Having lost their first two games in penalty shootouts, Germany’s national ice hockey team came into Monday’s Group B match looking to take away all three points and put themselves put themselves on course for a possible berth in the quarterfinals of this Ice Hockey World Championship in Denmark. However, they were up against a much tougher opponent than either the hosts or Norway – in the form of the United States – and came up short, losing the contest 3-0.
Head coach Marco Sturm will have liked a lot of what he saw in the first 20 minutes, with the Germans looking much sharper than they had against their previous two opponents in Herning. However, they only got out of the period with a scoreless draw due to the strong play of netminder Niklas Treutle, who made 11 saves, including what must have been the save of the tournament so far.
The Germans came out of the dressing room for the second hoping to build on that performance, but they quickly got themselves into trouble by taking four consecutive minor penalties. Treutle continued his heroics in the German net, thwarting the American forwards’ efforts over and over – until midway through the period.
It took an almost perfect shot to finally beat Treutle, and it came late in a 5-on-3 powerplay for the United States. Patrick Kane beat the German netminder over his left shoulder with a one timer from the faceoff circle to his left to give the Americans a 1-0 lead in the 11th minute of the second period.
The next goal followed just over two minutes later, with Germany yet again on the penalty kill. This time it was Derek Ryan who beat Treutle from close range, while defenseman Moritz Müller was cooling his jets in the sinbin after getting called for hooking.
Germany finally got their first chance on the power play a few minutes later, but never seriously troubled the American goalie, Keith Kincaid.
In the third period, the Germans gave a better account of themselves, and the fact that they stayed out of the penalty box probably had a lot to do with it. Approaching the halfway mark of the period, the Germans had even created a few scoring chances, but were unable to beat Kincaid.
Third US goal seals the deal
In the 10th minute though, the Americans added a third goal, which pretty much came out of nowhere. It started with Jonas Mülller carelessly coughing up the puck deep in his own zone. Kane picked up the biscuit behind the German net and passed it into the slot to Alex Debrincat, who one-timed it into the basket.
So Marco Sturm’s men who surprised everybody by winning the silver medal at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics just over two months ago, go into Wednesday’s game against South Korea needing a win to keep their slim hopes of reaching the quarterfinals alive. Sturm, who has a much younger team in Denmark than he had in Korea, will be encouraged by the fact that this was Germany’s best of their first three games. Ironically though, it was the first in which they failed to earn even a single point.
Jost scored twice and Curtis McElhinney stopped 25 shots for the shutout as Germany routed South Korea 10-0 on Sunday in Group B action at the men’s world hockey championship. Edmundson and seven other players added goals for Germany’s first win of the tournament.
Both Jost and Edmundson were not in the lineup in Germany’s 5-4 shootout loss to the United States on Friday. Edmundson was a scratch and Jost was still en route to Denmark after the Colorado Avalanche, his club team, was eliminated from the NHL playoffs.
“It’s the first time we’ve had Edmundson in our lineup and Jost joined us late, so good to see them get some opportunity out there today,” said coach Bill Peters after the game.
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Colton Parayko, Ryan O’Reilly, Pierre-Luc Dubois, Brayden Schenn, Connor McDavid and Jordan Eberle also scored for Germany. McElhinney made his first start in net after Darcy Kuemper was charged with the shootout loss in Germany’s first game of the tournament.
“He was good, he was solid,” said Peters. “It was good that we were able to get him in and he got some work, especially as the game wore on. I thought he got settled in and he handled pucks well. Something to build on for Mac, for sure.”
Germany plays host Denmark (1-0-0-1) on Monday and will likely be a goaltending matchup between McElhinney and his Toronto Maple Leafs creasemate, Frederik Andersen, who is a superstar in his hometown of Herning.
“He’s a big-time goaltender, so we’re going to have to make sure we’re in his eyes,” said Peters. “We’re going to have to make sure we score on seconds and thirds and it should be a real good atmosphere. We’re excited for the opportunity to play here in front of their fanbase.”
Coached by former NHL defenceman Jim Paek, South Korea is participating in top-level world championship action for the first time in history after earning promotion with a second-place finish at the 2017 IIHF Division 1A tournament. Icing a nearly identical lineup to the group that participated in the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang in February, the Koreans opened their tournament with an 8-1 loss to Finland.
South Korea managed just nine shots on goal against Finland on Saturday, but matched that in the first period against Germany. McElhinney looked sharp early, staring down several quality scoring chances as the Koreans tried to keep pace with a Canadian team that has earned one silver and two gold medals in its past three world championship appearances.
Germany took a 2-0 lead into the dressing room after 20 minutes off goals from Nugent-Hopkins and Jost, then quickly took control on the power play early in the second. Parayko scored his second of the tournament on a 5-on-3 opportunity at the 1:07 mark of the second period, quickly followed by O’Reilly’s second of the tournament to make it 4-0 just 50 seconds later.
Back at even strength, Dubois made it 5-0 with his second of the tournament at the 2:32 mark of the second, prompting a time out by South Korea as Paek tried to settle down his overmatched squad, which was cheered on by a small but vocal group of fans at Jsyke Bank Boxen arena.
“I’m familiar with Hockey Germany with U17s, U18s and the world juniors,” said Dubois. “Coming here with the men’s national team, you learn a lot from these guys. You play against them during the season in the NHL, but to play with them, you see a completely different side from them and it’s a really good time for me to learn.”
After hitting the post on a power play in the first period, Schenn scored his first goal of the tournament at 7:33, giving Germany a 6-0 lead. Late in the second, Jost scored his second of the game 18 seconds before Edmundson added his first of the tournament to make the score 8-0.
Goaltender Matt Dalton, who has been playing for the Korean national team since 2015, endured a very challenging set of back-to-back games. After facing 45 shots from Finland on Saturday, the 31-year-old native of Kitchener, Ont., was pulled in favour of Sungje Park with 3:18 left to play in the second period after giving up eight goals on 40 Germany shots.
Park stopped eight of 10 shots he faced in 23:18 of game action. McDavid scored his first of the tournament to make it 9-0 at 4:40 of the third before Eberle tallied his first to bump the score into double digits at 8:55.
Four Canadian players had three point games — McDavid, with a goal and two assists, and three rookies. Jost added a third-period assist to his two goals, Dubois had a goal and two assists and Mat Barzal had three assists.
In later games on Sunday in Herning, Norway slipped past Germany in a 5-4 shootout win for their first win of the tournament before Finland rolled past Latvia 8-1.
In Group A action in Copenhagen, Russia routed Austria 7-0 before the defending world champions from Sweden edged the Czech Republic 3-2 and Switzerland blanked Slovakia 2-0.