Ice Hockey World Cup: Germany beats Latvia 8-1

And suddenly things were going well for the German ice hockey team. After national coach Harold Kreis’s players had stumbled into the Ice Hockey World Championships in the Czech Republic, it was not necessarily expected that the team would have their best game in a long time on Wednesday afternoon in the Ostrava Arena.

But there was. The Germans won the decisive group game for a place in the quarter-finals against Latvia 8:1 (2:0, 5:1, 1:0) and are now in a good position with six points after four games. The supposedly weaker opponents still come for the German team.

There was a solid Ballermann atmosphere around the arena in the Vitkovice district before the game. Given the summer temperatures, many fans came in shorts. The Latvian fans also wore flip flops, which inadvertently fit in quite well with the swimming festival of the Latvian team, which had previously won its three World Cup games. Essentially, soon after the game started, it was mainly the German fans among the around 10,000 spectators who could be heard.

After goals from Dominik Kahun and Kai Wissmann it was already 2-0 for the Germans after 20 minutes, but that didn’t mean anything. In the first tournament game against Slovakia (final score 6:3) they squandered a two-goal lead.

But it didn’t get that far this time because the Germans continued to concentrate on using their speed and scoring. Leo Pföderl and Parker Tuomie followed up, less than 24 minutes had been played and the Latvian goalkeeper Kristers Gudlevskis from the Fischtown Pinguins Bremerhaven left the ice after being served. Elvis Merzlinkins came. And they had to get behind themselves straight away: John Jason Peterka made it 5-0, Marc Michaelis made it 6-0, Peterka again made it 7-0, before the Latvians were able to overcome Philipp Grubauer in the German goal shortly before the break.

But Germany continued and never let up. Nico Sturm cheated the target into the net in the final third to make it 8-1, making the Germans’ biggest World Cup victory against Latvia official. The wave raged through the stadium, fans from both camps celebrated together. It also went unnoticed that a few German fans were demanding a double-digit result. But that would probably have been too much of a good thing.

But in any case it wasn’t the German team from the first three tournament games, which seemed vague and sometimes helpless, but rather the current runner-up world champion who never gave last year’s World Cup third place a chance.

But even for such a confident performance there were only three points for the Germans, but also the certainty that they could play better than in the previous defeats against the USA and Sweden. The national coach also saw it that way. “Today we had a completely different energy than in previous games,” said Harold Kreis. And defender Kai Wissmann from Eisbären Berlin said: “We won’t allow ourselves to be blinded by the clear result.”

By Editor

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