MANNHEIM, Germany — The AFNORTH Lions picked up a league championship and a head start on this week’s European Division II tournament with a 2-1 victory over the Mannheim Bison on Saturday.

“This was a good way to prepare for Europeans,” AFNORTH coach Greg Blankenship said. “Mannheim plays tough, aggressive defense, the kind we’ll see in the tournament.”

Norwegian star Pal Skangen’s second-half goal wrapped up the Division II crown for the Lions (6-0-1).

Mannheim (3-3-1) got its goal from Sean Kerber in the 38th minute.

“We tell them that they can’t overcommit in the 30-minute halves we play at the tournament,” Blankenship said, “but our midfield overcommitted, and they got an odd-man rush. We talked about it at halftime, and we controlled the midfield all during the second half.”

Sklangen’s game-winning goal came off an assist from Dominic Breuer, who scored the game’s first goal.

In other games Saturday:

Lions claim Division I crown

HEIDELBERG, Germany — Christoph Ascherl scored twice and Xavier Otero once as the Heidelberg Lions defeated the Wiesbaden Warriors 3-0 to win the Division I conference championship.

Heidelberg had been tied with Ramstein at 4-0-1 in the league and 5-0-1 overall going into Saturday’s final regular-season game, but the Lions were left alone in first when Würzburg tied Ramstein 2-2 in Ramstein.

SHAPE rebounds

SHAPE, Belgium — The SHAPE Spartans, who were stunned 2-1 last weekend in Vilseck, took their frustrations out on the visiting Bitburg Barons with a 7-0 mercy-rule romp.

Seven players — Francisco Gallo, Jirge Quesada, Gonzalo Alejandro, Chris Sympson, Santiago Peloch, Marvin Coombs and Fernando Labaneira — scored for the defending European Division II champions.

SHAPE (5-1-1) finished second in the league behind AFNORTH (6-0-1). Bitburg fell to 0-7.

Patch wins second straight

VAIHINGEN, Germany — Kevin Geasr scored twice, and Jovani D’Angella added a goal as the Patch Panthers, who lost their first five games, won their second game in a row, 3-2 over the Hanau Panthers.

Mike Bernards assisted on two goals for Patch (2-5).

Marcus Fontanez scored both goals for Hanau (1-5-1).

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