German Olympic forward SVEN FELSKI (11) and two-time defending champion Eisbaeren Berlin were knocked out of the Deutsche Eishockey Liga playoffs at the quarterfinal stage with a stunning 6-2 loss to the Augsburg Panthers at the 02 World Arena in Berlin. (del.org photo)
Veteran Canadian captain STEVE WALKER gave EISBAEREN BERLIN a bright start eight and a half minutes into the rubber match of the Deutsche Eishockey Liga quarterfinal, but German Olympic goaltender DENNIS ENDRAS, once again, proved himself exceptionally difficult to beat as the AUGSBURG PANTHERS bounced the two-time defending German champions out of the playoffs at the 02 World Arena in Berlin.
Augsburg answered Walker’s opening salvo with three goals in the latter stages of the opening session.
For the third time this quarterfinal series, ex-Wisconsin Badger defenseman JEFF LIKENS opened the Panthers’ account — on this occasion with a power play goal in the 15th minute. BRETT ENGELHARDT (Michigan Tech) tacked on another with the man-advantage roughly a minute and a half to give Augsburg its first lead of the day. TYLER BEECHEY, once of the the East Coast Hockey League’s Pensacola Ice Pilots, added the third with three minutes to play in period one.
The German international Felski (11) of Eisbaeren Berlin opposite Augsburg Panthers Canadian import TYLER BEECHEY (16) in the DEL quarterfinals at the 02 World Arena. Beechey, a 28-year-old who spent the majority of his North American professional career in the ECHL never to reach the NHL, registered the official game-winning-goal for Augsburg to remove Berlin from the German playoff picture. (del.org photo)
Eisbaeren, who enjoyed a 16-12 shots-on-goal total in the first period, elevated their attack in serious fashion and would post a domineering 24-5 shots-on-goal ratio for the second session.
Endras, however, beat back everything Berlin sent his way in that middle period .
And, adding to Berlin’s woes was Augsburg leading scorer DARIN OLVER (Northern Michigan Univ), who added yet another Panther goal in the 34th minute on his way to a four-point match.
Former Calgary Flames rearguard RICHIE REGEHR reduced Eisbaeren’s deficit in half with a power play goal nearly nine minutes into the final frame, but Berlin would approach Augsburg no further.
Engelhardt and CHRIS COLLINS (Boston College) added empty-netters for Augsburg in the final two minutes to seal the fate of Eisbaeren, champions of Germany four of the past five seasons.