Germany wins against Latvia at the Ice Hockey World Cup – Sport

Take a closer look: No, Nico Sturm didn’t have one leg tied behind his back. He was in the prescribed physical condition for the German national team’s fourth group game at the Ice Hockey World Cup. That was the first good news. The second: The World Cup runner-up clearly defeated Latvia 8:1 (2:0, 5:1, 1:0) and now has the best chance of reaching the quarter-finals. “It was important that we set the right tone,” said national coach Harold Kreis. And the tone was right.

World Cup in Czech Republic

:Schedule of the 2024 Ice Hockey World Cup: All games, dates and results

The Ice Hockey World Cup in the Czech Republic has begun, Germany is entering the tournament as runner-up. All games and dates as well as the World Cup squad in our schedule.

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There have always been anxious question marks lurking behind the proper condition of striker Sturm in the past few days. The NHL professional from the San Jose Sharks suffered a knee injury in the opening 6-4 win against Slovakia and was out against the USA and Sweden. Both games were lost 1:6.

Sturm was back in the squad against the Latvians, who started the tournament with three wins, and defender Maksymilian Szuber also returned after a two-game break. Captain Moritz Müller describes the importance of the Augsburger Sturm, both a debutant and a leading figure in the silver coup a year ago, for the team: “Of all the players I have played with here, he is the absolute model professional. If who has eaten a Snickers once in the last three years, then that was an absolute outlier.”

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The Latvians immediately felt Sturm’s body tension. The 29-year-old worked the disc on the boards, the puck went via Tiffels and Kälble to Dominik Kahun: the early lead (6th) for the DEB team. The self-confidence was immediately back. In the first power play, defender Kai Wissmann drove elegantly like an ice dancer through the Latvian defense to make it 2-0 (19th), then the German team had won a third for the first time since the win against the Slovaks.

Kreis had learned the basics of tactics on Tuesday without a game – with success

Kreis had some tactical lessons repeated on the Tuesday without a game and then restructured his ranks: four balanced formations were not intended to prevent the Latvians from enjoying the game. The question was how Harijs Vitolins’ team would come back from the dressing room. The third-place finisher in the 2023 World Cup certainly knows how to take a downhill game to a low level. But the Germans quickly answered the question themselves: After 48 seconds, Leo Pföderl increased the score with his third goal of the tournament, and Parker Tuomie made it 4-0 (23rd). What do Latvians do? Doesn’t matter.

The Latvians then first changed the goalkeeper. Elvis Merzlikins came on for Bremerhaven goalkeeper Kristers Gudlevskis – and was allowed to steal the disc straight from his net. John-Jason Peterka, 28-goal striker from the Buffalo Sabres, used the second German power play to score his long-awaited first goal of the tournament (26th, the second would follow to make it 7-0), and so it continued: power play, goal, Marc Michaelis (31st). For a long time now, only the German players and fans were having fun in Ostrava; The Latvian consolation goal (40th) only slightly disturbed the great mood.

And then it was Nico Sturm’s turn. After a mistake by Merzlikins, the man with number 78 had the presence of mind to push the puck into the goal to make it 8-1. “It couldn’t have gone better,” said Sturm at Pro7. “The most important thing is that we leave here with confidence.” Maybe he’ll treat himself to a nice, fat chocolate bar on the day off before the game against Kazakhstan.

By Editor

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