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März 17, 2002; 21:07
Regular season ends
Panthers and Eisbären secure final playoff berths - Three teams fear relegation
Frank Johne

 
Playoff-bound: Marc Fortier of the Berlin Eisbären

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Munich, Germany - With the top three seeds up for grabs and three teams competing for the final two playoff spots, tension was guaranteed as the regular season in the DEL came to a close Sunday.
 

Bavarian derby: Munich’s Kennedy and Augsburg’s Morczinietz will face off against each other in the playoffs
Leading DEL Scorers
(as of Feb 19, 2005)

The Munich Barons secured the top seed and home-ice advantage throughout the playoffs with a 4-3 comeback win after penalty shootout over the Iserlohn Roosters on the road. Last year’s finalist also set a new DEL record for most points in the regular season with 121.

Munich will meet local rival Augsburg in its best-of-five first round playoff series. Mickey Elick, Igor Alexandrov (2), Duane Moeser, Rob Guillet and Jakub Ficinec scored as the Augsburg Panthers secured eight place with an impressive 6-1 home win over Cologne.

Cologne finished sixth. The Haie will face the Krefeld Pinguine, who stayed in third place after defeating the Düsseldorfer EG Metro Stars 2-1 after penalty shootout.

Krefeld’s win also eliminated Düsseldorf, who would have needed a win and a loss by either Augsburg or the Berlin Eisbären. Berlin didn’t do them that favor either. A goal by captain Mark Fortier capped a 3-2 home win against the Revier Löwen Oberhausen.

Finishing seventh, the Eisbären now have to take on defending champion Mannheim Adler. Trailing Munich by only two points before the final gameday, Mannheim tried everything to take the top seed away from the Barons. Rene Corbet, Steve Junker, Ilja Vorobjev, Michel Picard, Yves Racine, Devin Edgerton, Fabian Brännström and Michael Bakos scored as the Adler routed the hapless Berlin Capitals 8-2. The three-point win was not enough, though, as Munich held on to first place thanks to its two point shootout win.

The Kassel Huskies secured fifth place with a 2-0 win at Schwenningen and will be entertained by the fourth-place Nuremberg Ice Tigers in the opening round.

Schwenningen, Berlin Caps, Essen - one team will be relegated

For the first time in the league’s eight-year history, one team will be relegated to the second division. The Schwenningen Wild Wings and Berlin Capitals will decide that in a best-of-seven “playdown series”.

The playdowns might become redundant, though, if the Essen Moskitos get kicked out of the DEL in Monday’s league meeting. The club has filed for bankruptcy on March 1. “That doesn’t automatically disqualify them,” DEL secretary Gernot Tripcke explained, “but if three fourths of the franchise holders vote against them, they’ll be out.”

Postseason matchups:

Munich Barons vs Augsburger Panther
Mannheim Adler vs Eisbären Berlin
Krefeld Pinguine vs Kölner Haie
Nürnberg Ice Tigers vs Kassel Huskies
(best-of-five)

Playdowns:
Berlin Capitals vs Schwenninger Wild Wings
(best-of-seven)
Frank Johne

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