Germany outlasts Denmark 2-1
STOCKHOLM – Germany got its second win of the IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship, defeating Denmark 2-1. Exceptional defence and strong goaltending won the day as Germany keeps its quarter-final hopes alive.
Philip Gogulla’s third period score sparked Germany, allowing them to keep pace with Norway and Latvia for the fourth spot in the group.
“It was our game. With all the chances we had today, I had no doubt we were going to win it. But we got beaten by a goalie. That’s the way it works sometimes,” said Morten Green.
Both teams came out not looking to make many mistakes for the other side to capitalize on. Each side was disciplined with only Germany’s Nikolai Goc being called for a rouging penalty in the period. Denmark, though, enjoyed the stronger period and chances to score.
“We knew it was probably going to be one of the toughest games in this tournament,” said Christoph Schubert. “If you look at the first period, Denmark came out really strong. They were skating all over us. I guess we got a little bit lucky that they didn’t take the lead in the first.”
Denmark outshot Germany 13-5 in a first period that ended in a scoreless tie. Frans Nielsen enjoyed the most active opening frame as he worked to create chances. Nielsen alone had four of those first period shots on goal.
Morten Green scored at 1:35 of the second period to put Denmark up. Kirill Starkov passed the puck out of his zone and to himself. As he raced through the neutral zone, Starkov created a three on one, finding Green who took the puck off his skate in stride and slipped it past Dennis Endras.
The quick start to the second was not sustained and the pace of the game slowed down, much to Germany’s liking.
As the second period was winding down, Christopher Fischer batted a pass to Thomas Greilinger whose stick side riser rocketed by Frederik Andersen. The goal came at 17:10 of the second with Fischer and Evan Kaufmann notching assists.
“It was a good shot,” said Greilinger of the effort. “I think the goalie didn’t really see the puck, and it’s tough for any goalie if he doesn’t see the puck.”
Kaufmann, the American-born forward of German-Jewish descent, earned his first point of the tournament.
The third period featured teams coming out with a sense of urgency and as a result of that creating some early chances that nearly ended the tie.
At 11:36, Germany broke the tie when Philip Gogulla scored. Patrick Reimer took a shot that was saved. As he went for the rebound he fanned on the shot but it Gogulla got to it and sent a forehand past Andersen.
A desperate Denmark continued to press the action in the German end but to no avail. At 7:30 Philip Larsen hit the post in what was the best chance of the period.
At the very end of the game Denmark pulled its goaltender and added the extra skater. A few chances were generated but the clock had run out on their chance to win their first game of the tournament.
Denmark missed a golden opportunity to move out of the cellar and keep alive their quarter-final possibilities with the win. With the loss Denmark still sits at eighth in the group.
BY JOHN SANFUL