Coming off Tuesday's emotional Game 7 win over Ingolstadt, the 7th-seeded Hannover Scorpions
dominated the early going at Berlin's Wellblechpalast. Fatigue became a factor as the game wore along, though, and the top-seeded Berlin Eisbären
, who had a week's rest, managed to erase a 3-1 deficit to win 4-3 in overtime where Steve Walker send a knuckling wrister past Trevor Kidd's glove hand just 39 seconds in to give Berlin a 1-0 lead in the best-of-five series.
Berlin's Czech netminder Tomas Pöpperle, who recorded 21 saves on the night, was not on top of his game early on. Hanover jumped out to a 2-0 lead midway through the opening period as Marty Murray and Patrik Augusta tallied back-to-back just 27 seconds apart. Murray beat Pöpperle high to the stick side with a one-timer from the left point. Then Patrik Augusta re-directed a pass from Patrick Köppchen from the left boards over Pöpperle's glove to double the lead to 2-0. With only 24 seconds left in the first, a short-handed goal by Mark Beaufait put the Eisbären on the scoreboard. He beat Scorpions goalie Kidd with a low wrist shot on a shorthanded 3-on-2 rush after a nice give-and-go with defenseman Micki DuPont. Hanover regained a two-goal lead when Robert Hock beat Pöpperle with a wrap-around on the power-play at the 8:29-mark of the second. The Scorpions then failed to extend their lead on a two-man advantage. At the other end of the ice, Berlin seized a power-play opportunity to get within a goal. With under five minutes left in the second, Deron Quint re-directed a pass from Walker under the crossbar to make it 3-2. At 10:00 of the third, Eisbären defenseman Frank Hördler connected on a slapshot to send the game into overtime.
The 3rd-seeded DEG Metro Stars
are also up 1-0 in their semifinal series against arch-rival Kölner Haie
. The long rest after their first-round sweep of Nuremberg did not seem to favour the Haie. Düsseldor jumped out to a 3-0 lead and held on for a 3-2 win at Brehmstrasse Arena. Klaus Kathan opened the scoring at the 8:32-mark, beating Haie goaltender Thomas Greiss after a pass from Thomas Jörg. The Metro Stars patiently waited for opportunities to open up. Craig Johnson (at 1:31 of the second) and Peter Ferraro (at 9:31) both scored on counterattacks to give Düsseldorf a 3-0 lead. Ferraro sped down the left wing and beat Greiss with a high wrister to the glove side. The Haie responded late in the period, cutting the lead to 3-2 within a span of 44 seconds. Alex Hicks found the back of the net on the power-play and Jan Alinc beat DEG goalie Andrej Trefilov on a penalty shot. Thanks to Trefilov's goaltending, the Stars held off Cologne's third period charge.