Title favorite EHC Red Bull Munich started the playoff semi-finals of the German Ice Hockey League confidently against the Grizzlies Wolfsburg. Coach Don Jackson's team clinched the first of the four wins in the best-of-seven series needed to progress 5-2 (2-0, 2-2, 1-0).
The Adler Mannheim also started with a win and won at ERC Ingolstadt 3:1 (0:0, 0:1, 3:0). Both series continue on Sunday in Wolfsburg (1.15 p.m.) and Mannheim (4.30 p.m./both MagentaSport).
Munich with a strong initial phase
The cornerstone for Munich's deserved success was a strong early phase, in which the well-rested main round winner shot from all positions. The Wolfsburg, who only reached the semi-finals on Wednesday with a win in the seventh quarter-finals in Straubing, found their way into the game late.
Trevor Parkes (2nd minute), Emil Johansson (7th), Maximilian Kastner (28th), Andreas Eder (29th) and Yasin Ehliz (54th) scored the goals for Munich. Wolfsburg were only successful thanks to Matthew Lorito (23') and an own goal by Munich goalkeeper Mathias Niederberger (40'), which was officially awarded to Gerrit Fauser.
ERC change mistake decides game in Ingolstadt
In Ingolstadt it was much closer. A mistake made by the ERC didn't decide the game until late. As a result, Mannheim's national player Lean Bergmann suddenly had a lot of space before his decisive goal to make it 2-1 (58th), which goalkeeper Kevin Reich didn't seem untenable.
Ingolstadt had to do without the regular keeper Michael Garteig, who has been so strong in the playoffs. The 31-year-old Canadian was checked by DEG defender Alec McCrea after the game when the ERC reached the semifinals against Düsseldorfer EG a week ago.
In the third Mannheim goal by Stefan Loibl (59th), Ingolstadt had already taken goalkeeper Reich off the ice in favor of another field player. Ingolstadt's lead by Tye McGinn (21st) was equalized by Ryan MacInnis (52nd) for Mannheim after a dream pass from Taro Jentzsch.