Quarter-finals thanks to Canada victory ?: DEB team trumps with “Lionheart”

Quarter-finals thanks to Canada win?
DEB team trumps with “Lionheart”

The game of the century against Canada at the Olympics was three years ago, and now the German national ice hockey team has achieved another sensation. With the win against the favorites, the quarter-finals are within reach. This is mainly due to the outstanding keeper Mathias Niederberger.

The players were very proud. With big grins on their faces and full of fervor, the blissful German ice hockey cracks sang the national anthem after the historic World Cup victory against Canada. “We can be really proud of ourselves,” said captain Moritz Müller after the 3-1 (2-1, 0-0, 1-0) win in Riga on Whit Monday – the first win at a World Cup against Canada in 25 years. The last time a German team defeated the motherland of ice hockey in Vienna in 1996 (5: 1).

“The fact that we were able to really win against Canada is extraordinary,” said the outstanding goalkeeper Mathias Niederberger, who already had cramps during the game due to the constant fire from the Canadian NHL players. “The way we blocked the shots and worked it was extraordinary, I’ve never seen a game like this,” he stated. “We have a lion heart.”

And there was also a lot of praise for the goalkeeper: “Mathias absorbed the shots,” said Müller about the keeper of the German champion Eisbären Berlin, who parried 39 shots and only beat Paul Nick of the Ottawa Senators in the interim 2-1 (19. Minute) was powerless. “You need goalkeepers like him to win games. Thank god we had him today,” said Müller.

Mannheim’s Stefan Loibl (11th minute) and Matthias Plachta (12th) as well as the future Mannheim Korbinian Holzer (58th) shot the German team into an empty Canadian goal to another highly regarded victory against Canada. A good three years ago, Germany defeated the 26-time world champion 4: 3 on the way to the silver medal in the Olympic semifinals in Pyeongchang. At that time, both teams had suffered from not being able to use any NHL players.

True defensive battle

So far, the top stars have also been missing from this World Cup. Unlike 2018, the Canadian team consisted almost exclusively of NHL players who hadn’t made it into the playoffs. “We saw an extremely strong Canadian team,” said Müller. Indeed, the Canadians who had lost the first two games and now have their backs against the wall were playing too angry. Between the 2-0 and the 3-1 final score, the German team had to survive a real defensive battle, which it mastered brilliantly.

“I’ve probably never seen a game like this where a team blocked so many shots. Everything worked away completely – it was unbelievable to watch,” said national coach Toni Söderholm, who is well on his way to winning the strong World Cup at his tournament Debut as national coach in Slovakia in 2019 still to be topped. At that time Germany started with four wins and had the best preliminary round at a world championship ever. The German team currently has three wins after three games, has the quarter-finals firmly in view and is secretly looking for more.

And yet Söderholm also has something to criticize: “In terms of fighting spirit, passion, pride and will it was an unbelievable performance,” said Söderholm, “but tactically it wasn’t our best game. So you won’t be world champion in this tournament if you do you take so many penalties. “

“It’s a strange tournament,” said Niederberger in view of the many defeats of the top nations so far. “I think anything is possible. We’ll do our best.” The next opponent in the preliminary round is Kazakhstan on Wednesday (3:15 p.m. / Sport1).