Playoff parties in Mannheim and Ingolstadt, tears in the Düsseldorf EG: On Friday there was plenty of drama and emotion in the DEL playoffs. The favorites are back on track.
Crazy playoff tension in the German Ice Hockey League and possibly an abrupt career end for ex-national player Alex Barta: With comebacks that were hardly thought possible, the Adler Mannheim and the ERC Ingolstadt caused enthusiasm on Friday.
After a 40-minute gala and a 6:3 lead by Düsseldorfer EG, Ingolstadt was the first team to advance to the semi-finals early with 7:6 after extra time (1:2, 2:4, 3:0). The Adler also turned a 0:3 deficit against the Kölner Haie into a 4:3 (0:0, 1:3, 3:0) and can now follow in the semi-finals on Sunday. The same applies to top favorites EHC Red Bull Munich and the Straubing Tigers.
The more than 20-year professional career of DEG captain Barta ended in a turbulent way in Ingolstadt, for whom two assists and a goal of his own were not enough to win. “It’s just bitter and sad, I’d like to start crying,” said the 40-year-old attacker, who already looked like the sure winner with DEG, at MagentaSport. Barta’s contract in Düsseldorf ended with the end of the season. Barta did not want to talk about his future after 1010 DEL games shortly after the game.
After a strong two-thirds of the DEG, ERC coach Mark French surprisingly got his hitherto strong keeper Michael Garteig off the ice for Kevin Reich. With that, the Canadian provided the hoped-for wake-up moment for his team, who only played for one goal in the last third and were rewarded for it. Ty Ronning’s equalizer saved Ingolstadt into overtime nine seconds before the end of regulation time, in which Stefan Matteau scored for the decisive fourth win in the best-of-seven series.
Continued on Sunday
In the other three series, there will be a sixth game on Sunday. In the spectacular quarter-final series Mannheim against Cologne, the Eagles managed their first home win ever – and how. The Haie also looked like the sure winner with a 3-0 win in the middle section, but Mannheim fought back. With his second goal, David Wolf seemed to have put the Eagles into overtime 32 seconds before the end of regular time, but Nicolas Krämmer even managed the enthusiastically acclaimed victory just 13 seconds later. “It shows a lot of character. It was unbelievable today,” said international striker Wolf.
Title top favorite Munich finally turned his series against the Fischtown Pinguins. After the surprising two opening defeats against Bremerhaven, the third win in a row came on Friday with 4:0 (1:0, 3:0, 0:0). After the 5-0 (0-0, 3-0, 2-0) against the Grizzlys Wolfsburg, the Straubing Tigers can also look forward to their first semi-final in eleven years.
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