As in the Olympic fiasco, Germany’s national ice hockey team started the World Cup tournament with a defeat against Canada. In the 3: 5 (0: 2, 1: 3, 2: 0) against the defending champion, the selection of national coach Toni Söderholm on Friday evening in Helsinki was improved and willing to make Beijing forget the misstep.
Against the record champion, who was recruited from NHL stars in a different way than at the Olympics, the rejuvenated national team made too many mistakes and has to improve for the second task: On Saturday evening Germany is again challenged against the Olympic bronze medalist Slovakia.
“I think it’s okay like this. They punished us for some mistakes in the first third, the second third was okay, but the result wasn’t,” said Söderholm at Sport1 and MagentaSport. “That was okay, I think. We can still improve as the tournament progresses,” said NHL professional Tim Stützle.
Against strong Canadians there were goals from Marc Michaelis (28th minute) from the Toronto Marlies from the second-class North American AHL, Matthias Plachta (42nd) from the Adler Mannheim and NHL star defender Moritz Seider (53rd) from the Detroit Red Wings too little. The NHL professionals Cole Sillinger (9th), Pierre-Luc Dubois (18th/32nd), Kent Johnson (34th) and Noah Gregor (38th) mercilessly exploited the negligence in the German game.
Söderholm experienced a bad start at the World Cup in his home country, even if the impression was significantly better than three months ago at 1: 5 in Beijing. “The character and mood in the team is good, the boys support each other,” said Söderholm.
However, the performance did not come close to the 2021 World Cup in Riga. A year ago, an outstanding goalkeeper Mathias Niederberger led the Germans to their first World Cup victory over Canada in 25 years on their way to the semi-finals in Riga. Philipp Grubauer from the Seattle Kraken from the NHL could not prevent the defeat this time and was not yet the strong support. In view of the short break, it cannot be ruled out that Niederberger from the champions Eisbären Berlin will play against the Slovaks.
Against Slovakia it is also important to make one forget an Olympic disappointment: The 0:4 in Beijing had led to the end before the quarter-finals. “Then it’s just a matter of taking three points,” demanded Seider with a view to the second World Cup game.
Unlike in Beijing, Germany got into the game properly this time against ice hockey motherland Canada. At the Olympics, three quick goals and the injury of leading player Marco Nowak after an unpunished check sealed the defeat early on and set the course for the disappointing course of the tournament. The underdog did not survive the first ten minutes without conceding a goal.
The only 18-year-old exceptional talent Sillinger from the Columbus Blue Jackets overcame Grubauer when the German defense did not bring the puck out of their own third. The 0:2 by Dubois almost looked like a copy, again the Olympic tenth could not clear.
But the fourth in the 2021 World Cup improved, was clearly superior at the beginning of the middle section and was rewarded with the goal. But stupid penalties brought the favorites back. Outnumbered, Canada cleverly, consistently and coldly played out their playful and running superiority. In the final third it was only enough for Germany in the majority to make up for the result.