Red Bull Munich and ERC Ingolstadt have turned the semi-final series in the German Ice Hockey League (DEL) and are only one win away from reaching the final.
Main round winner Munich defeated the Grizzlys Wolfsburg in the fifth game of the best-of-seven series 3-2 after overtime and is also 3-2 ahead overall. The ERC approached the possible first all-Bavarian final since 1935 (Riessersee vs. Füssen) with a 4:1 win against Adler Mannheim. Ingolstadt also leads with 3:2 wins.
Munich had won the first duel, but then lost two games in a row. The equalizer came on Thursday in Wolfsburg, and the three-time champion and runner-up from the previous season took command again.
Game six will be played in Wolfsburg on Easter Monday (2:15 p.m.). The Eagles will also be under pressure to win at home (4:30 p.m./both MagentaSport).
Three goals were scored in Munich in a turbulent early phase. Christopher Desousa (1st) and Austin Ortega (5th) presented for Munich in front of 5728 spectators, Laurin Braun (7th) brought the Grizzlies back up. Spencer Machacek (50th) equalized, Patrick Hager decided the game in the fourth minute of extra time for the hosts.
“Hope we can finish it on Monday”
Game five of the Ingolstadt vs. Mannheim series was also tight. The Eagles had won every away game in the playoffs, but now Ty Ronning put them eight seconds behind. Taro Jentzsch (38th) equalized, Tye McGinn (39th) scored for the ERC. Stefan Matteau (59th) finally lobbed the puck deep from the Ingolstadt third into the empty Adler goal, Enrico Henriquez Morales (60th) made the final score in front of 4815 spectators.
“Both teams are very good teams away from home. It seems that home advantage becomes more important the longer a series lasts. It’s very important that we got the win today because we know it’s extremely difficult in Mannheim will be… The last game is always the hardest and we hope we can finish it on Monday,” said Ingolstadt coach Mark French.
Red Bull Munich – Grizzlies Wolfsburg 3: 2 (2: 1, 0: 0, 0: 1, 1: 0) aet – Goals: 1:0 Johansson (00:54), 2:0 Ortega (04:06), 2:1 Braun (06:00), 2:2 Machacek (49:11), 3:2 Hager (63: 17). – Penalty minutes: Munich 6 – Wolfsburg 6. – Spectators: 5728. – Playoff score: 3:2
ERC Ingolstadt – Adler Mannheim 4: 1 (1: 0, 1: 1, 2: 0) – Goals: 1: 0 Ronning (00:08), 1: 1 Jentzsch (38:17), 2: 1 McGinn (39:22), 3: 1 Matteau (58:54), 4: 1 Henriquez Morales (59 :43). – Penalty minutes: Ingolstadt 6 – Mannheim 8. – Spectators: 4815. – Playoff score: 3:2