Second place in the group and a score of points: The German ice hockey team set an example once again at the end of the World Cup preliminary round in Finland. Germany lost 3:4 (2:1, 0:2, 1:0/0:1) after a penalty shootout against the formerly sovereign Swiss team, peppered with several NHL stars, on Tuesday in Helsinki, but challenged the group winners by point The first was not affected by the decisions of the questionable rulers.
Goals by Kai Weissmann (12th minute), Stefan Loebel (16) and Matthias Plachta (48) pushed the candidates into extra time for the first time in this World Cup final, in which no goal was scored. The decision was made only in the penalty shootout, after no German scored, but Nico Hescher and Damien Reyat for Switzerland. And Andres Ambul (second) had earlier scored in his 17th World Cup, Pius Suter (22) and Denis Maljen (39) in the Swiss’s regular time, who meet the United States in the quarter-finals in Helsinki on Thursday.
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The German team also plays second in Helsinki on Thursday. The opponent was determined only in the evening in the duel between the Olympic champions Finland and the Czech Republic (after the deadline for liberation). Due to the equalizer after 60 minutes, national coach Toni Soderholm’s team finished the preliminary round with 16 points and thus achieved the best result in the German preliminary round at a World Cup finals ever.
In a high-level duel between the two arch-rivals, a win in normal time and thus a group win was possible, but the referees did not punish the sometimes brutal attacks by the Swiss. In the final third, after a clear elbow check against Leon Gawanke, Swiss Maljean didn’t even get two minutes instead of the penalty he was due for five minutes. After the match, Toni Soderholm said: “Disastrous decisions. There is no need to discuss it. Completely incomprehensible to me. This is not part of the sport. We are talking about checks that have nothing to do with respect.”
From the start, the Swiss looked particularly excited after a few crucial defeats against German teams at the major tournaments. The disc twists into the net as soon as the Confederacy hits the ball. World Cup record player Ambol, Germany’s top seed, gave Philipp Grobauer no chance in his 122nd World Cup match.
The Swiss went to work brutally
The 30-year-old from the Seattle Kraken made it back in goal at the end of the playoffs after taking two breaks recently. Korbinian Holzer of Mannheim and Matias Blacha managed to play again. They were slightly injured in the 5:4 against Kazakhstan on Sunday and rested as well. With the best performing players on the team, Germany has gotten stronger since then and was the better team in the first third. After just four seconds into their first power game, the tournament’s best outnumbered team so far was successful. A slap shot fell from Berlin’s Weissmann, and shortly afterwards Loebel cleared a powerful shot from NHL defender Moritz Ceder of Detroit Red Wings into the net.
The Swiss responded to the German momentum in the second half with a fiercer game and some shady action. As in the first third, Switzerland started with a quick goal, this time from Ceder’s teammate in the Red Wings Sutter. After the tie, it intensified. Fabrice Herzog made a bad check on Samuel Soramis’ head, for which the referees punished him with just two minutes. “You can certainly discuss it,” defender Holzer said after the match.
Germany did not use the next power play. Unlike the Swiss shortly thereafter, Hescher easily fell into a harmless duel with Germany captain Moritz Muller after the New Jersey Devils captain. The powerful Malgin of ZSC Lions Zurich took advantage of this cold ice and in the final section was the focus of an incomprehensible decision by the rulers of Sweden and Slovakia. Germany responded strongly and tied with a dream goal from Blachta, who secured second place in the preliminary round. (dpa/teaspoon)