Regular season ends with thrilling games -
Regular season ends with thrilling games

Regular season ends with thrilling games

08 Mar 2014 | Dennis Mende

Hamburg Freezers win regular season title for the first time; Kölner Haie lose against league leaders and face Mannheim in a DEL classic in the quarterfinals without home advantage; Berlin gets home advantage for pre-playoffs due to Rankel hattrick.


Hamburg Freezers - Kölner Haie 3-1 (0-0, 0-1, 3-0)

Hamburg had won the regular season title already a couple of games before the end of the 2013-14 campaign and earned their ticket for the newly founded Champions Hockey League which starts for the 2014-15 season after playing in the precessor European Trophy in 2012 and 2013. Two matches against Kölner Haie, still in the middle of the fight to qualify directly for the quarterfinals, were reason enough to stay motivated though. On Friday the Freezers extended several franchise records by crossing the prestigious 100 points mark (102), won their 30th game in regulation, their 22nd home game in 26 games etc. !

In front of 12,800 fans Björn Krupp, son of head coach and two time Stanley Cup winner Uwe Krupp, opened the score for the guests from Cologne early in the middle period but within just four minutes Kevin Schmidt and Morten Madsen turned the match around for Hamburg in the second part of the third period. Julian Jakobsen even added a power play goal later for a 3-1 win by the Freezers.

Hamburg now have to play against the worse of the two teams that advance in the pre-playoffs (7th vs 10th, 8th vs 9th) while Cologne with their 11th away loss in the last 13 games will face archrivals Adler Mannheim in the quarterfinals. Instead of finnishing the season as 3rd with a win, they now even lost the home advantage against the Eagles.

Krefeld Pinguine - Nürnberg Ice Tigers 2-4 (1-1, 1-2, 0-1)

With an away win against Krefeld who couldn't improve or lose their second spot anymore, the Nürnberg Ice Tigers earned the 3rd spot in the last match of the regular season whcih gives them the home advantage against the Grizzly Adams Wolfsburg in the quarterfinals. Evan Kaufmann and Fredrik Eriksson gave the guests the lead after an early Krefeld goal by Oliver Mebus before Adam Courchaine scored the equalizer early in the middle period. Tim Schüle and Marvin Krüger made everything clear for Nürnberg then. For Krefeld the season continues in the quarterfinals with the series against the better one of the two teams that advance in the pre-playoffs.

Schwenninger Wild Wings - Adler Mannheim 3-4 SO (1-0, 1-2, 1-1, 0-0, 0-1)

In a close derby everything looked like league newcomers Schwenningen would get a big surprise against former DEL record champions Adler Mannheim. Mark Lee (2) and Marcel Rodman had earned a 1-0 and 3-2 lead for the hosts with goals by Jonathan Rheault and Jochen Hecht for Mannheim in between. With just 43 seconds left to play in regulation and an extra attacker on the ice Steven Wagner forced overtime though. After this one stayed scoreless Martin Buchwieser became the hero for the guests who decided the shootout more or less on his own by scoring twice in his two attempts and making possible the jump to the 4th position past Kölner Haie to earn home advantage in the quarter final series against them. For Schwenningen a difficult first year ends with the 13th and thus second last spot in the DEL standings.

Düsseldorfer EG - Grizzly Adams Wolfsburg 3-1 (3-0, 0-0, 0-1)

The guests from Wolfsburg had by far the best situation before the last matchday of all the candidates still fighting for the 3rd spot but were simply overrun in the first period on the road against dead last Düsseldorfer EG who used all their first three power plays. Andreas Martinsen, Ashton Rome and Coling Long gave Düsseldorf a comfortable 3-0 lead before Jeffrey Likens scored the consolation goal for the guests from Lower Saxony in the last minutes of the match. The third spot was taken by Nürnberg which Wolfsburg now face in the quarterfinals without home advantage. For Düsseldorf the season is over and their management is already planning the roster for the next season with several big changes.

Augsburger Panther - EHC Red Bull München 3-2 SO (0-1, 1-0, 1-1, 0-0, 1-0)

In a Bavarian derby with little importance - Augsburg had missed the playoffs as 11th, München could not lose their 7th spot anymore - both teams showed a good fight that ended with a shootout win for the home side. Matthew Smaby's late equalizer brought the game into overtime after Luigi Caporusso, the discovery of the season for Augsburg, and Michael Connolly, had turned around the early guest lead by Kai Herpich. After a scoreless overtime TJ Trevelyan was the only one to score in the penalty shootout and to give Augsburg the extra point. München have the home advantage when they face Iserlohn in the pre-playoffs, for Augsburg the season is over.  

ERC Ingolstadt  - Eisbären Berlin 1-4 (1-0, 0-3, 0-1)

In the direct fight for the home advantage in the pre playoffs where both teams will meet, Eisbären Berlin had the better end for themselves. John Laliberte opened the score for Ingolstadt with just 8 seconds left on the clock in the first period but Andre Rankel with a hattrick in the middle period - all three goals with assists by TJ Mulock - and Florian Busch with a power play goal in the third period gave the home advantage to DEL record champions Eisbären Berlin who won the last three league titles in 2011, 2012 and 2013.

Straubing Tigers - Iserlohn Roosters 4-1 (1-1, 1-0, 2-0)

A strong Tigers power play avoided that Iserlohn could climb in the table anymore and remained 10th to play the pre-playoffs against EHC Red Bull München wihtout the home advantage Jeffrey Giuliano had early opened the score for Iserlohn but Karl Stewart in a 5 on 3 power play, Blaine Down, René Röthke and Michael Endraß - the last two goals with one man more on the ice - gave Straubing a deserved 4-1 win. Iserlohn still can consider themselves lucky as they avoided playing record champions Eisbären Berlin in the first round which would have been the case if they had won!  For Straubing who end the regular season as 12th the season is over.


Pre-Playoffs (Best of Three):
EHC Red Bull München (7) - Iserlohn Roosters (10)
Eisbären Berlin (8) - ERC Ingolstadt (9)

Quarterfinals (Best of Seven):
Hamburg Freezers (1) - second best team that advances in the pre-playoffs
Krefeld Pinguine (2) - best team that advances in the pre-playoffs
Nürnberg Ice Tigers (3) - Grizzly Adams Wolfsburg (6)
Adler Mannheim (4) - Kölner Haie (5)

The pre-playoffs start already tomorrow, Sunday the 9th, while te quarterfinals start on 16 March 2014.

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