After the Olympic humiliation against Slovakia, the German national ice hockey team came back with passion and celebrated their first win at the World Cup against the bronze medalist. Three months after the 0:4 against the Slovaks in Beijing, the selection of national coach Toni Söderholm celebrated a 2:1 against the Olympic bronze medalist in Helsinki. Matthias Plachta from Adler Mannheim with a strong solo effort (22nd minute) and Leo Pföderl (27th) from Eisbären Berlin shot the 2021 World Cup semi-finalists on their way to the quarter-finals to success against their direct competitor.
In Beijing, the bankruptcy against Slovakia had caused disillusionment and the trip home before the round of the top eight. This time the Germans with NHL goalie Philipp Grubauer only allowed Kristian Pospisil (32nd) to score. In front of 4387 spectators in the hall, which was almost half full, the second third was decisive. With three points from the difficult first weekend of the World Cup, they secured a good starting position for the supposedly decisive tasks for progression.
On Monday (7.20 p.m. / Sport1 / MagentaSport) a mandatory victory should be achieved against outsiders France. At the start, the national team of national coach Toni Söderholm conceded a 3:5 against the top nation Canada.
The Söderholm squad took self-criticism and encouragement from the first game against the record world champion. For the second World Cup appearance, former NHL professional Korbinian Holzer had expected a game at “equal footing”. Finally, world number ninth Germany met eighth (Slovakia) and the expected balanced and competitive duel developed.
Söderholm had refrained from a goalkeeper change, which is not unusual in ice hockey given the close timing of the games. Again, NHL goaltender Philipp Grubauer played from the Seattle Kraken and had a few opportunities to excel.
Unlike against Canada, the Germans avoided going behind this time. However, they didn’t use a manpower situation carelessly made possible by the Slovaks at the end of the first third, nor did they use a power play in the second period, when they even had two more players on the ice for more than a minute.
The lead resulted from a strong individual performance by Plachta: the experienced player stormed into the offensive zone at great speed, the puck bounced off a Slovak into the goal. Despite the interim two-goal lead thanks to the interaction between the two Berliners Marcel Noebels and Pföderl, things quickly got exciting again: Grubauer was able to parry at first, but then let Pospisil, who came from behind the goal, overcome him.
At the end of the second third, the Germans came under pressure – but withstood it and survived a 3:5 deficit at the beginning of the final section. With morale, the Olympic tenth brought victory over time.