Updated on 05/19/2022 20:05
- With three points in a row, Germany’s ice hockey cracks are clearly on their way to the World Cup quarter-finals in Finland.
- A preliminary decision could already be made on Friday. Then subsequent reinforcements from North America should also be present.
The German ice hockey team did not allow a World Cup fire to break out in Finland, and an early quarter-final was on hand. After a 1-0 (0-0, 1-0, 0-0) game against Denmark on Thursday, selection national coach Toni Soderholm could already make a preliminary decision on Friday against Italy (3:20pm / Sport and MagentaSport). With a mandatory win over the outside team, a fourth place in the 2021 World Cup can only theoretically be returned to in the knockout stage.
Germany won, Thursday, the match against Denmark in Helsinki, which started 100 minutes late, even without the injury of Tim Stutzel, the Dutch National League striker, and Lukas Richel and Leon Gawanke, who traveled later. AHL striker Mark Michaelis of the Toronto Marlies scored the winning goal in strong play (33th minute). “That was very important,” Michaelis said on Sport 1: “We are very happy that we drove him home.”
The choice of the German Ice Hockey Federation eliminated the shock of evacuating the hall during the warm-up period. Captains Moritz Muller and Michaelis said: “This was not the usual preparation. You have to hide it and be a professional. It’s something you can’t prepare for of course. It was a difficult start.”
Game start delayed due to fire alarm
Teams, spectators and journalists had to leave the hall about half an hour before the start of the original match at 3.20pm German time. In equipment, players persevered outdoors. The fire brigade arrived and quickly put out the “small fire”. It was not initially clear whether the game could be played or not. According to the World Federation, there were no injuries.
“Of course you don’t have the same preparations if you sit around an hour before the match,” Mueller added. Despite the adverse circumstances, Söderholm’s side reached the starting position with their third consecutive World Cup win against their direct opponent in the quarter-finals and are now being strengthened: AHL defender Gawanke and AHL striker who later traveled against Italy also played against Italy according to DEB vice president Andreas Niederberger. “Definitely an option” for their first appointment in the course of the tournament.
“We get a lot of quality,” Soderholm said. “Hopefully both of them will give us positive momentum.” The duo only arrived in Finland on match day – too quickly to be ready to take on the Danes. It is not clear when Stützle will be able to play again after a knee injury in the match against France on Monday (3:2). In response to the failure, Söderholm reconstructed three of the four attack lines.
The game remains exciting until the end
The small German fan community greeted the team with applause as they climbed onto the ice to start the match, which was postponed to 5:00 PM German time. The smell of burning had not completely disappeared from the hall. In the fourth preliminary round match, which is significant considering the constellation of the table, both teams in the first third looked as if they had to find each other first. There were hardly any serious scenes, only NHL defender Moritz Ceder hit the crossbar.
Only in the middle third did the intensity increase and Germany improve: in the first majority, Berlin striker Marcel Neubels was unlucky when she hit the crossbar (26th place). It only did better in the next power play: Michaelis decisively turned the disc upon introducing the ostensible Noebel again.
Against the unpleasant Danes with NHL striker Nikolaj Ehlers of the Winnipeg Jets and former NHL striker Frans Nielsen of German champions Eisbären Berlin, the match remained exciting until the end. As in the important victory over Slovakia (2-1), NHL goalkeeper Philipp Grobauer radiated the necessary calm. (dpa/fra)