The Düsseldorfer EG and the Fischtown Pinguins from Bremerhaven are only one step away from the playoff quarterfinals in the German ice hockey league. Promoted Löwen Frankfurt and the Nuremberg Ice Tigers around old star Patrick Reimer, on the other hand, are already threatened with the end of the season on Friday.
At the start of the first playoff round, DEG defeated the Löwen 5-0 (0-0, 3-0, 2-0) and Bremerhaven Nuremberg 3-1 (1-0, 0-1, 2-0). Since two wins in the pre-playoffs are enough to advance, both teams can already do everything on Friday in Frankfurt and Nuremberg. Any necessary decision-making games would then take place again on Sunday in Düsseldorf and Bremerhaven.
The winners of both series will play next week in the playoff quarterfinals against the main round winner EHC Red Bull Munich and the runner-up ERC Ingolstadt. From the quarterfinals onwards, the playoffs will be played in best-of-seven format for the first time since 2019. Four wins are then necessary to progress.
DEG clearly better, game in Bremerhaven much tighter
In Düsseldorf, DEG was clearly better at the start against the promoted team from Frankfurt, where top scorer Dominik Bokk was still injured. Alexander Blank (32nd minute), Cedric Schiemenz (34th) with a deflected shot, Stephen MacAulay (37th) after a blatant mistake by goalkeeper Jake Hildebrand, captain Alex Barta (44th) in his 1004th DEL game and Daniel Fischbuch (57th) in the majority scored the hits.
In Bremerhaven it was much tighter. Match winner was Jan Urbas with three goals (1st, 49th, 59th). He scored the third goal into the empty Nuremberg goal. The decisive second goal came in excess. Daniel Schmölz (2:1) had meanwhile equalized for the Ice Tigers, also outnumbered. Ex-national player Reimer's career could already come to an end on Friday. The 40-year-old Olympic silver medalist from 2018 is retiring at the end of the season.