took Cologne less than a minute to reclaim the lead on an even-strength tally from Alex Hicks. The Tigers knotted the score at 2-2 with a power-play goal from captain Tomas Martinec less than two minutes before the final intermission. Things got even better for the hosts when Robert Döme beat Haie goalie Thomas Greiss with a bad-angle shot to give the Tigers a 3-2 lead 5:23 into the third. Lüdemann's late power-play tally sent the contest into overtime. Nuremberg failed to convert on a power-play opportunity of their own and just 22 seconds later, Lindsay sealed the deal for Cologne.

Mark Beaufait and Sven Felski each recorded a goal and three assists on the night as the top-seeded Berlin Eisbären rallied from a 4-2 third-period deficit to down the 8th-seeded Krefeld Pinguine 5-4 and take a 2-1 lead in the series. The visiting Penguins dominated the first two periods, but the momentum shifted early on in the final stanza when Steve Walker and Denis Pederson scored even-strength goals just 22 seconds apart. Walker beat Krefeld's goalie Robert Müller with a shot from the slot and Pederson made an acrobatic dive to tuck the puck across the goal line at 3:14 of the third. Defender Micki Du Pont added the eventual game-winner at 7:23, knocking a screened shot through Müller's pads. The Eisbären caught a big break in the waning seconds when referee Roland Aumüller took Krefeld's apparent equalizer off the board after video review as Chris Herperger's skate appeared to have entered the crease before the puck. Penguins duo Rob Guillet and Haralds Vasiljevs also had four-point nights, each posting a goal and three assists.

Czech defenseman Jakub Ficenec had an assist and a pair of goals, including the eventual game-winner at 16:21 of the middle frame, as 2nd-seeded ERC Ingolstadt rallied from an early 2-0 deficit to crush the 7th-seeded Hannover Scorpions 6-2 at home, going up 2-1 in the series. Ingolstadt's Günter Oswald recorded two goals and two assists on the night, fellow forward Florian Keller tallied three assists. The game was not as lop-sided as the score may indicate. Both teams managed 34 shots on net, but special teams and goaltending won the game for Ingolstadt. While Hanover went 0-for-7 on the night, Ingolstadt was 3-for-10 on the power-play. Goalie Jimmy Waite made 32 saves. Goals from 43-year old Wally Schreiber and Steve Guolla put the Scorpions up 2-0. The momentum shifted in the second period. Oswald's first of two power-play goals got Ingolstadt on the board at the 8:27-mark of the second period. A vintage Ficenec blueline blast knotted the score on a 4-on-3 advantage at 15:43. Ingolstadt kept coming and added two more goals late in the second period. Ficenec connected on a one-timer just 38 seconds after his first tally and Martin Jiranek went top-shelf after a nice setup by Florian Keller and Oswald to make it 4-2 8 seconds before the intermission. Ingolstadt struck again in the final two minutes of regulation. Goals by captain Glen Goodall and Oswald (5-on-3 PP) completed the 6-2 rout.

Craig Johnson tallied a pair of goals, including an empty-netter in the waning seconds, as the 3rd-seeded DEG Metro Stars skated past the 6th-seeded Hamburg Freezers 4-1 at Düsseldorf's Brehmstrasse Arena to go up 2-1 in the series. Johnson, who also recorded an assist, scored the only power-play goal of the game when he beat Freezers netminder Roman Cechmanek for the eventual game-winner at 13:09 of the second period.

Shawn McNeil scored 96 seconds into overtime as the 14th-ranked Duisburg Füchse took a 2-0 lead in the relegation series with a 5-4 home victory over the 13th-ranked Kassel Huskies. McNeil's tally saved the day for the Foxes, who had squandered an early 4.1 lead.
Frank Johne

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