Germany’s ice hockey team didn’t let a fire break out at the World Cup in Finland and the early quarter-finals were within reach. After the 1-0 (0-0, 1-0, 0-0) against Denmark on Thursday, the selection of national coach Toni Söderholm can already ensure a preliminary decision this Friday against Italy (3:20 p.m. / Sport and MagentaSport). With a mandatory win against the outsider, the fourth place in the 2021 World Cup could only theoretically be taken back into the knockout round.
On Thursday, Germany won the game against Denmark in Helsinki, which started 100 minutes late, even without the injured NHL striker Tim Stützle and Lukas Reichel and Leon Gawanke, who traveled later. AHL forward Marc Michaelis of the Toronto Marlies scored the winning goal on the power play (33rd minute).
The selection of the German Ice Hockey Federation well put away the shock of a hall evacuation during the warm-up. “It wasn’t the usual preparation. You have to hide that and be a professional,” said captain Moritz Müller at Sport1.
Teams, spectators and journalists had to leave the hall about half an hour before the original start of the game at 3:20 p.m. German time. In equipment, the players persevered outdoors. The fire brigade arrived and quickly put out the “small fire”. It was initially unclear whether or when the game could be played. According to the world association, there were no injuries.
“Of course you don’t have the same preparation when you sit around an hour before the game,” Müller continued. Despite the adverse circumstances, the Söderholm squad got into a top starting position with their third World Cup win in a row against their direct quarter-final competitor and are now being reinforced: the AHL defender Gawanke and AHL striker Reichel who traveled later against Italy also played against Italy according to DEB Vice President Andreas Niederberger “certainly an option” for their first assignment in the course of the tournament.
“We get a lot of quality. We hope that they will both give us a positive momentum,” said Söderholm. The duo only arrived in Finland on the day of the match – too quickly to be ready against the Danes. It is unclear when Stützle will be able to play again after his knee injury in the game against France on Monday (3:2). In response to the failure, Söderholm had rebuilt three of the four attack lines.
The small German fan community greeted the team with applause when they came onto the ice for the start of the game, which had been postponed to 5:00 p.m. German time. The smell of burning had not completely disappeared from the hall. In the fourth preliminary round game, which is important given the table constellation, both teams seemed in the first third as if they had to find each other first. There were hardly any dangerous scenes, only NHL defender Moritz Seider set an example with a crossbar.
Only in the middle third did the intensity increase and Germany improved: In the first majority, Berlin striker Marcel Noebels was unlucky when he hit the crossbar (26th). It only worked better in the next power play: Michaelis deflected the puck decisively on presentation of the again conspicuous Noebels.
Against the unpleasant Danes with NHL striker Nikolaj Ehlers from the Winnipeg Jets and former NHL attacker Frans Nielsen from the German champions Eisbären Berlin, the game remained exciting until the end. As in the important win against Slovakia (2-1), NHL goalie Philipp Grubauer radiated the necessary calm.