Cologne Sharks Cannot Capitalize – ERC Ingolstadt Series Even

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KOELNER HAIE could not take advantage of its opportunity on home ice and allowed ERC Ingolstadt to even the Deutsche Eishockey Liga quarterfinal qualification series with a 3-2 victory in overtime at the Lanxess Arena.

Czechoslovak-born German Olympic defenseman JAKUB FICENEC, who played junior hockey in British Columbia before skating 125 games (24 go 27 as, 51 pts, 77 pim) for the Portland Pirates in the American Hockey League at the beginning of the millenium, found the back of net for Ingolstadt in the 14th minute on the power play.

Ingolstadt once again applied a great deal of pressure in the opening period, but, once again, as in the playoff opener, Koelner Haie goalkeeper NORM MARACLE managed to keep his club in the match with fifteen saves.

Five seconds following the midpoint of the game, forward RICK GIRARD added another goal for Ingolstadt, again with a Cologne Shark seated in the penalty box. For Girard, the former Canadian junior international who spent three seasons with the AHL’s Syracuse Crunch (159 ga, 44 go 62 as, 106 pts, 74 pim) in the mid-1990s, it marked his second goal in as many games against Maracle. The Sharks’ puckstopper, of course, put in four AHL seasons himself in the mid-90s for the Adirondack Red Wings.

Koelner Haie did respond in the second half of the second period.

Mid-season free agent signing MARC CHOUINARD, who hit the post in the 32nd minute, drew Cologne within one with a goal five minutes from the end of the second session. Chouinard collected his first DEL playoff goal after a fine pass from the Czech forward DUSAN FROSCH.

With less than a minute to go in the middle period, Norwegian Olympic defenseman MATS TRYGG tied the score with the Sharks skating on the man-advantage.

In the third, Maracle was again a major factor with a further fourteen saves; the one-time Stanley Cup winner enjoyed another outstanding game for Koelner Haie and ended with an even 50 saves for the night. Meanwhile, German Olympic goaltender DIMITRI PAETZOLD rebounded from a dreadful performance in the playoff opener and also kept a cleansheet for ERC Ingolstadt. The former San Jose Sharks farmhand finished with 29 saves.

Thus, an extra session was required.

Ingolstadt dominated overtime as evidenced by the lopsiped 7-1 shots-on-goal total. Trygg would take a controversial penalty for Koelner Haie at the 8:18 mark of overtime. And so, with just 27 seconds left in added time, Ficenec facilitated the winner for Ingolstadt with his second goal of the game and tied the playoff series with Koeln at one win apiece.

A crowd of 9,293 turned out what for could be the final game of the season at the 18,500-seat Lanxess Arena Friday night in Cologne.

A final, winner-take-all match between Koelner Haie and ERC Ingolstadt will be contested Sunday at the SATURN ARENA in Ingolstadt, Bavaria.

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One Cologne Shark leapfrogs another during Deutsche Eishockey League playoff action at the Lanxess Arena. At left for Ingolstadt is former University of Minnesota defenseman BEN CLYMER (7), a veteran of 438 NHL games (52 go 77 as, 129 pts, 367 pim) for the Tampa Bay Lightning and Washington Capitals. Clymer arrived in Germany to start this season from Belarussian club Dynamo Minsk of the Kontinental Hockey League. (Bild.de photo)

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