Olympic silver in 2018, World Cup semi-finals in 2021, World Cup runners-up in 2023: Only record world champion Canada was better than the German players in the end, who nevertheless achieved another ice hockey milestone in second place. Germany lost the first World Cup final they have participated in since 1930 against Canada 2-5 (1-1, 1-1, 0-3) in Tampere on Sunday.
In the end, determination, passion and goals from John-Jason Peterka (8th minute) and Daniel Fischbuch (34th) were not enough for the first world title. The team of national coach Harold Kreis was playfully better in the final for a long time, but at least travels home early on Whit Monday with silver as the first World Cup medal in 70 years, because Canada was more uncompromising in the end. The last time there was silver was in 1953, but at that time only four nations had played in a group stage.
Canada’s NHL stars secured the World Championship title for the 28th time by beating the selection of the German Ice Hockey Federation and are now again the sole record champion ahead of the currently excluded Russians. For German ice hockey, second place at the World Cup is the greatest success after silver at the 2018 Olympics.
National coach Kreis as the successor to Toni Söderholm crowned his debut as head coach. The 64-year-old native of Canada had already been there in 2010 when Germany reached the semi-finals as Uwe Krupp’s assistant. Although 15 top performers were injured and the top NHL players Leon Draisaitl, Tim Stützle and Philipp Grubauer had dropped out, the veteran coach formed a close-knit unit that was convincing in terms of fighting but also in terms of play.
“Everyone loves playing for Harry very, very much. He’s just a great person with great charisma and a great character,” praised Frederik Tiffels from German champions EHC Red Bull Munich, who shot Germany into the final on Saturday in a splendid 4: 3 after extra time against the USA with his goal in overtime had.
It wasn’t enough for a really big hit. The German team made a courageous start, did more for the game than the passive Canadians and took the lead after a nice shot from the German World Cup top scorer Peterka on Moritz Seider’s dream pass. With luck, the big favorite equalized. When Samuel Blais equalized (11th), a deflected puck ensured that the action became dangerous in the first place.
The Canadians looked defeatable, the German team got better and once again took the lead through the Düsseldorfer Fischbuch. This lead did not last either, because the referees did not punish Canada for a clear foul before Lawson Crouse (38th / Arizona) equalized again. Another unfortunate goal conceded after a defensive error by Blais (45th) paved the way for the favorites to succeed. Tyler Toffoli (52) from the Calgary Flames made the decision. Scott Laughton from the Philadelphia Flyers scored the final score into the orphaned goal (59th).
Nevertheless, Germany seems to have firmly established itself among the top nations. “We played great ice hockey throughout the tournament. We showed that we can not only fight against the big players, but also play along,” said captain Moritz Müller at MagentaSport. The ambitious goal of ex-DEB President Franz Reindl, to be able to play regularly for medals in major tournaments by 2026, was fulfilled earlier than expected and hoped. “Since 2018 everyone has been used to this very high level from the Germans,” said world association president Luc Tardif at the final weekend in Tampere.