Freezers Defeat ERC In 4 Games To Win Series. Will Advance To Play Berlin in the DEL 13 Finals
The finals are set. Hamburg fans are getting their long awaited wish. They are going to meet the defending champion Berlin team in the DEL 2o13 Finals. (Totallyserioussports.com version) It was hard fought and quite a bit of back and forth but the Hamburg team has been the best in the DEL the whole year. Ingolstadt just was not going to slow them down. ERC did put up a valiant fight as the Freezers looked like they had Ingolstadt down and out for a sweep, but could not hold a lead and Hamburg dropped game 3. A late goal and then a goal in OT forced game 4, and Hamburg fans were feeling the nerves as they had to go back to ERC home ice. Game 4 was really a caption of what Hamburg has done all season. They were up 5-0 before the end of the 2nd period on their way to what looked like a surefire route. Then the ERC made a game of it with 4 goals in the 3rd. It was too little too late as the Freezers were able to hold the lead this time and take the victory.
Here is a quick recap:
GAME 3 Ingolstadt ERC 5-4 (OT) over Hamburg Freezers
A Hamburg Newspaper said it all before game 3. Plenty of offense, but goalies Gordon and Curry have to be shaking in their pads at watching their GAA stats continue to go up.
In game 3 the ERC quickly got on the board with a goal by their defenseman Jakub Ficinec. The Freezers answered with 1 of their own, but Ray Macias the ERC’s top defenseman again answered with a goal from the point. Then Brendan Brooks, the Freezers forward took over with 2 consecutive goals to send the Freezers up 3-2. Center Mikhail Kupchik centered on the first 3 Freezers goals. At this point the game got very chippy. Hamburg defenseman Charlie Cook had his best game of the playoffs drilling every ERC player in site. He did a great job in the D zone clearing anyone in a ERC jersey away from the net. One wonders where he has been the whole playoffs. It seemed that Hamburg was going to physically dominate their way to a sweep of the ERC.
Suddenly though the momentum changed when Serge Aubin from Hamburg fought and defeated Petr Fical, the ERC winger. Even though Aubin won the fight, it seemed to change the mindset and will of the ERC. Despite the Hamburg home crowd taunting Fical with the chant of “FECAL”, it did not seen to crush the spirit of the ERC. In the 3rd period they were able to score 2 goals including the game tying goal with about 30 seconds left to send the game to OT. Jeremy Reich was able to flip it over John Curry’s glove side for the tying goal. This did not silence the Hamburg crowd however as the Freezers have pulled OT wins out all playoff season long. But, not this time. In the extra time, ERC top player Joe Motzko took a pass from Greilinger, and hit a fantastic one timer to beat Curry. The goal came on the power play after a bad tripping penalty by Brendan Brooks. For Brooks, it was a bad ending to a well played game. In the dressing room after, you could see the pain as he held his head down for minutes on end and just stared at the floor.
Game 4 Hamburg Freezers 7-4 over Ingolstadt ERC
Game 4 coming back to Ingolstadt appeared to the making of a hotly contested, nasty, chippy game. As with all things playoff what seems to be would not be the case. Hamburg jumped on Ingolstadt and scored early and often. ERC goalie Ian Gordon was getting lit from all different angles. Neither him nor his defense seemed to come to play on this night.
Ryan Stone opened the scoring, followed by Thomas Dolak, followed again by Stone, followed again by Dolak, followed Serge Aubin and then it was 5-0. This was before the end of the 2nd period. The Freezers have been known for mental lapses all season and sure enough they would have another in this game, but the lead was just too big. The ERC did make a game of it scoring 4 times in the 3rd period and would have had a 5th but Curry stopped Jared Ross on a big penalty shot with 3 minutes left in the game. Despite the ERC blitzkrieg the game was already being played with insurmountable odds. Brett Engelhardt scored an empty netter with less than a minute left and that was all she wrote. Hamburg is moving on.
Moving on now is the series all of Germany has been waiting for. Hamburg has the best record, but Berlin is the repeat defending champion. It seems to be an even match of high octane offense vs smart, well played, system defense. Puck will drop for Game 1 in Hamburg.