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Kölner Haie sweep Nuremberg
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März 24, 2006; 02:44
Kölner Haie sweep Nuremberg
Berlin up 3-1, other series tied at 2-2
Frank Johne

 
1st round exit: Nuremberg's first-year coach Benoit Laporte is experiencing the same fate as his predecessors

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Munich, Germany - Defenseman Brad Schlegel recorded three assists as the 5th-seeded Kölner Haie completed their first-round sweep of the 4th-seeded Nürnberg Ice Tigers with a 6-2 at KölnArena. In other first-round action in the DEL playoffs Tuesday, defending champion Berlin Eisbären recorded its third straight win over Krefeld and is only one win away from joining the Haie in the semis. Meanwhile, the other two series are wide-open. Both Hanover and Hamburg recorded home wins to knot their respective series at 2-2. In the relegation series, the Kassel Huskies regained some hope with a comeback victory over Duisburg.
 

Brad Tapper of the Hanover Scorpions
Brad Tapper's late goal lifted Hanover over Ingolstadt
Leading DEL Scorers
(as of Feb 19, 2005)

Bill Lindsay scored his second game-winner of the series as the 5th-seeded Kölner Haie bounced back from an early 1-0 deficit to crush the 4th-seeded Nürnberg Ice Tigers 6-2 on home ice and complete their first-round sweep. This marks the sixth straight year that Nuremberg failed to make it beyond the first round of the playoffs. Facing elimination, the Ice Tigers got off to a good start, taking a 1-0 lead on Greg Leeb’s powerplay goal 4:37 into the contest. But the Haie responded just 22 seconds later when Kai Hospelt beat JF Labbe to make it 1-1. A flood of penalties against Nuremberg led to two more first-period goals by the Haie. Alex Hicks and Bill Lindsay each scored 5-on-3 powerplays to give the hosts a 3-1 lead at the first intermission. Eduard Lewandowski even extended the lead to 4-1 on Cologne's third and final power-play tally of the night at 6:22 of the second. The Tigers managed to close the gap to two goals when Michel Periard scored on the man advantage midway through the period, but an early third-period score from youngster Philip Gogulla put the game out of reach early in the third. Ivan Ciernik rounded out the scoring at 6-2 with under two minutes to go in regulation.

Defending DEL champion Berlin Eisbären is just one win away from a trip to the semifinals. The top-seeded team crushed the 8th-seeded Krefeld Pinguine 5-2 on the road to take a commanding 3-1 lead in the series. Czech goalie Tomas Pöpperle had another solid night for the Eisbären, turning aside 31 of the 33 shots he faced. At the other end of the ice, Krefeld's Robert Müller allowed 5 goals on 18 shots. Berlin jumped out to an early 2-0 lead. Defenseman Frank Hördlers connected on a blueline blast at 7:34 and Steve Walker tallied his fourth goal in as many games on a power play at 12.51. The Eisbären struggled defensively though and allowed the Penguins to bounce back in the middle frame. They knotted the score at two apiece on a shorthander by Dave Tomlinson and a power-play tally from Ted Drury. Berlin managed to finish the second period on a good note though, regaining the lead on a late power-play goal from Drake Berehowsky, who hammered a shot under the crossbar. Youngster Tobias Draxinger put the game out of reach with his first-career DEL-goal when he beat Robert Müller on the breakaway to make it 4-2 with 9:30 left in regulation. Two other young prospects teamed up for the final goal of the contest. Christoph Gawlik scored on a two-on-one rush alongside Florian Busch, one-timing the puck past Müller to cap the scoring at 5-2 with under four minutes to go.

Brad Tapper's goal with 2:16 to go in regulation lifted the 7th-seeded Hannover Scorpions over 2nd-seeded ERC Ingolstadt at Hanover's TUI Arena. The series is knotted at 2-2. The game seemed to be bound for overtime when ERC captain Glen Goodall re-directed a point shot from Chris Armstrong past Scorpions netminder Trevor Kidd to tie the score at 2-2 with 2:37 left in regulation. But Hanover responded right away. A wrap-around attempt by Steve Guolla got denied by Ingolstadt's goalie Jimmy Waite. But Guolla regained possession of the puck and found Tapper in the slot who one-timed a low shot past Waite's stickhand.

Ingolstadt drew first blood when Cameron Mann scored on the power-play at the 14:22-mark of the opening frame, tucking home the rebound after Ken Sutton's high wrister from center point ricocheted off the backboards. But the Hannover Scorpions tied the score just 32 seconds later with a powerplay tally of their own when Andreas Morczinietz redirected in a shot from Shawn Heins. With ERC duo Florian Keller and Jason Holland in the sin bin, Guolla received a long pass from his goalie Trevor Kidd at the opposing blueline, skated into the right slot and beat Waite with a deflected low wrist shot from the right faceoff circle to make it 2-1.

Jeff Ulmer had two goals as the 6th-seeded Hamburg Freezers tied up their first-round series against the 3rd-seeded DEG Metro Stars at 2-2 with a 3-2 home win at ColorLine Arena.

Jeff's brother Jason Ulmer also notched a pair of goals as the 13th-ranked Kassel Huskies regained some hope in the relegation series. After falling behind 2-0 early on, Kassel scored three unanswered goals to come back for a 3-2 home win, cutting Duisburg's series lead to 2-1.
Frank Johne

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