After the fifth win in a row at the World Cup in Finland, Germany’s national ice hockey team has the chance of the best preliminary round in the association’s history. On Sunday, the weakened selection of national coach Toni Söderholm won 5: 4 (3: 2, 1: 1, 1: 1) against Kazakhstan, who was last in the preliminary round.
On Tuesday in the final group match against arch-rivals Switzerland (11.20 a.m., Sport1/MagentaSport), Germany can ideally even win the group and thus have the best starting position for the quarter-finals on Thursday.
Jonas Müller (5th minute) with his first World Cup goal ever, Leo Pföderl (17th), Daniel Fischbuch (19th), Lukas Reichel (26th) and Yasin Ehliz (48th) scored the goals for the selection in Helsinki of the German Ice Hockey Federation (DEB). With 15 points, the DEB team already had their most successful World Cup preliminary round result of 2019 after just six games. Roman Starschenko (3rd), Yegor Petukhov (16th), Pavel Akolzin (40th) and Nikita Michailis (41st) scored for the strong outsider who is threatened with relegation from Group A.
Since the quarter-finals had already been determined, Söderholm spared some top performers. Dustin Strahlmeier from the Grizzlys Wolfsburg made his World Cup debut in goal, NHL goalie Philipp Grubauer was not in the squad at all. The slightly injured Korbinian Holzer and Matthias Plachta did not play either. “They are both playable, nothing bad,” said Söderholm about the duo from Mannheim.
The national coach also had a similar opinion about NHL striker Tim Stützle. But the exceptional 20-year-old striker will no longer play at the World Cup after suffering a slight knee injury in the game against France last Monday (3-2) – apparently at the behest of his NHL team Ottawa Senators. “The decision is not in my hands,” said Söderholm upset.