Kölner Haie shock Mannheim in Game 1

Kölner Haie shock Mannheim in Game 1

Markus Nisius09 Mar 2016Markus Nisius»

The duel of the disappointed between Köln and Mannheim was the highlight of the first playoff round tonight in the DEL. And the Sharks had a lot to offer for their home crowd.


Kölner Haie vs Adler Mannheim definitely sounds like a proper DEL final. And actually both teams were expected to be found atop the league around march, but for various reasons they could not live up to expectations this year. And so the hockey gods wanted to make the DEL pre-playoffs a bit more interesting by matching the two powerhouses in the same series.

After a little feel out period the Sharks started to take control of the game. It took them 7:55 minutes to open the scoring. Philip Gogulla initiated a nice give and go with Johannes Salmonsson to find an almost open net and bring the Sharks ahead. Mannheim got even more nervous now. 6 minutes later Charlie Stephens took advantage of that. Daniel Syvret and Per Aslund managed to open up a lot of space by only 2 passes and Stephens could get the puck past Ray Emery in the Eagles' net.

The first three minutes of the second period should see three goals in total. With a Sharks powerplay just expired Syvret found Gogulla again on the far post to give the Sharks a 3-0 lead. On the other side Christoph Ullmann missed the puck on a shot attempt, but in the end it served him as a deke and his second try went through traffic right into the net to get Mannheim on the board. However, just 17 seconds later Patrick Hager reestablished the old lead with some stick handling skill in front of goalie Youri Ziffzer, who had substituted Emery after the third goal.

It looked like a decision already, but Mannheim came back at the end of the period. At the 15:19 mark Sinan Akdag outplayed two Sharks, cut into the slot and beat Gustav Wesslau for the second Eagles' goal. With 2 minutes to go Ullmann got his second marker tapping in a rebound off a Kai Hospelt shot and suddenly it was just one goal left.

In the last period Mannheim kept applying pressure, especially in the lone powerplay they had in the game, yet Wesslau and his defence could withstand everything. In the final minutes Gogulla and Moritz Müller added two empty net goals for a 6-3 win. For Gogulla the empty netter marked a hattrick as well.

Straubing steals home advantage

Similar as Köln and Mannheim, the team from Ingolstadt is also looking for a way to give a bad season a good end. So the pressure was on Ingolstadt's side, while Straubing had nothing to loose. And that was obvious. 2 minutes in, Sean O'Connor got the Tigers ahead and 12 minutes later Martin Hinterstocker could double the lead. A shot advantage of 12-5 in the first period for Straubing indicated which team was dominating.

In the second period Ingolstadt could even the shot statistic and got a result when Petr Taticek scored the first ERC goal of the playoffs. But Maury Edwards and Thomas Brandl answered shortly after with two goals for Straubing to give them a 4-1 lead in the second intermission.

The last period saw Ingolstadt coming back with two goals through John Laliberte and again Taticek, only they missed out on getting the equalizer. So Straubing gets the first road win and can now close the series at home on friday.

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